To celebrate Hispanic Latinx Heritage Month, "Good Morning America" is highlighting chefs, recipe developers, bloggers, restaurant owners, creators and others whose rich culture shows up through their food.

Arroz con pollo is a quintessential Latin American staple and its depth of flavors with slight ingredient variations from region to region make this traditional dish an instant classic no matter what name you call it.

Marisel Salazar is a Latinx food writer, recipe developer and host. Her family's Panamanian take on the dish involves shredding the chicken, which is atypical of other Latin American countries like Puerto Rico.

PHOTO: A pan of Arroz con Pollo Panameño made by Marisel Salazar.
Marisel Salazar
A pan of Arroz con Pollo Panameño made by Marisel Salazar.

She shared her nostalgic recipe with "Good Morning America" for a delicious, spiced up chicken and rice dish to make any night of the week.

Arroz Con Pollo Panameño

2 dried bay leaves
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 2 1/2 pounds)
3 cups long-grain rice
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon sazón
1 dash adobo powder
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
Pinch saffron (3 threads)
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup Manzanilla olives with pimiento
1/2 cup nonpareil capers in brine, drained
1 (8.5-ounce) can peas and carrots, drained
1 (12-ounce) can dark beer, such as stout, dark lager, English porter, Modelo Negra, or Munich dunkel
Jarred pimientos morrones, for serving


Bring a large pot of water with the bay leaves to a boil; add the chicken breasts. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through (reaches 165 degrees on a thermometer).

Remove the chicken from the water and set aside in a separate bowl, reserving the poaching liquid in a separate bowl. (Remove and discard the bay leaves from the liquid.) Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat using a fork and knife or your hands and discard the bones.

Rinse the rice in a fine sieve until the water runs clear, then shake off the excess water. Warm the canola oil in a large paila, nonstick pot, or Dutch oven (avoid stainless steel, as the rice tends to stick and burn) over medium heat. Add the rice to the paila and stir with a large stainless-steel spoon (or a wooden spoon, if using a nonstick pot or Dutch oven) frequently until it turns pale yellow, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the onion, garlic, parsley, sazón, adobo powder, Worcestershire sauce and saffron. Stir to combine, folding the seasonings into the rice. Stir in the shredded chicken and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, uncovered, over medium to low heat, stirring occasionally so that the rice does not burn or stick, scraping as you go, until the tomato paste has begun to stick to the pot.

Add enough of the reserved poaching liquid to cover the rice (2 to 3 cups), then stir in the salt, tomato sauce, olives, capers, and canned peas and carrots. Save any excess poaching liquid until you’re finished with the recipe, then discard. Should you run out of liquid, use premade chicken stock or water.

Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes over medium heat, or until the liquid has evaporated (it can vary based on your cooking vessel). Stir in 9 ounces of the beer. (If the pan seems very dry, add the remaining beer. If not, drink the rest!) Tightly cover the paila with a large piece of aluminum foil and then cover with a lid. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice grains are split open. At this stage you may find that some of the rice grains are still not opened—if that’s the case, add a little bit more of the poaching liquid, mix, and cover again for about 10 minutes. The rice should be soft but not too sticky.

Garnish with pimientos morrones. Serve warm.

Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator or vacuum seal and freeze in individual portions.

Recipe reprinted courtesy of Marisel Salazar.