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Arroz Con Pollo


The bold flavors of saffron, bay leaves, and garlic infuse Valencia rice, a Spanish variety perfect for slow-cooked dishes (it is the traditional base for paella). Here, the grains are cooked up with golden-brown chicken thighs and garnished with pimiento-stuffed olives. Saffron gives the rice its warm yellow hue.

  • Servings: 6

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2010


  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 6 chicken thighs (6 ounces each)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 4 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, plus more if needed
  • 3 cups short-grain rice, preferably Valencia
  • 1 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives


  1. Combine wine and saffron; let stand until ready to use. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large braiser or heavy-bottomed, straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, skin side down, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip, and cook until golden brown, 2 minutes; transfer to a plate.

  2. Reduce heat to medium, and cook onion and garlic, stirring often, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add tomato, and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Stir in wine-saffron mixture, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the bay leaves. Cook until wine is almost completely evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Add chicken, stock, rice, and olives; bring to a simmer.

  3. Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, stirring halfway through, until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. (If rice is not done, add more stock, 1/4 cup at a time.) Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper.

Reviews Add a comment

  • meghcopela
    5 MAR, 2017
    Not bad. I didnt want to hunt for some unusual variety of rice so I used Basmati and simply changed the volume of liquid and added the rice 15 min before the chicken was done. I also added fewer green olives. Closer to a half cup. I found the recipe is lacking in some zing. The strongest flavour is that of the olives. I cant imagine how it must taste if I had put in the full cup. I do like green olives though, so it is not a total loss.
  • griffinpero
    1 MAR, 2017
    After watching Martha Stewart's Cooking School this morning, I decided we had to try this recipe. We loved it. I used a large pinch of Saffron and the only changes I made were, I added Eggplant, as Martha mentioned, about 1/2 tsp [filtered]in seeds and a bit of poultry seasoning. Delicious. I will definitely make this again and would also serve it to company. Thank you, Martha.
  • kathleenrr
    16 JAN, 2017
    I have been making arroz con pollo for 40 years. I use the whole cut up chicken, legs, thighs, breasts, wings. Everyone has said they didn't use the saffron and substituted other things. I love saffron - and there is NO substitute for saffron. It is a subtle taste, not spicey, but wonderful!! Use at least 1/2 tsp of saffron or better yet, 1 tsp. of saffron. It will be totally different.
  • svenojado
    9 JUN, 2015
    This recipe is good--I have made it a number of times. I typically sub chicken breast (on the bone with skin) instead of the chicken thighs, which I think come out greasy. I also add a large teaspoon of tomato paste (and the fresh tomato) and some tumeric for color (instead of saffrom) and some smoked paprika for some depth. I also used more olives (but use low sodium stock and be careful with the salt)--because I think they make the dish, and some cilantro. Great dish.
  • Mom of 3
    4 FEB, 2014
    Very good recipe! A little on the salty side though. I removed the chicken skin prior to browning to elimate some of the fat and substituted a little paprika for the saffron...still came out great.
  • MS10210404
    27 JAN, 2014
    This was pretty tasty. Unfortunately, I didn't love the chicken thighs; too fatty. If I made this again, I would probably substitute for chicken breasts. Also, I didn't have any saffron, so I substituted for a pinch of curry powder & a pinch of mustard powder. Obviously very different from Saffron, and I was nervous about it, but the rice was perfectly seasoned and very, very tasty!
  • Wyb809
    24 APR, 2013
    I thought this recipe could use a little more spice. Perhaps some chile of some sort. Also try maybe half-ing the green olives so you can enjoy more of it in less bites! I didn't have fresh tomatoes so I used canned with the liquid! After I added the tomatoes I decided to evaporate most of the water in the tomato liquid which concentrated it's flavor. Then I proceeded onto the next step.
  • bttrswtbkr
    29 JAN, 2012
    Delicious!! Easy comfort food. Used 1 can well drained diced fire roasted tomatoes in place of fresh tomato. I used 2 1/2 cups Jasmine rice and 1 quart organic chicken broth from Costco and only 2 tsp salt. Keeper recipe.