Cuban Food/ Main Course/ Recipes

Yellow Rice and Chicken

If you’re looking for a yellow rice recipe that has TONS of flavor, you’ve found it! I come from a large Cuban family and we all have our variations on yellow rice. I’ve taken the best parts of each and come up with a yellow rice that is so flavorful, moist, and loved by adults and kids alike!

So here’s what you need:

  • 3 large chicken breasts*
  • Adobo seasoning
  • 2 links (about 6 inches) of dried chorizo sausage (casing removed and sliced 1/4 inch thick)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 2 large garlic cloves (minced)
  • 3 cups Valencia short grain rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 3 cups beer (any light unflavored beer will do)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 packets of Sazon Goya seasoning (found in the ethnic section seasonings)

*Tradition Cuban yellow rice is made with a whole fryer chicken cut into pieces. However my kids prefer white meat so that’s what I used. Just know that the white meat will be dryer than the dark meat so just use what you prefer.  See bottom of post for even more chicken variation ideas!


Before I start anything, I like to chop my onions, red pepper, chorizo, and garlic. That saves me from scrambling around while I’m cooking the yellow rice. Make sure that you remove the thin papery casing from around the chorizo as well. I just make a slice on one side and peel it off. Yellow Rice and Chicken

Season your chicken liberally with the adobo seasoning. Some adobo seasoning includes pepper but the one I buy does not so I also added some pepper. If you are using breasts, cut them in half (like pictured) so they cook quicker. If you are using dark meat, just leave it as-is and season.Yellow Rice and Chicken

Add your olive oil to a large pot and heat it on high heat. This is my pot but if you don’t want to spend that much HERE are some great less expensive options. Once your oil is hot, add in your chicken pieces and sear both sides until browned (just about 2 minutes on each side). You are not cooking your chicken on the inside. Just sear the outside then remove from the pot and set aside on a plate. Yellow Rice and Chicken

Lower your heat to medium and in the same oil that you cooked your chicken in, add your onion, red pepper, and chorizo slices. Yellow Rice and ChickenSauté these on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until they are translucent. Then add in your garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. The chorizo lets off a lot of oil and will also make things an orange color.  Yellow Rice and ChickenNext comes the rice. I use this short grain Valencia rice because it makes the final result so much moister than using long grain. You’ll never make yellow rice with long grain again! There are a lot of brands that make Valencia rice. This one happened to be on sale so it’s what I got. 🙂 Yellow Rice and ChickenSo after you’ve sautéed your veggies and chorizo, add your dry rice to the pot. Stir it around and cook for about 2 minutes. Yellow Rice and Chicken

Now here comes the secret to an amazing yellow rice. It’s the beer. Yep beer! Now the beer will boil and the alcohol will cook out so don’t worry about that part. I serve this to my kids all the time. If for any reason you don’t want to use the beer though, just sub in more chicken stock. I buy one of these giant beers and it’s exactly how much I need. Yellow Rice and Chicken

So here’s the ratio: However much rice you use, you’ll want to use twice as much liquid. So we had 3 cups of rice so we’ll use 6 cups of liquid. I use 3 cups of beer and 3 cups of chicken stock. (Don’t use only beer. the flavor will be too strong.) Yellow Rice and Chicken

Add both liquids to your pot of rice. Yellow Rice and Chicken
Cookware Sets
Also add in 1 tsp of salt and 2 packets of your sazon seasoning. It looks like this and comes in a box of a few packets. This is what gives the yellow rice it’s color. Yellow Rice and Chicken

Add your chicken back into the pan (including any juices that are on the plate) and bring everything to a full rolling boil for two minutes. Then reduce your stove top to low and cover your pot. I don’t like any steam seeping out since it’s what softens the rice so I cover my pot in foil and then again with the lid. Yellow Rice and Chicken

Cook while covered for 25 minutes. After that, open your lid and stir in your frozen peas. Cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. And that’s it! I like to serve this with just some cuban bread and butter on the side.
Yellow Rice with Chicken

*I also sometimes cook the chicken fully through at the beginning (instead of just searing it) and then remove it from the pan. Make the yellow rice as directed and then shred the cooked chicken and add it back in at the end when I add in the peas. That tends to reduce the dryness of using white meat 🙂 Click here to see how I shred all my chicken in less than 25 seconds!

*You can also used marinated grilled chicken (click here to see my amazing chicken marinade). Make the yellow rice as directed, just skipping over the chicken part. While your rice is cooking, Grill your marinated chicken breasts. When your rice is done, serve with slices of your grilled chicken. 

*I’ve also made this with shrimp or pork or a combination of any of those meats! Just comment if you have any questions on how to do so!

DON’T FORGET TO PIN THIS RECIPE!

Yellow Rice and Chicken
Ingredients
  • 3 large chicken breasts*
  • Adobo seasoning
  • 2 inch links of dried chorizo sausage sliced 1/4 thick
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 2 cloves large garlic minced
  • 3 cups Valencia short grain rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 3 cups beer any light unflavored beer will do
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 in packets of Sazon Goya seasoning found the ethnic section seasonings
Instructions
  1. Chop your onions, red bell pepper, and garlic and set aside. Remove casing and slice your chorizo into 1/4 slices and set aside as well.
  2. Season chicken pieces liberally with adobo seasoning and black pepper.
  3. Heat olive oil on high in large pot. Once hot, add in your chicken pieces and sear on each side. (About 2 minutes per side) Don't worry about cooking through.
  4. Once seared, remove chicken from pan and set aside on a plate.
  5. In the same pot and oil, add in your onion, pepper, and and chorizo. Sauté until translucent.
  6. Add in garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Add your dry rice to the pot and cook for 2 more minutes.
  8. Pour in your chicken stock, beer, salt, and saxon packets.
  9. Add your chicken back to the pot including any juices.
  10. Bring to a full rolling boil for 2 minutes.
  11. Reduce heat to low and cover pot with foil and then the lid and simmer for 25 minutes.
  12. After the 25 minutes, add in the peas, cover again and cook for 5 minutes.
  13. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

*Tradition Cuban yellow rice is made with a whole fryer chicken cut into pieces. However my kids prefer white meat so thats what I used. Just know that the white meat will be dryer than the dark meat so just use what you prefer. See bottom of post for even more chicken variation ideas!

Yellow Rice and Chicken

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  • Shelley
    November 14, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks for posting this to Pinterest… that’s where I found it. I love love love chicken and yellow rice… and I only love it from one restaurant. Unfortunately I can’t get there anymore. I’ve had this many times at other restaurants and was terribly disappointed. So I Just made this tonight with a cut up chicken. I was concerned about the beer but I have to say, this is right on the money … I didn’t have dried chorizo sadly (I couldn’t locate it) so I used a bit of bacon. It’s still excellent! I will definitely make this again!!!! (I’m searching for dried chorizo). Thanks again

    • Coco and Ash
      November 16, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      I’m SOOOO glad Shelley!! Everyone thinks the beer is an odd addition until they try it 🙂 And if you still can’t find the dried chorizo, there’s a link in the blog post where you can order some 🙂

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