One Pan Spanish-Style Chicken & Rice

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One Pan Spanish-Style Chicken & Rice-This all-in-one meal is a weeknight favorite that’s loaded with filling protein, satisfying carbs, healthy vegetables and lots of great flavor.

This all-in-one meal is a weeknight favorite that’s loaded with filling protein, satisfying carbs, healthy vegetables and lots of great flavor.

 

 

 

Authentic arroz con pollo requires patience. Enter the following shortcut chicken and rice recipe that delivers great flavor in a fraction of the time.

Quick, one pot meals can be a welcome relief at the end of a busy day. They need not be gourmet, but they should be great tasting-and ideally healthy and most definitely reliable.

This recipe covers all those bases. Plus it’s family friendly, customizable and economical.

 

One Pan Spanish-Style Chicken & Rice-This all-in-one meal is a weeknight favorite that’s loaded with filling protein, satisfying carbs, healthy vegetables and lots of great flavor.

Chopping onion and bell pepper is about the only step in this recipe that takes a little time, albeit not much. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with buying frozen chopped onion and bell peppers if you’d like to save a few more minutes in this and other recipes calling for these ingredients.

Similarly, store-bought Sazón, the spice blend that seasons this dish, may be used. (Goya is the most commonly available commercial name.) If you take a few minutes over the weekend to mix up a batch of homemade Sazón however, you’ll be rewarded with exceptional flavor and better control of the ingredients.

You’ll also save a few dollars-and this speedy meal might become a favorite throughout the grilling season! (Also, don’t miss the avocado tomato salsa recipe mentioned in that post. This winner can be a year-round staple thanks to good quality grape tomatoes that are now available throughout the colder months. Use the salsa as a topping for fish, chicken, tacos and more. Delightful with tortilla chips, it would taste great dolloped over the chicken and rice recipe below, too.)

One Pan Spanish-Style Chicken & Rice-This all-in-one meal is a weeknight favorite that’s loaded with filling protein, satisfying carbs, healthy vegetables and lots of great flavor.

Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I’m always looking for willing recipe testers, and happily, several readers offered their services. Alexis, who lives with her fiancé and their two kids, a 17-year-old boy and 12-year-old daughter (plus a turtle and four cats), has been nothing short of stellar in a brief amount of time, providing feedback on several recipes, including this one.

She reported that her family thoroughly enjoyed this dish and was pleasantly surprised because her son isn’t fond of salsa. Alexis added the optional cheese, reaching for Colby Jack, because in her words, “Cheese makes everything better!”

Though I typically use chicken thighs in this recipe, Alexis had great results with chicken breasts. She used Goya’s Sazón, which she had on hand, but said she plans to make the homemade version when that runs out.

Finally, she thought peas were a fun addition because she doesn’t ever cook them, referencing bad childhood memories of mushy canned peas. Of course, that got me to thinking about the foods I was less than excited to see on my childhood dinner plate. Steamed cauliflower, red beets and blue fish readily come to mind.

I’m pretty sure we’d all enjoy some animated dialogue on similar food memories…and how we feel about them today. Future blog post fodder, perhaps?

One Pan Spanish-Style Chicken & Rice-This all-in-one meal is a weeknight favorite that’s loaded with filling protein, satisfying carbs, healthy vegetables and lots of great flavor.

One Pan Spanish-Style Chicken & Rice
Yield: 4 servings
This all-in-one meal is a weeknight favorite that’s loaded with filling protein, satisfying carbs, healthy vegetables and lots of great flavor.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus an extra drizzle if needed)
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup; color of choice or a mix)
  • 1 tablespoon homemade sazón seasoning mix or store-bought Sazón
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cup (180 grams) long grain white rice
  • ½ cup (120 grams) salsa (mild, medium or hot as preferred)
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 8 Manzanilla olives or basic pimento-stuffed green olives, thinly sliced (may omit if not an olive fan)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in large (10- to 12-inch diameter) lidded skillet, Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the chicken and sauté until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. (It’s okay if it’s not cooked through.) Transfer to a plate. Add the onion, peppers and an extra drizzle of olive oil, if needed, to the pan. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sazón and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.
  2. Add the water, rice, salsa and chicken to the pan, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pan and lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the rice is tender and the water is mostly absorbed, about 15 minutes – but check the rice after about 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peas and olives. Cover the pan and let sit for 5 minutes, and then enjoy.
Notes

*My preference in this recipe is for thigh meat because it remains juicier when simmered with the rice. If preferred, however, breast meat may be used. In this case, you may wish to omit the browning stage and stir in the raw chicken pieces when the rice is added. This will prevent overcooking and drying out the leaner breast meat.

A few more options:
Add 2 minced garlic cloves along with the Sazón seasoning.
Omit the peas or substitute frozen cut green beans if preferred. (You can use fresh but may wish to add them a few minutes earlier to reach your preferred level of tenderness.)
I have not used brown rice but if you would like to try, you will need to increase the cooking time and will likely need to add a little extra water. In this case I would especially recommend using chicken thighs to avoid drying out the meat.
Sprinkle the cooked chicken and rice with fresh parsley or cilantro, if desired.
Or top the finished dish with chopped avocado, an extra dollop of salsa, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and/or a few crushed tortilla chips.

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

As an alternative to the store-bought packets, homemade Sazón mixes up quickly and can be stored in your cupboard for months.Homemade Sazón Seasoning – An easy-to-make alternative to the store-bought packets that eliminates MSG and lets you control the salt. Ideal for homemade chicken & rice, a variety of Latin dishes, and as a dry spice rub.

Sazón works beautifully as a spice rub for chicken. This easy recipe⇩⇩ is a staple in our house throughout the grilling season. Sazón Grilled Chicken - This little spice packet (or the easy homemade option) adds incredible flavor when used as a rub for grilled chicken!

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Comments

  1. jane link

    I must try this one soon! And I love the recipe for Sazon. I rarely buy seasoning mixes, always do a little research and mix my own. Of course, this is why my herb and spice collection is over the top!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Ditto on the spice collection, Jane! I’m delighted you like the homemade Sazón and glad you can make good use of it in this recipe.

      Reply
  2. Alexis M

    I’ve found my 15 mins of fame – thanks Ann!!
    This was truly a great, easy meal for a weeknight. Yum!

    Reply