Try our recipe for Locrio de Pollo (Dominican Chicken and Rice). It is the most popular locrio in our country and combines vegetables, rice, and chicken in a juicy, flavorful dish.
You will never hear the words Locrio de Pollo (Arroz con Pollo a la Dominicana) outside our country. Not because the dish is unique, but the word "locrio" certainly is.
What is "Locrio"?
Locrio is a mixture of rice with meat or vegetables, to which color is added with tomato sauce, or with bija (annatto). The word locrio is a Dominicanism, at least according to the RAE (Royal Academy of the Spanish Language).
There are many types of locrios, but I think there are no coherent rules to determine when a combination with rice is a locrio. In general, rice with grains is a Moro, while rice with meat, fish, or seafood is a Locrio. But not all meats, fish and seafood can be combined into a locrio, for example, there is no beef locrio, except when as sausages.
In our blog, we have recipes for Locrio de Camarones, Pica Pica (sardines), Arenque (herring), and a Moro-Locrio in which two of our most popular rice dishes are combined. And to prove the irrationality of the locrio rules: There is a Locrio de Trigo, in which bulgur wheat replaces the rice.
Locrio Vs Arroz con Pollo
The closest thing to the word locrio, although not to the concept, is the Ecuadorian Locro, a potato-based soup. But throughout Latin America there are versions of our Dominican chicken and rice, but with different names. Arroz con Pollo is the closest version to Dominican Locrio de Pollo, and there exist versions in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Ecuador, just to mention a few. In Spain, the paella is the closest thing to the traditional Dominican arroz con pollo, and probably its ancestor.
About our recipe
Each Dominican family has its own arroz con pollo Dominican-style, in which some ingredients will be added, and others will be changed. This is my family recipe, where auyama (squash) is the secret ingredient that makes it juicier and gives it a beautiful color.
Locrio de Pollo Recipe (Rice and Chicken)
- 4 lb [1.8 kg] of chicken cut into small pieces
- 1 cubanela (cubanelle) pepper, chopped
- 1 pinch of oregano
- 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
- 1/4 cup of celery , chopped
- 1/8 cup of halved pitted olives
- 1 sprig of fresh coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon of thyme leaves (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper , or to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt , or to taste
- 5 tablespoons of oil (canola, corn or peanut)
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 5 cups of water
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 1 cup of cubed auyama (West Indian pumpkin, or Kabocha squash)
- 4 cups of long-grain rice
- Marinate the chicken for approximately 10 minutes in a bowl containing the cubanelle, oregano, garlic, celery, olives, coriander, thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of pepper.
- In an cast iron or aluminum pot heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat, reserving 2 tablespoons for later use. Add sugar to heated oil.
- When the sugar turns dark brown, add the chicken (reserve vegetables and herbs from the marinade), being careful with splattering oil.
- Stir, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, adding water by the tablespoon as it becomes necessary.
- Lower heat to medium. Add the vegetables from the marinade, the pumpkin and the tomato sauce and stir to combine.
- Add 4 1/2 cups of water water and bring to the boil.
- Taste the water and season with salt to taste. Add the rice and stir often to avoid excessive sticking.
- Once all the water has evaporated, cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer over very low heat.
- Wait 15 minutes, uncover add the remaining oil and stir moving the rice at the bottom to the top of the pot.
- Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Taste rice for doneness; it should be firm but tender inside.
- If necessary, cover and simmer another 5 minutes over very low heat.