This recipe for Spanish Arroz con Pollo is a one pot meal that’s full of tender chicken thighs, creamy saffron rice and olives – the perfect quick and easy dinner!
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Here I am again, coming back at you with yet another one pot meal. This time I’ve got an amazing recipe for Spanish Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with Rice). The chicken and saffron rice are cooked together along with some green olives and tomatoes to make a delicious meal that’s fancy enough for company but easy enough to whip up on a busy weeknight.
How do you feel about olives? My husband tells me that olives are a divisive food – people either love them or hate them. My family is in the “love” category, especially the kids, which is why this meal appeals to them so much. I used chicken thighs here, I feel like they’re a great choice for this particular dish. However, you can use a different cut of chicken if you like, drumsticks or bone-in chicken breasts would also work although you may have to adjust the cooking time.
This recipe does utilize a few ingredients that you might not have in your pantry. Do you own a vial of saffron? If not, you should buy some. It can be a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way and it lasts for a really long time. You’re also going to want to buy some high quality green olives for this dish because they’re a major part of the flavor profile. Be sure to taste your olives before you season your dish, my olives were a bit saltier than usual so I scaled back on the amount of salt in the rice.
This recipe also uses a short grain rice. If you want to be really authentic, get yourself some Calasparra rice, that’s what they use in Spain. Otherwise you can use an arborio rice, pearl rice or a calrose rice, which is the inexpensive short grain rice available in my grocery store.
This dish is perfect as is, or if you want to round out the meal a little more you can serve it with a green salad or a loaf of crusty bread. Everyone in my family loves this Spanish Arroz con Pollo but for different reasons – one of my girls loves the chicken but not the rice, the other likes both the chicken and the rice and my littlest just eats the rice. But everyone’s happy, and that’s all that matters. Oh, and of course it’s always a bonus to have a one pot meal with less clean up.
Spanish Arroz con Pollo
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs 6 ounces each
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 roma tomatoes diced plus more for garnish if desired
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken stock plus more if needed
- 1 cup short-grain rice such as Calasparra, Arborio or Calrose
- 1 cup small pimiento-stuffed green olives
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley optional
- Combine wine and saffron; let stand until ready to use.
- Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, skin side down, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Flip, and cook until golden brown; transfer to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook onion and garlic, stirring often, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomato, and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Stir in wine-saffron mixture, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the bay leaf.
- Cook until wine is almost completely evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Add chicken thighs, stock, rice, and olives; bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, stirring halfway through, until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. (If rice is not done, add more stock, 1/2 cup at a time.) Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley and extra diced tomatoes.