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Costa Rican Arroz con Pollo

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Why I Love This Recipe

This is a modification of my grandmother's highly secret recipe. My grandma brought this recipe to the US in her head. She never had it written down and the only way any of us have been able to come close to replicating it was by watching her closely, and trial and error. It truly is the best you will ever taste!

Ingredients You'll Need

CHICKEN (must marinate overnight)
Approx 4 lbs. of chicken: Grandma always used a whole chicken and cut it up. It is quicker, easier and just as tasty to use 4lbs of boneless, skinless thighs
1 can El Pato (the yellow can with the duck on it, usually found in the Mexican section of the grocery store)
4 bell peppers
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
1/3 bunch of cilantro
3 cups rice (Grandma always used Mahatma Rice)
6 cups of bone water, or low-sodium chicken broth
½ stick of butter
½ onion, chopped
½ bell pepper, chopped
1 glove of garlic, minced
Chicken sauce (liquid from crock pot/pot)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 small (approx. 6oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
sugar to taste
Salt / Pepper to taste
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
1 T Salsa (La Victoria Salsa Suprema was Grandma favorite)
Drops hotsauce -Tabasco is best (to taste)
¼ onion
3 cloves garlic
¼ bunch cilantro
¼ bellpepper
2 carrots, diced fine
Vegetable Oil (Crisco was always brand of choice)
¾ can of peas



Combine all ingredients, except chicken and El Pato, in food processor / blender, until it forms a paste.

Rub paste all over chicken and marinade overnight

Place chicken in crock pot (or pot on stove), cover with El Pato and cook covered, on low for 8hrs, or until chicken falls from the bone

Let cool, de-bone, shred into bite sized pieces. Set chicken aside. Save sauce from crock pot/pot.

Boil chicken bones in water (6cups) to remove excess meat. Save bone water for rice.


In sauce pan, saute onion, garlic and bell pepper in butter

Add rice and saute until rice is popped majority of grains have turned opaque

Pour in 6 cups of liquid. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until all liquid has evaporated (about 25 minutes). Rice should be fairly dry. Avoid lifting the lid until after 20 minutes, otherwise rice will be mushy.

I have found (Grandma would roll over in her grave if she knew I did it this way!), the best way to avoid mushy rice is to cook it in a rice cooker per rice cooker directions. Turn rice cooker to cook, add butter, onion, garlic and bell pepper. When butter has melted add rice and water. Cover and cook until done. ***


In a large pot, saute veggies in Vegetable Oil

• Add chicken sauce, tomato sauce, ketchup, sugar, salt/pepper, Worcestershire Sauce, salsa and Tobasco. Tomato paste is for thickening, so use only as much as you need.

Add chicken.

Add peas

Mix rice in with sauce.

Mix well until good consistency. Cook down if too wet.

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