Chicken with rice (arroz con pollo)

This fabulous Spanish-inspired recipe is a handy way to use up the carcass and leftover meat from a roast chicken.

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For the chicken stock

  • 1 roast chicken carcass, meat removed, or setrippd chicken leg and thigh bones (see below)
  • 1 onion, peeled, cut into quarters
  • 1 carrot, peeled, cut in half
  • 1 celery stalk, trimmed
  • 1 leek, trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • small bunch parsley stalks
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints cold water

For the chicken with rice

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, sliced
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed, cut in half, each half cut into 1cm/½in half moons
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 250g/9oz ripe tomatoes, preferably on the vine, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, cut in half, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 x 330ml/11½fl oz bottle lager
  • 400g/14oz long-grain rice
  • 200g/7oz peas
  • 600g/1lb 5oz cooked leftover chicken breast and leg or thigh meat, shredded, or 1 chicken carcass, cooked, meat shredded, carcass reserved (see above)
  • 40g/1½oz chopped fresh coriander leaves, plus extra to serve
  • 1½-2 limes, plus 1 extra lime, cut into wedges, to serve


  1. For the stock, using your hands, break the stripped chicken carcass into two or three pieces and place into a saucepan just large enough to hold them. (Alternatively, place the chicken bones into the pan.)

  2. Add the remaining stock ingredients, pour over the water, then bring the mixture to the boil.

  3. When the liquid is boiling, reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, then continue to simmer, covered, for 40-45 minutes.

  4. Strain the stock through a fine sieve and reserve the liquid. (About 800ml/1 pint 8¾fl oz of stock should be yielded. If not, add boiling water to the stock to make up the difference.)

  5. Meanwhile, for the chicken with rice, heat the oil in a separate pan over a high heat. Add the onion and cumin seeds and fry, stirring well, for 1-2 minutes, or until the onions have softened and the cumin is fragrant.

  6. Add the garlic, chilli, carrot and smoked paprika, stir well and continue to fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the carrots have softened.

  7. Add the chopped tomatoes and pepper, then cook until the mixture is simmering gently. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

  8. Add the lager, stir well, then bring the mixture to the boil.

  9. Add the chicken stock and return the mixture to the boil, then stir in the rice.

  10. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering gently, then cover the pan and simmer for 25-30 minutes.

  11. Turn the heat down to its lowest setting and continue to simmer for a further 8-10 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all of the water and is tender.

  12. Remove the rice from the heat, then stir in the peas, shredded chicken, chopped coriander and the juice of 1½ limes, (or to taste), until well combined. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  13. To serve, divide the arroz con pollo equally among four serving plates. Sprinkle over the remaining coriander. Garnish each plate with a lime wedge.

How-to videos

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