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Los Barrios Family Cookbook (2002) – Arroz con Pollo / Chicken with Rice

May 11, 2012

Trevino, Diana Barrios. Los Barrios family cookbook: Tex-Mex recipes from the Heart of San Antonio. New York: Villard, 2002. P. 89 [TX715.2 .S69 T74 2002].

By Katherine Valdez, an undergraduate nutrition student at UTSA

Los Barrios Family Cookbook Cover

Front cover of Los Barrios Family Cookbook (2002) by Diana Barrios Treviño.

Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with Rice)

3/4 cup vegetable oil

One 2 1/2 to 3 pound fryer chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces

2 cups white rice

1/2 onion, sliced

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

3 tomatoes, halved and grated on the large holes of a box grater

2 garlic  cloves, crushed into a paste

Salt to taste

1/4 tsp. pepper.

  1. Heat ¼ cup of the oil in a large heavy skillet
    or a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally,
    until golden brown and just cooked through. About 25-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot heat the remaining ½ cup oil over medium heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring and tossing until golden. Add the onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, and garlic then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add 4 cups of water and the chicken to the rice and bring to a simmer. Cover, then reduce the heat and simmer gently until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed. About 15 minutes. 


Arroz con Pollo, or “chicken with rice”, is one of the most popular traditional Mexican recipes today. With the click of a couple buttons, the help of a search engine, and of course advice from friends on our beloved social networks you can have access to over a thousand different recipes for Arroz con Pollo. However, Diana Barrios Trevino seems to have hit the nail on the head with her easy to follow step-by-step recipe in Los Barrios Family Cookbook.

Since I am a student in a nutrition class at the University of Texas at San Antonio, I am constantly thinking of how I can “improve” recipes to make them healthier. This of course was a challenge, being as Arroz con Pollo was so delicious that I did not wish to change a thing.

However, the first thing that came to mind was arroz (rice). Rather than using white rice I suggest changing it to brown. With brown rice only the outermost layer, the hull, is removed. Because brown rice is less processed it contains more nutrients and fiber, which is much better for you.

Second, use skinless chicken breast. Skinless chicken will reduce the amount of calories on the plate and lower the amount of fat. Also, instead of cooking the chicken in a skillet with ¼ cup of vegetable oil, you can either cook it in olive oil, or you can bake it in the oven or boil it. Leave out the oil and simply place the chicken in the oven or boil it until cooked, then proceed with the recipe as follows.

Finally, add some extra vegetables. Why stop at green bell pepper and onion? Add more flavor to the plate by adding carrots, peas, or whatever other vegetables you like. Along with this, you could cut back or even eliminate the salt. Rather than using salt to season your food, use more vegetables to add flavor to the dish.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. ant danks permalink
    April 8, 2013 12:28 pm

    Love this recipe. Gracias


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