Authentic Puerto Rican Arroz Con Pollo

My mom's classic Puerto Rican Arroz con Pollo! This flavorful one-pot dish is made with rice, veggies, and chicken. An authentic Puerto Rican arroz con pollo recipe with simple, easy-to-follow instructions and mouthwatering, traditional Puerto Rican flavor. Tips included for how to season the dish and achieve perfectly crispy Pagao rice at the bottom of the pot.

  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Rice, Dinner, Chicken with Rice
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican
  • Diet: Gluten Free



For the Chicken:

  • 4-6 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne 
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 3 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp chili lime salt (optional) 

For the Rice:

  • 2 tbsp achiote (annatto) oil - see note for directions (optional, can be subbed for olive oil) 
  • 2 tbsp sofrito 
  • 1 large yellow onion 
  • 1 bell pepper 
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup green olives stuffed with pimento and sliced in half 
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce 
  • 1/2 cup minced cilantro 
  • 2 cups frozen peas 
  • 2 1/2 cups rice 
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water


  1. In a large ziplock bag, combine all seasonings and chicken drumsticks. Seal the bag and shake to coat the chicken with seasoning. Marinate for at least 30 minutes to an hour. 
  2. In a heavy bottomed soup pot, sauté the chicken in the achiote oil, turning the chicken to brown on all sides. Add sofrito, diced onion, and garlic. Sauté for 10 minutes then add bell peppers, cilantro and a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  3. Add tomato sauce, olives, and peas and cook 5 more minutes. Add rice, stirring to ensure each grain is coated with seasoning and veggies. 
  4. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes on low, checking towards the end for flavor and to see if the rice is cooked through. If dry, add another 1/2 cup broth.
  5. If you want the rice at the bottom of your pot to be crispy, add a tbsp more of oil, turn the heat up to medium and cook for another 5-10 minutes (watching closely to make sure it doesn't burn).
  6. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice, sprinkle of chopped cilantro and hot sauce. Enjoy!


To make your own achiote oil place 1/4 cup achiote (annatto) seeds in 1/2 cup oil. Heat on medium for about 4-5 minutes. Do not overheat or boil, they will become bitter. Also be careful as the oil stains. Immediately drain the oil from the seeds and discard seeds. 




Keywords: Puerto Rican Arroz Con Pollo, Arroz Con Pollo, Sofrito, Achiote Oil, Dutch Oven