Peruvian cuisine is delicious. A mix of flavors with Native Peruvian, European, African and Asian influences appeals to many palates. Arroz con pollo is a common dish in many Latin American countries, each with its own seasonings and cooking method, but all equally delicious. The Dominican version, called “locrio de pollo”, is said to be an adaptation of Spanish paella. It uses tomato sauce instead of the scarce and pricier zafron. In contrast, Peruvian arroz con pollo is green, calling for big amounts of cilantro. A friend recently introduced me to this dish and I loved it. See easy print recipe at the end!
Tip: ajì amarillo paste is made with Peruvian ajì amarillo. In the USA, this can be found in the frozen section of many Latin supermarkets. Alternatively, you can buy the paste already made in specialty food stores or online.
Arroz con pollo - Peruvian style
- 8 chicken thighs with skin
- 2 cups uncooked white rice
- 4 cups chicken broth or water
- 1 small bottle or 1 can of beer
- 1 big bunch of cilantro processed in a blender/food processor with 1 cup of water until it forms a paste
- 1/2 white or yellow onion chopped in small cubes
- 2 big cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
- 2 red bell peppers cut in thin slices
- 1 cup sweet corn
- 1 cup peas
- 1 cup carrots cut in small cubes approx. three small or two medium carrots
- 1 table-spoon Peruvian 'ajì amarillo' yellow pepper paste
- 1 table-spoon of cumin
- 1 tea-spoon of pepper
- 2 tea-spoons of salt
- 2 table-spoons vegetable oil
In a large mixing bowl, season chicken with cumin, salt and pepper. Stir.
Add oil to a medium-large sauce pan and allow it to heat.
Add chicken skin side down and cook on high until it browns on both sides. Skin should be crispy. Once seared, set the chicken aside.
Stir-fry onion and bell peppers for two minutes until onion becomes transparent.
Add rice, water or broth, beer, cilantro, garlic and vegetables, stirring once.
Add chicken thighs at the very top.
Cover and allow to cook on low for 15 minutes (or until water boils down). Then, turn fire off and let rice sit covered for an additional 20 minutes.
Recipe NotesPeruvian style arroz con pollo is traditionally served by itself, but here I’ve served it with mixed salad and ajì amarillo paste.