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My Favorite Arroz Con Pollo Cubano

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“I know there are already a number of recipes for this, but this one really is a little different and really is awfully good. Leaving the chicken on the bone makes it more flavorful and juicier. You can use jarred pimento, but it's not that hard to roast the sweet pepper yourself and it tastes much better. You can reduce the garlic and leave out the hot pepper, but I think a little zing is a good thing. The basic recipe is thanks to Maria Josepha Lluria de Higgins. Cooking time includes marinating time.”
1hr 50mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon salt (sea or kosher)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, fresh ground
  • 13 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
  • 13 cup lime juice, fresh squeezed
  • 4 lbs chicken breasts, bone-in, skin removed
  • 14 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, peeled, cored, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade without salt
  • 6 saffron strands, toasted over medium heat for 30 seconds
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 small hot red pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cups rice (Valencia, short grain)
  • 12-1 cup white wine, dry
  • 1 12 cups baby peas (frozen or fresh and steamed)
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, roasted over an open flame, skinned, cored, seeded and cut into strips


  1. Chop the garlic on a cutting board.
  2. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the garlic and, with a fork, mash the garlic/salt/pepper into a paste.
  3. Combine the garlic paste, orange juice and lemon juice.
  4. Wash and pat dry the chicken breasts.
  5. Place chicken and garlic/juice mixture in a large zip-lock bag or into a glass dish with a cover.
  6. Refrigerate for at least one hour, turning the chicken pieces in the marinade midway through the hour.
  7. Heat the oil over medium heat in a paellera or wide, shallow pan.
  8. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving the marinade.
  9. Blot the chicken dry with paper towels and brown the pieces in the hot oil.
  10. If necessary, do this in batches--allow the individual pieces to brown on both sides.
  11. Remove and set browned chicken aside.
  12. In the same oil, saute the onion and green pepper about three minutes until onion is translucent.
  13. Add the broth, saffron, tomato paste, hot pepper, reserved marinade and the chicken and simmer for about three minutes.
  14. Add the rice and stir just enough to cover the rice with liquid.
  15. If the rice is not covered, add enough wine to cover.
  16. Simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked, about thirty minutes.
  17. If necessary, add additional broth and/or wine.
  18. When the chicken is almost done, warm the peas.
  19. When the rice is cooked, remove from heat and garnish the dish with the peas and roasted red pepper strips.

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