Mexican Rice with Chicken (Arroz con Pollo y Frijoles)

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Arroz con Pollo y Frijoles / Chicken with Rice and Beans

I had to laugh at myself a little bit after I made this month’s Secret Recipe Club recipe. Because last month I made Chicken and Rice a la Lowcountry South Carolina. And I realized that this month I made Chicken and Rice a la Mexico. But you know what? Who cares. It was AWESOME.

I was assigned to La Cocina de Leslie this month. At first I was a wee bit scared about venturing out of my comfort zone, because she shares authentic Mexican recipes. Leslie, a mom of 4, grew up in Southern California but moved to Mexico, where her husband grew up.

I love cooking Mexican food, but I think what I usually make (Mom’s Enchiladas, Smokehouse Maple Fajitas, Mexican Corn Dip) is a little (cough) less than authentic. Leslie showed me I shouldn’t be scared! I actually bypassed a few recipes because they seemed TOO simple to share here (like Camarones al Mojo de Ajo, garlic shrimp) when I had such a vast wealth of recipes to pick from.

In the end, I stumbled upon Leslie’s recipe for Arroz con Pollo y Frijoles, Mexican rice and beans. It didn’t have any ingredients that were too foreign for me to find here (we don’t have a huge Hispanic population in Chattanooga) and sounded amazing. And it was. SO AMAZING. We ate the rice mixture burrito-style, with thick flour tortillas, sour cream, lettuce, and cheese. Everything came together simply, and the flavors worked so well.

And now I want to make EVERYTHING from Leslie’s site.

Mexican Chicken and Rice (Arroz con Pollo y Frijoles)

Yield: 6 servings

This delicious recipe is from La Cocina de Leslie, and she adapted it from Rick Bayless's cookbook Mexican Everyday


  • 4 T. oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ancho chile powder*
  • 2 T chili powder, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 c. white, long-grain rice
  • 3 small tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 c. chicken broth
  • 15 oz. canned pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt
  • if desired, tortillas and taco toppings like lettuce, sour cream, salsa, cheese, etc.
  • *You can substitute regular chili powder for the ancho chile powder, but I loved the smokiness of it. And if you like spicy, spicy foods, you can use some chipotle chile powder in place it or some of the regular as well.


In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sprinkle with salt, the ancho chile powder, and 1 tablespoon regular chili powder. Cook until the chicken is browned on all sides, then use a slotted spoon to remove to a plate. Set aside.

In the same skillet, heat another 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the rice and saute, stirring often, until the rice is golden in color.

Meanwhile, add tomatoes, peeled and quartered onion, peeled garlic cloves, and chicken broth to a blender. Blend until pureed.

Add the blended mixture to the rice, then add remaining tablespoon of chili powder, cumin, and a little more salt. Stir until combined. Cover; bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook 10 minutes.

Gently add the chicken and beans. Bring back to a boil, then reduce again and simmer, covered, until the liquid has all been absorbed. This will take about 20-30 minutes. Keep a careful watch on the pan.

Let sit off the heat for 10 minutes before serving.

As a sidenote, I also made these Caramel Pecan Paletas, with some melted chocolate drizzled in to make them “Turtle Popsicles.” Unfortunately I had a hard time getting them to release from my molds, so I didn’t get a good picture. But they were delicious, too!

15 thoughts on “Mexican Rice with Chicken (Arroz con Pollo y Frijoles)

  1. Authentic or not, we love your Mom’s Enchiladas!

    But this looks amazing. I am definitely going to have to try this, and check out Leslie’s blog.

    • So true. I feel that way about Chinese food. I went to China and most of what we eat here is nowhere near authentic, but it can still be delicious! (But I still miss the authentic flavors sometimes!)

  2. Isn’t it funny how most cuisines have dishes with the same basic ingredients like chicken and rice but the final results are so different?

    Looks fabulous Jessie. Definitely going to try and I will probably use the chipotle chile powder.

  3. Yay! I’m so glad you liked the Arroz con Pollo! It’s one of my family’s favorite dishes. I’m even thinking of making it for lunch today, because it’s been too long since I last made this. I LOVE that you made it gluten-free! 😀

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