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Island Bites: Arroz con pollo & Habichuelas (Puerto Rican rice with chicken & Red Beans)

Updated on May 5, 2015

Arroz con pollo is a traditional Latin dish and has Spanish origin. Each country has its own version. In Puerto Rico, it is one of our favorite rices and is usually served alongside our very popular red beans.


  1. Season chicken with cumin, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Add 2 tbs annato oil to a large pot. Heat oil, and sauté 2 tbs of sofrito and 2 ounces of tomato sauce at medium heat for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add chicken, bay leaf, 4 cups of water and salt. Bring to a soft boil, then reduce to low heat. Let it simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken and reserve 3 1/2 cups of broth.
  5. In the same pot, heat 3 tbs annato oil. Sauté the rest of the sofrito and tomato sauce at medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add rice and wine, sauté for 3 more minutes.
  6. Add 3 cups of hot broth. Add roasted pepper, olives and salt. Bring to a boil, let it reduce for 1 or 2 minutes. Mix, reduce heat to low, cover an let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, shred chicken in a bowl. Add the reserved 1/2 cup broth to keep it moist.
  8. After the rice is cooked for 20 minutes, add the chicken to the pot and combine. Cover and turn heat off. Let it rest cover for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve.

Arroz con pollo


  • 2 bone-in skinless chicken breasts (could substitute with 4 chicken thighs)
  • 5 tbs sofrito (recipe)
  • Annato oil (could substitute with saffron) (recipe)
  • 1 roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 to 10 olives, sliced (optional)
  • 4 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt & pepper
  • water

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4 stars from 5 ratings of Island Bites: Arroz con pollo

Red (kidney) Beans


  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add ham and saute at medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add sofrito and sauce. Combine and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat. Cover and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add beans, potato and calabaza. (If you can't find calabaza, you could use butternut squash.) Add salt to taste. Let it simmer low/ medium-low heat, partially cover for 25 to 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let it rest 10 minutes before serving.

Habichuelas Coloradas


  • 4 ounces smoked ham, cubed
  • 1 can red beans
  • 4 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/2 lb calabaza, cubed
  • 2 tbs sofrito
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 medium potato, cubed (optional)
  • 2 tbs canola oil
  • salt


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    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Thank you! Hope you like it.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      This recipe looks great. Thank you for sharing it, I'll look forward to trying it soon.

    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Vacation Trip profile image

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Great recipe. Thank you for sharing. Voted up.