Elevate your chicken and rice “game” with vibrant, Caribbean-inspired flavors… A simple one-pot meal, Carribean Arroz con Pollo gets its Caribbean kick from allspice, cumin, and red chile. With the addition of sweet potatoes and roasted red peppers, you’ll have this beautiful and tasty dish on the table in about 30-40 minutes!
Let me, O let me bathe my soul in colours; let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow.
~~ Kahlil Gibran
Do you “eat with your eyes” as I do? I find bland beige food to be totally unappealing. TOTALLY. I very deliberately consider color when working on a new recipe, and this Caribbean Arroz con Pollo is no exception. Did I miss any colors in this one pot dish? Curious about the purple in the photo? Purple sweet potatoes! I used both purple and “regular” sweet potatoes in this dish. The purple isn’t mandatory of course. 😉
What makes Caribbean Arroz con Pollo “Caribbean?”
The standout ingredient in this dish is allspice. Allspice is a very important spice in the Caribbean pantry (think Jamaican jerk seasoning). Caribbean cuisine has many ethnic influences as the Caribbean is a great melting pot. This dish does incorporate many ingredients typical of the cuisine – allspice, red chile powder, cumin, ginger, beans and rice, scallions, avocado, etc.
While my Caribbean Arroz con Pollo shares many ingredients with my popular recipe Peruvian Chicken and Rice (Arroz Con Pollo), you’ll find the flavors are quite different… Same concept, though. The chicken gets browned and removed from a heavy cast iron skillet, the aromatics get cooked to intensify their flavors, and then the chicken, veggies, and liquid cozy up in the pan for about 20 minutes until the sweet potatoes and rice are tender and the chicken is cooked through. While this skillet of deliciousness cooks, prep the garnishes… It really is that simple!
Do you have your own variant of chicken and rice? If so, I’d love to hear about it in my comments section below… Until next time,
Caribbean Arroz con Pollo (Chicken and Rice)
Elevate your chicken and rice "game" with vibrant, Caribbean-inspired flavors... A simple one-pot meal, Carribean Arroz con Pollo gets its Caribbean kick from allspice, cumin, and red chile. With the addition of sweet potatoes and roasted red peppers, you'll have this beautiful and tasty dish on the table in about 30-40 minutes!
- 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
- 24 ounces boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated or minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ancho (or other) ground red chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 cups broth or stock (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (optional) (see notes)
- 2 cups cubed sweet potatoes about 2 small
- 1 cup long grain rice (see notes)
- 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
- 4-5 piquillo or roasted red peppers sliced thin
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Sear the chicken in a bit of hot oil until browned - about 5 minutes per side. Remove. Drain any liquid and add a bit more oil if needed.
Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, red chile powder, and allspice until the onion is translucent and spices are very fragrant. Do not brown
Add broth or stock and sherry vinegar. Stir to loosen any browned bits.
Add the chicken back into the pan, along with the sweet potatoes and rice. Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer.
After about 10 minutes, add the black beans and piquillo or roasted red peppers. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.
Garnish and serve!
Some chicken has liquid injected into it, and it will cook out into the pan. When I brown the chicken, if there is liquid in the pan, I drain it off, and add a bit more oil before adding the onion, garlic, etc.
If you are using long grain white rice or basmati, you need a 2:1 liquid to rice ratio. I use a 2 cup measure, put the tablespoon vinegar into the cup, then fill to 2 cups with broth. If this sounds unappealing to you, skip it entirely, and use all broth/stock.
Champagne and white wine vinegar should work in place of the sherry vinegar, just avoid a harsh white or apple cider variety.
If you're super organized, you can get this done in 30 minutes. While the chicken browns, peel and cube the sweet potatoes, chop the onion, mince the garlic etc. The rice requires 20 minutes, so you can slice the peppers, prep the garnishes, rinse and drain the beans while it cooks. On the other hand, you can pour yourself a glass of wine, slow down, and enjoy the process!
Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal): 538 calories; 48 g protein; 66 g carbohydrates; 44 g fat.
4 to 6 ounces is an appropriate serving of chicken for 1 person. I usually do 1 thigh per person, and the weight of 4 may vary from 16-24 ounces. I specify 24 ounces here, but with the addition of black beans, the 4 ounces of chicken is plenty.