Panamanian cuisine - Arroz con Pollo, chicken and rice

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Panama is one of the most sought after destinations for expats and those looking to retire. There are many visa options available for individuals looking to move, work, retire and live in Panama. Panama City is vibrant and welcoming. The food in Panama features international cuisine from Italian, Greek, Arabian, and the Caribbean.

There are many favorite local dishes in Panama, including Arroz con Pollo, Sancocho de Gallinaa and Ropa Vieja. Breakfast dishes include Arepas, usually made of corn flour and filled with eggs, cheese, or beans; Gallo pinto, made with either pork, beef or mixed seafood with rice and beans; and Tortillas, flat bread made of corn flour and topped with cheese, eggs or beans.

Arroz con Pollo is Chicken cooked slowly with vegetables and spices and served with rice. Some of the ingredients are tomatoes, onion, garlic, bell peppers, pimientos, capers, green olives, oregano and rice.

Today our featured recipe is from Global Table Adventure.

Panama Arroz con PolloPhoto credit: Global Table Adventure

You can try making Arroz con Pollo at home using the following recipe.


  • 4-6 whole chicken legs (thighs included)

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 tsp ground annato/achiote (may substitute saffron, if desired)

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 1 15 oz can chopped tomatoes

  • 2 Tbsp vinegar

  • 1/3 cup green olives

  • 1 Tbsp capers

  • 1/2 tsp oregano

  • red pepper flakes, to taste

  • salt & pepper

  • 3 cups long-grain rice


  • lemon wedges

  • large handful cilantro leaves, chopped

  • extra olives and capers, if desired

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.

  • Soften garlic, onion, green pepper,  and garlic in olive oil. Add ground annato (this will give the rice the softest blush).

  • Push the onions and peppers to the sides and brown the chicken (in batches, if needed, to ensure proper browning).

  • Splash on the broth, tomato, vinegar, rice, olives, capers, oregano, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then stir in rice.

  • Cover and bake about 30 minutes.

  • Garnish with a handful of chopped cilantro and serve as is, or pull the meat off the bones and toss with the rice. (Pulling the meat off the bones will make it easier to share the chicken among up to 10 people)

    For the full preparation method and instructions as well as a great post visit Global Table Adventure.

    Have you ever eaten Arroz con Pollo? We would love to hear from you about your experience. Do you have another version of this recipe?

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