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Arroz Con Pollo Colombiano (Chicken and Rice)

Arroz Con Pollo Colombiano (Chicken and Rice)

As promised every month there will be a featured ethnic food that corresponds with the each of the chapters of The Next Worship. This is way for you to actually experience the table with people of every nation and tribe not only via sound, but tastes, smell, and sight. Let’s start with my story in chapter 1.

Arroz Con Pollo

Sandrita, venga a comer! Growing up, I heard my mom shout out the window for us to “come and eat” more times than I can remember. This call told us that the time had come for us to gather as a family. We’d not only eat a great meal of arroz con pollo (a Colombian rice-and- chicken dish) but we’d also be forced to share about the best and worst part of our day. This was our family tradition.

Christians also have a table at the center of our family tradition. Many scriptural images talk about table fellowship…Meals were full of significance and order, and provided a way for God’s people to experience him as they connected with one another. A meal was never simply a time to ingest food and quench thirst; at meals people displayed kinship and friendship. Meals themselves—the foods served, the manner in which that was done and by whom—carried socially significant, coded communication…Among God’s chosen people, meals became ways of experiencing and enjoying God’s presence and provision.

Likewise in worship, as we interact in community, connecting with one another, we encounter God. If the worship experience and practice is filled with people coming from different ethnic backgrounds, social ranks and ways of eating, then there will be opportunity to enjoy God’s presence together. This guiding image of communion at the Table of Christ is central to why we participate in cross cultural worship. The table communicates fellowship with others (across differences, as Jesus modeled) and with God. (pg 14-15)

Arroz con Pollo is a staple in Colombian homes- well basically most Latino homes in general. Just Google it in Images and an entire section will appear that will ask you to specify- Mexican, Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Ecuadorian, Colombian, etc. It comes in all shapes, colors and sizes, but mine was usually served like this. This is the dish I make regularly at home and for meals with friends.

(4 Servings)

Chicken and Stock
2 tablespoons canola/vegetable oil
2 whole chicken breast, bone in and skin removed
1 white or yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 cup of cilantro whole
½ tablespoon ground cumin
½ tablespoon (1 packet) Sazón Goya with azafrán
Salt and Pepper

2 tablespoons canola/vegetable oil
¼ cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup sliced red bell pepper
¼ cup sliced green pepper
1 cup long- grain white rice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 ½ cups chicken stock
½ tablespoon (1 packet) Sazón Goya with azafrán
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups frozen mixed vegetable


Heat oil and slightly brown the chicken breast, add 5 cups water and the remaining ingredients for the stock in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the chicken rest in the pot for about 15 minutes covered. Let it cool and set aside. Strain stock and measure 2 ½ cups and set aside.

In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the rice, tomato paste and sazon goya. Stir until the rice is well coated about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the mixed vegetables and green and red bell pepper and cook for and additional 7 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and cilantro, mix well with a fork, cover and cook for 5 minutes more.

Hope this leaves you wanting more:

    If you prefer a youtube lesson check this out.
    If you want to hear sounds of Colombian worship check out Mi Vida Entera
    If you want to learn more about diverse worship check out these resources.
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