Jose Garces’ One-Pot Arroz con Pollo


This may be the most complex (flavorful and delicious) Arroz con Pollo ever made! The time was worth it- I only slightly simplified the recipe. A perfect dish to make on a cold, snow-bound day. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed Jose Garces. I substituted turmeric and sweet paprika for the annatto seeds to make the flavored oil, used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and omitted the olives.

  • Yield: 6 generous servings
  •  1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons annatto seeds (or 3 tsp turmeric and 3 tsp sweet paprika)
  • 7 parsley sprigs
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 1/2 an orange)
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 15 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (3 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 Anaheim or poblano chile, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups long-grain white basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas
  • 4 jarred piquillo peppers (2 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pitted green olives, if desired
  1. If using annatto seeds: In a saucepan, simmer the oil and annatto seeds over low heat for 2 minutes. Let the oil cool to room temperature, 15 minutes. Strain the oil and reserve the seeds. If using turmeric and sweet paprika: combine the spices with the canola oil, set aside.
  2. Wrap and tie the reserved annatto seeds with the parsley, thyme and 1 bay leaf in a double layer of cheesecloth. (I just incorporated the fresh herbs and bay leaf in the dish while it cooked.)
  3. In a bowl, combine the orange juice, 3 tablespoons of the annatto oil, 2 minced garlic cloves and 2 teaspoons of the dried oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Let marinate for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350º. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the annatto oil. Season the marinated chicken with salt and pepper; add to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned all over; transfer to a plate.
  5. Add the carrot, celery, shallot, leek, 2 sliced garlic cloves and half of the chopped onion to the casserole and cook, stirring, until softened. Add the wine, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, chicken and herb (bundle) and bring to a boil.
  6. Cover and transfer the casserole to the oven. Bake for 1 hour, until the chicken is very tender. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet. Strain the braising liquid; you should have 4 cups (if necessary, add water). Clean out the casserole. Shred the chicken meat.
  7. In the clean casserole, heat 1 tablespoon of the annatto oil. Add the bell pepper, chile and remaining 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of oregano, 1 bay leaf and chopped onion. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened.
  8. Add the shredded chicken and 4 cups braising liquid, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the rice and chickpeas and stir once; arrange the piquillos and olives (if using) on top. Press a 9-inch square of parchment paper on the rice. Cover and cook over low heat for 25 minutes, until the rice is tender. Let stand off the heat for 5 minutes. Remove the paper.
  9. Serve with plantain chips and hot sauce, if desired.

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