Nicaraguan Arroz con Pollo Recipe



  • This recipe can be cut in half.
  • Chicken may be poached 2 days in advance. To store, place chicken and 3 cups strained broth in airtight container and refrigerate.
  • Rice may be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
  • For a quicker version of this recipe: Rather than cooking the diced carrots with the rice, substitute them and the frozen peas with 2 1/2 cups of frozen peas-and-carrots. Buy a rotisserie chicken (you'll need about 4 cups shredded chicken) and low-sodium chicken broth instead of poaching your own chicken and making your own broth.

Recipe Facts

Prep: 0 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Active: 60 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Serves: 10 to 12 servings

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For the Chicken

  • 1 whole large chicken (about 4 to 5 pounds), cut into 8 pieces, skin removed

  • 1 medium yellow or white onion (225g), peeled and cut into 6 wedges

  • 1 medium green bell pepper (130g), seeded and quartered

  • 6 garlic cloves (30g), peeled and smashed

  • 1 tablespoon (9g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; if using table salt, use half as much by volume or the same weight

  • 2 teaspoons (6g) whole black peppercorns

  • 1 lime, halved

For the Rice

  • 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow or white onion (225g), finely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 1 medium garlic clove (5g), minced (about 1 teaspoon)

  • 2 teaspoons (6g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; if using table salt, use half as much by volume or the same weight

  • 2 tablespoons (30g) tomato paste

  • 2 cups (425g) long-grain white rice

  • 2 medium carrots (115g), peeled and cut into small dice (about 1 cup)

  • 1 quart (945ml) chicken broth

For the Arroz con Pollo

  • 3 tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, divided

  • 8 ounces (225g) smoked sausage (such as Lil’ Smokies) or Kielbasa sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

  • 1/4 pound (115g) sliced deli ham, coarsely chopped

  • 1 medium yellow or white onion (225g), finely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 3/4 cup (75g) drained canned or jarred piquillo peppers, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons (30g) tomato paste

  • 6 tablespoons (120g) ketchup

  • 3/4 cup (115g) pimento-stuffed olives, sliced

  • 1/3 cup (35g) capers, drained

  • 1 1/2 cups (185g) frozen peas

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 cup (2 ounces; 60g) finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

  • Buttered white toast (optional)


  1. For the chicken: Place chicken, onion, bell pepper, garlic, salt, peppercorns, and 2 quarts (1.9L) cold water (chicken should be submerged 2 inches; add more water if necessary). Squeeze lime juice into pot and add juiced lime halves to pot. Bring to boil over medium heat, then immediately reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken is cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F (74°C), about 20 minutes.

  2. Using tongs, transfer chicken to large bowl. Once cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces, removing and discarding bones; you should have 4 cups of shredded chicken. Strain broth (discarding solids) and reserve 4 cups of broth; set aside (store the rest for another use).

  3. For the rice: In large heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add oil, onion, garlic, and salt and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook until darkened, about 1 minute.

  4. Stir in rice and carrots and cook, stirring, until rice is completely coated with onion mixture, about 1 minute. Add reserved broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until most of the liquid has evaporated and you can see small bubbles on the surface of the rice. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover, and cook until rice is done, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff rice with chopsticks or fork, and set aside.

  5. For the arroz con pollo: In a large skillet with high sides, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add sausage and ham and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plate and set aside.

  6. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in now-empty skillet. Add onion and peppers and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook until darkened, about 1 minute. Add ketchup and reserved shredded chicken and cook, stirring, until chicken is completely coated in mixture.

  7. Stir in reserved rice, then reserved sausage and ham mixture. Stir in olives, capers, and peas. Cook, stirring occasionally to allow flavors to meld, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

  8. Serve warm with grated Parmesan cheese and buttered white toast, if using, alongside.

Special equipment

large soup pot or Dutch oven, instant-read thermometer, tongs, strainer, large bowl, large heavy-bottomed saucepan with lid, large skillet with high sides

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
335 Calories
19g Fat
21g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 335
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 69mg 23%
Sodium 1127mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 39mg 196%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 548mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)