This is arroz con pollo a la chorrera recipe is a recipe my mom was very surprised I asked her for. The reason for that is, I hated arroz con pollo a la chorrera growing up. This is a dish I learned to love later in life. Unlike other arroz con pollo dishes, this one is more reminiscent of a risotto. It has a soupy/ creamy texture that is perfect for cuddling up on the couch on a rainy day.
How did I get this recipe?
For this recipe, I had to stand next to my mom in the kitchen and document her every move. This isn't a recipe she has written down somewhere, this arroz con pollo a la chorrera recipe is engrained in her heart. So asking her to measure things out, like salt, was not easy. She kept saying "I just keep adding until it feels right." Unfortunately, 'til it feels right' isn't a standard measurement.
After nagging my mom, she finally came over with all the ingredients and cooked this recipe in my kitchen. After complaining about my pots and space in my kitchen, she started working her magic. I quickly scribbled down everything I saw her do and times all of her cooking.
What kind of chicken do you use?
Traditionally, arroz con pollo a la chorrera is cooked with an entire bone-in chicken cut into sections. If you wish, you can use a whole bone-in chicken instead of the 2.5 lbs of chicken meat I noted in the ingredient list. You can also opt to use 2.5 lbs of chicken thigh meat. For this recipe, I used chicken breast because it's what I had available.
Beer is the secret ingredient
Adding one light beer is what gives this arroz con pollo dish that extra special touch. Avoid using a hoppy beer like an IPA, it'll make your rice bitter. Opt instead for a simple light beer. A light corona, miller, whatever you prefer just make sure it's a light beer. This will give the rice an enhanced flavor without over powering it.
Arroz Con Pollo A La Chorrera
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- ½ a green bell pepper chopped
- ½ a red bell pepper chopped
- 1 medium sized yellow onion chopped
- 1 large red tomato chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 2.5 lbs of chicken meat, cut into 1 inch cubes if using bone-in chicken, use 3lbs
- ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
- 3 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cube chicken bullion
- ½ cup red cooking wine
- 3 cups of water
- ½ teaspoon of bijol saffron or anatto may also be used
- 12 oz of Valencia/pearl rice
- 12 oz of light beer of choice or less if desired
- ½ cup of frozen peas
- minced parsley for garnish
- red bell pepper slices for garnish
- In a large sauté pan or dutch oven over medium high heat, add your olive oil, chopped bell peppers, onions, garlic and tomato. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add chicken, salt and bouillon cube to pan and increase heat to high, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
- Add red cooking wine, bijol and water, drop the heat to low and cover. Allow to cook for 20 minutes.
- While your chicken is cooking, rinse your Valencia rice.
- Add your rinsed Valencia rice to the chicken and increase the heat to medium. Stir occasionally to ensure the rice doesn't stick to the bottom. Once it reaches a boil, drop the heat to low. Partially cover the pan and stir every couple of minutes to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Once your rice is cooked through (about 10-15 minutes), add your beer and lastly your frozen peas. Carefully stir in the beer and peas so they don't became mush and can retain their shape. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat. Add minced parsley and red pepper slices as garnish and serve immediately.
Substitutions / Variations
- Can't find Valencia rice? Opt instead for any other short grain rice like Arborio. You can also opt for a medium grain rice, do not use long grain rice.
- Can't find bijol in your supermarket's international section, opt instead for saffron or anatto to give the rice the rich color.
- Don't like chicken breasts? Opt instead for chicken thighs, or bone in chicken.
- Don't want to add beer to your arroz con pollo? Simply omit it.