arroz con pollo

4 to 6    |   
Prep Time:
15 minutes    |   
Cook Time:
40 minutes

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arroz con pollo

I ordered a pizza to go this weekend — only to find out it was $22 for a medium pie! And this was a major chain, not a boutiquey neighborhood spot. I told them to forget it and decided to make something fast, cheap, and healthier instead. This was the recipe that came to mind, a one-dish quickie if there ever was one. Except for the chicken, you may have everything you need on hand (feel free to use frozen peas even though fresh ones are in season). Otherwise it just takes a short trip to the store and even adding in the outrageous price of gas, this is still going to be way cheaper than that pizza.


3 tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken legs, separated into thighs and drumsticks
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican (see note)
1 teaspoon regular or smoked paprika
kosher salt
1/4 cup white wine (if you have it)
1 cup uncooked white rice
2 cups low-sodium canned chicken broth or water
1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) peas at room temperature


Warm the oil in a wide saute pan over medium-high heat; add the chicken, skin sides down, and cook until browned on one side and pieces release easily from the pan when prodded with tongs (about 5 minutes; be patient!). Brown on the other side, then remove to a plate.

Add onion to pan and stir for a minute or two to soften, then add tomatoes, oregano, paprika, a generous pinch of salt, and the wine (if using). Stir until wine almost evaporates, then stir in rice. Add chicken broth or water and bring to a boil, then return chicken to pan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes; stir in peas. Cover again and cook 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let dish stand for 10 minutes for the peas to finish cooking and for all the flavors to settle down, then serve.

note: I like the Mexican variety of dried oregano because it’s milder than regular oregano, but you can use whatever you have, including thyme if you don’t have oregano.