There’s nothing quite like sharing your heritage with the people you love—especially when it is lived out in great food. This recipe for Arroz con Pollo takes a simple chicken and rice dish to the next level with some classic Latin flavors. Funny how a little home cooking and a dose of cultural traditions might take a relationship to the next level, too—at least it couldn’t hurt, as you’ll find in An Unforgettable Christmas. Remember what counts, and add a little flavor and flair to your own family celebrations!

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours


Chicken Seasoning Rub:
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons water (as needed to thin seasoning rub)

6 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (or 12 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups long grain rice
1 (15-oz.) can tomato sauce
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup pimento-stuffed olives
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1. To prepare chicken seasoning rub: combine all ingredients in small bowl and stir to blend.
2. Brush seasoning rub evenly over chicken pieces, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, deep oven-proof frying pan. Add chicken pieces and cook on medium-high heat for 5 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown on all sides. Transfer chicken to a plate and reserve; drain excess oil in pan.
5. Add onions, bell peppers and capers to frying pan; sauté on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and rice and sauté for 2 additional minutes.
6. Add tomato sauce and chicken broth; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat; arrange browned chicken pieces in a single layer on top of rice.
7. Cover and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until chicken pieces are fully cooked and rice is tender.
8. Remove pan from oven; fluff rice with a fork, top with peas, olives and cilantro; cover with lid and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.