Arroz con Pollo (Take One)

Almost 5 years ago, I married a Cuban….

…and by marrying a Cuban, I mean I married his family.

They are loud. They are boisterous. They are all up in each others business. AND…. I LOVE THEM!

Every Sunday, the entire family (aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins, random neighbors) gathers for lunch. The fare consists of Picadillo, Arroz con Pollo, Plantains, Black Beans….. you get the picture.

These are just a few of us.

I had never eaten these foods until I met GF Guy. Now, I am addicted!

Through the years, the traditional recipe for Arroz con Pollo has morphed into an Americanized version using the Vigo Yellow Rice mix. Lucky for me, the mix is gluten-free. Unlucky for me, it is also crazy high in sodium and other not so “natural” ingredients. I decided to take matters into my own hands and attempt my own version from scratch.

I did run into one snaffoo… my version isn’t yellow. I could add Turmeric, but am totally open to suggestions. Does anyone out there have and tips for me?

Either way, this is a delicious version of Arroz con Pollo that will definitely be repeated in our household! I tested it on two Gluten-Eaters and both loved it. Grandma would be so proud!

Arroz con Pollo

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)


Chicken Marinade-

  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh Cilantro
  • 1/3 cup Santa Fe Smoked Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Herbamare
  • 1/2 Black Pepper


  • 6 Bone-in Chicken Thighs
  • 1/2 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 large Sweet Onion, diced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Sweet Paprika
  • 1 tsp regular Paprika
  • 1 tsp Herbamare
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 of the “reserved” Marinade
  • 1 lb fresh Tomatoes, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups Long Grain White Rice (yes, I used white rice… and no, the world is not going to end) 😉
  • 1 1/2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 1 1/2 cups dry White Wine, like Pinot Grigio
  • 2 cups frozen Green Peas
  • Avocado, for garnish – optional
  • Baby Spinach, for garnish – optional


  1. To prepare the marinade, place the marinade ingredients in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  2. Remove and discard the chicken skin.
  3. Rub 1/2 of the marinade all over the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. The remaining marinade will be used later in the recipe.
  5. After chicken has marinated for the desired amount of time, heat a large pot over medium-high heat.
  6. Melt the coconut oil in the pot before adding the onions and peppers. Cook for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  7. Add the herbs, spices, and the bay leaf and cook 1 minutes, until fragrant.
  8. Now it is time to use that extra marinade. Add the marinade to the pot and cook about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  9. Once the garlic is fragrant, quickly add the marinated chicken thighs and chopped tomatoes. Cook 7-10 minutes over medium heat, stirring often.
  10. Once chicken has cooked a bit, add the rice, chicken stock, wine, and peas, in that order. Try to make sure the chicken and rice are all submerged in the liquid.
  11. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 20-30 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fluffy.
  12. Serve on a bed of baby spinach garnished with chopped tomato and avocado. (optional, but highly recommended!)

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays , Allergy-Free Wednesdays, and Friday Foodie Fix.

5 thoughts on “Arroz con Pollo (Take One)

  1. I’m not thinking of anything for yellow color but turmeric. Be careful though if you use it — it has a tendency to turn everything it touches yellow. I turned a plastic ladle and two kitchen towels a nice bright golden yellow making corn relish — the color never did fade.

  2. you can make the rice yellow with Sazon Goya with ACHIOTE, the powder from the annato seeds that you can also find in the Goya aisle. Regular Sazon won’t turn rice yellow.
    To use the actual seeds to color the rice, put a couple of tablespoons of whatever cooking oil you’ll be adding to the rice in a skillet and add a few seeds to the oil. Heat gradually and you’ll see the oil taking on the color of the seeds. When oil is a deep golden orange color, remove seeds and you can add the oil to the rice.

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