Arroz con Pollo a la Crema (Rice and Chicken in Cream Sauce)

This is a rich a creamy dish, perfect for a party. It is easy to double (or triple) this recipe, and it is a crowd pleaser!


Rice and Chicken in Cream Sauce

Time: approx. 90 minutes
Servings: makes 6 servings

3 lbs. bone-in chicken
1½ cups rice
2 cups chicken broth
¼ lb. parmesan cheese (to top)

Béchamel sauce:
¼ lb. butter (1 stick)
1 liter milk (about 4 cups)
2 tspn. salt
¼ tspn. pepper
10 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. vino seco (cooking wine)

  • In a stock pot, add the chicken, enough water to cover it, and aromatics of choice to make a broth (see broth recipe).
  • Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce to low heat and cover. Allow to cook for approximately 30 minutes.
  • Once the chicken is cooked through, strain the broth and set aside.
  • Shred the chicken and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F

  • In a pot, add the chicken broth and rice, then bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce to low heat and cover pot for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir well.
  • While the rice cooks prepare the béchamel sauce:
    • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
    • In a blender, blend the milk, salt, pepper, flour, and vino seco until well incorporated.
    • Add the milk mixture to the melted butter and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring continuously until sauce thickens (it should be able to leave a streak if you run your finger along the back if the mixing spoon). Remove from heat.
  • Grease a casserole dish large enough to hold 2½ liters.
  • Alternate layers of rice, chicken, and béchamel until all is used up.
  • Shred parmesan cheese of the top.
  • Bake in the oven at for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cheese starts bubbling and browning.
  • Serve warm.

Notes & Comments:
  • Preparing the broth and chicken as stated is optional. You can use store bought chicken broth, and chicken can be prepared using any method. You can also buy a rotisserie chicken to save time.
  • The method that Nitza uses to prepare the béchamel is a shortcut, but I find that it does not completely remove the floury taste. A more traditional way of peparing the sauce is to add the flour to the melted butter and cook for a couple of minutes until it forms a thick paste (called a roux). Then slowly pour in the milk and remaining ingredient, stirring constantly until it thickens.
  • Add a little bit of grated nutmeg to the sauce to elevate the flavor.
  • This is a good dish to prepare in advanced. Prepare like normal, but refrigerate after the casserole dish as layered with rice, chicken, and sauce (cover with plastic wrap). On the day when ready to serve, shred the parmesan and bake.

Receta Original:


1 pollo de 3 lbs.
1½ taza de arroz
2 tazas de caldo


¼ lb. mantequilla
1 litro de leche
2 cdtas. de sal
¼ cdta. de pimienta
10 cdas. de harina
2 cdas. vino seco
¼ lb. queso parmesano

        Haga un caldo con el pollo. Cuando el pollo esté blando, cuele el caldo y desmenuce el pollo. Separe dos taza de caldo para hacer el arroz. Cocina el arroz en el caldo.
        Derrita la mantequilla. Osterice la leche, sal, pimienta y harina. Una estos ingredientes a la mantequilla derretida y póngalos al fuego revolviendo constantemente hasta que espese. Engrase un molde con capacidad para 2½ litros. Ponga en el molde camadas alternas de arroz, pollo desmenuzado y bechamel. Cúbralo todo con queso rallado y hornéelo a 350°F de 35 a 40 minutos. Da 6 raciones.