Arroz con Pollo

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 55 min
Serves: 8

Arroz con Pollo is a classic Peruvian rice dish from the North. Popular for its green colour, earthy flavour and subtle spice; this dish is a simple one to make at home. Peruvian cuisine is famed for its use of aji. Aji translates to mean pepper. In Peru, aji typically refers to one of the two spicy varieties known as aji amarillo (spicy yellow pepper) and rocotto. This dish uses Aji Amarillo paste which can be found in Latin groceries stores or omitted from the recipe altogether.


3 cups (750 mL) fresh cilantro, washed and dried
3 cups (750 mL) baby spinach
1/4 cup (60 mL) water
3 cups (750 mL) dark beer
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
4 skin-on chicken drumsticks
4 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
1 red pepper, diced
2 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
4 tbsp (60 mL) aji de Amarillo paste (optional)
2 cups (500 mL) long grain rice
2 cups (500 mL) frozen peas
2 1/4 cups (565 mL) reduced-sodium chicken stock
salt and pepper


1 In a blender, purée cilantro, spinach and ¼ cup (60 mL) water until smooth. Set aside. Heat a medium sized sauce pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the cilantro and spinach purée and begin to stir. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the purée is a deep dark green, about 10 minutes. As the water evaporates, add splashes of dark beer and continue to cook.
2 Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, season chicken with salt and pepper. Sear chicken in batches until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Set seared chicken aside on a clean plate.
3 Deglaze the skillet with ¼ cup (60 mL) dark beer; scrape up any brown bits stuck to the skillet. Add the red pepper, onion, garlic and cumin; stir until softened, about 8 minutes.
4 Add the chicken stock, remaining beer, and chicken pieces to the skillet, bring to a boil. Stir in aji (if using), rice, peas and 2 cups (500 mL) cilantro purée.
5 Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the skillet. Simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender, if there is still liquid remove the lid and cook for 5-10 minutes more. Divide rice and chicken between plates or serve family style.