This one-pan Spanish chicken and rice (Arroz Con Pollo) recipe is a hearty, comforting dish that's bursting with flavor. Perfect for a weeknight or Sunday dinner, it's a simple, delicious one-pot meal that the whole family will love.
For those who love a good comfort food dish that's easy to prepare and packed with flavor, this Spanish chicken and rice recipe is a must-try. The best part? It's a simple, one-pot dish that requires minimal cleanup, making it perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends.
Why This Is The Best Spanish Chicken And Rice Recipe
- Classic Flavors: The combination of saffron, paprika, and garlic gives this dish its authentic Spanish flavor. It's a classic that never goes out of style.
- One-Pot Wonder: This recipe is made in one pot, which means less cleanup for you. It's a win-win situation!
- Family Favorite: This Spanish chicken and rice is a hit with the whole family. It's a hearty, satisfying meal that everyone will love.
Here's an overview of some key ingredients for this recipe. For the full list of ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
- Chicken thighs: The bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs are the star of this dish, providing a rich, meaty flavor and a tender texture.
- Long grain rice: Rinses clean and cooks up fluffy and separate, absorbing the flavors of the dish beautifully.
- Diced tomatoes: They add a tangy sweetness and a bit of texture to the dish.
- Chicken broth: Low sodium chicken broth adds depth and richness to the dish without making it overly salty.
- Dry white wine: Adds a sophisticated flavor to the dish, enhancing the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Saffron: A pinch of this precious spice imparts a unique, earthy flavor and a beautiful golden color to the dish.
- Green and black olives: Halved green and black olives add a tangy, briny, and sweet flavor that contrasts nicely with the other ingredients.
How to Make Spanish Chicken And Rice
Making this incredible Spanish chicken And Rice recipe at home is super easy and will give you great results every single time. Here's how to make it step by step:
Preheat oven: Preheat your oven to 355 F. This will ensure that your oven is ready when you need to braise your chicken.
Season chicken: Season your chicken with ½ teaspoon of salt and ⅛ of pepper on each side. This will help to enhance the flavor of the chicken.
Cook chicken: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch Oven pan on medium heat. Cook your chicken on both sides for 7 minutes until the skin is crispy and brown. This will give your chicken a nice texture and color. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Saute onions, garlic, and peppers: Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the pan and sauté the onion, garlic, and both peppers for 3 minutes. This will form the base flavor for your Spanish rice.
Add paprika and rice: Add paprika and rice and cook, stirring until well coated. This will ensure that your rice is evenly flavored.
Add white wine: Add white wine and cook for 3 minutes. This will help to infuse the rice with a rich, aromatic flavor.
Stir in other ingredients: Stir in saffron, diced tomatoes, bay leaf, remaining salt and pepper, and chicken stock, and bring to a boil. This will complete the flavor profile of your Spanish rice.
Pop in the oven: Place your chicken on top of the rice, cover the pan with an ovenproof lid or aluminium foil, and braise in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the rice is cooked. This will allow the flavors to meld together.
Add olives and adjust seasonings: Remove your dish from the oven and stir in the olives. Adjust your seasoning if needed.
Garnish and serve: Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately! This will add a pop of color and fresh flavor to your dish. Enjoy your homemade Spanish chicken and rice!
For a full list of ingredients and instructions, see the recipe card below.
Tips For Making the Best Spanish Chicken And Rice
- Choose the right chicken: For this Spanish rice recipe, you can use chicken drumsticks or chicken breast in place of chicken thighs. If you opt for skinless and boneless chicken breast, reduce the initial browning time to 3 minutes per side and cook in the oven for no more than 20-25 minutes.
- Use a meat thermometer: If you have an instant meat thermometer, it's a great tool to ensure your chicken is cooked perfectly. It should read at least 165F in the thickest part of the chicken breast.
- Skip wine if you’d like: If you don't want to use wine in this recipe, that's perfectly fine. Simply skip it. The dish will still have a great Spanish rice flavor.
- Use a Dutch Oven: A large Dutch Oven pan is ideal for this recipe. It allows for even heat distribution and can go from the stovetop to the oven, making it perfect for this one-pot meal.
This delicious Spanish chicken and rice is absolutely delicious on its own for a filling and satisfying meal. But here are some other sides you can try:
- For an extra touch of freshness, serve it with a side salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette. The crisp salad will provide a refreshing contrast to the hearty, flavorful chicken and rice.
- If you're looking to add more veggies to your meal, consider serving this Spanish rice with some steamed broccoli or roasted Brussels sprouts. The green vegetables will not only add color to your plate but also enhance the overall nutritional value of your meal.
Recipe Variation Ideas
- Vegetarian: If you're looking to cut down on meat, this variation is perfect for you. Replace the chicken with a mix of your favorite vegetables, like zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms. This vegetarian twist on the Spanish rice recipe still delivers a hearty meal, packed with flavor.
- Seafood: For seafood lovers, this variation is a must-try. Swap the chicken thighs with shrimp or mussels for a coastal spin on this Spanish rice dish. The seafood adds a unique flavor that pairs wonderfully with the saffron and olives.
Frequently Asked Questions
For this recipe, a large Dutch Oven pan is recommended. This type of pot is perfect for browning the chicken and then cooking the rice, making it a one-pot meal.
Yes, you can use a large, deep skillet as an alternative. Just make sure it's oven-safe, as the recipe requires braising in the oven.
The best way to fluff the rice is to use a fork. Once the rice is cooked, remove the pot from the oven and gently fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains and mix in the olives.
How to Store Leftovers
- Fridge: After enjoying your delicious Spanish rice recipe, you might have some leftovers. Don't worry, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This meal prep method will keep your rice fresh and tasty for up to 3–4 days.
- Freezer: Unfortunately, this Spanish rice recipe doesn't freeze well. The texture of the rice can become mushy upon thawing and reheating. It's best to enjoy this dish fresh or store leftovers in the refrigerator.
- Reheating Instructions: If you've stored your Spanish rice in the refrigerator, reheat it in a pot or skillet over medium heat. You can add a splash of water to prevent it from drying out. Once it's heated, fluff the rice with a fork, garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro, and serve.
More Easy Spanish Recipes To Try At Home
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Spanish Chicken And Rice (Best Arroz Con Pollo)
Click the highlighted link to purchase the ingredients
- 6 bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs See the notes
- 1 large onion finely minced
- 5 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 red bell pepper finely chopped
- ½ jalapeño pepper finely chopped
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 c long grain rice rinsed
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 ½ c chicken broth low sodium
- ¾ c dry white wine See the notes
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon saffron
- ¼ c green olives halved
- ¼ c black olives halved
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoon parsley finely chopped
- Preheat the oven 355 F.
- Season chicken with ½ teaspoon of salt and ⅛ of pepper on each side.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch Oven pan on a medium heat.
- Cook chicken on both sides for 7 minutes until skin is crispy and brown.
- Transfer chicken to a plate and wipe the pan.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and saute onion, garlic and both peppers for 3 minutes.
- Add paprika and rice and cook stirring until well coated.
- Add white wine and cook for 3 minutes.
- Stir in saffron, diced tomatoes, bay leaf, remaining salt and pepper, chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Place chicken on top of rice, cover a pan with an ovenproof lid or aluminium foil and braise in the oven for 30-40 minutes until rice is cooked.
- Remove from the oven, stir in olives.
- Adjust salt and pepper if needed.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately!
Iryna Bychkiv is the founder and writer of the culinary website Lavender & Macarons, where she shares clean, European-inspired recipes that are delicious, easy to prepare, and made with wholesome ingredients. Iryna loves creating meals that are simple yet healthy and unique, including vegan and vegetarian recipes.
Iryna is also a freelance writer for MSN and Associated Press Wire.