Loyal to Local · Recipes

Loyal to Local: Old Havana Foods


What started in the kitchens of two Cuban families is now available inside Mariano’s. Inspired by the tastes and aromas of the Island, Old Havana Foods in Grayslake makes Cuban cuisine accessible for any Illinois kitchen.

Learn how to make Spanish Chicken and Rice with Old Havana Foods!


Spanish Chicken & Rice (Arroz con Pollo)


  • 1½ pounds Boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into large chunks (or 2 lbs. bone-   in,  skin on pieces, about 6 pieces total)
  • ½ teaspoon Black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Olive oil
  • 16 ounces Old Havana Foods Sofrito – Authentic Cuban Cooking Sauce
  • 8 ounces Small sweet peas (petit pois), drained, reserve peas and liquid
  • 1 ½ cups Chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons Lime juice from (about 1 large or 2 small limes)
  • 12 ounces Beer (a lager or pilsner is best, DO NOT use an IPA or dark beer) split into 8 oz. and 4 oz. (or substitute chicken broth.)
  • 1½ cups Long grain white rice (jasmine or basmati preferred)
  • Pinch Saffron (optional)

Optional Garnish:

  • 2 ounces           Roasted red pepper (pimento) strips
  • 6 to 8                 Asparagus stalks (freshly steamed or canned)


  1. Lightly season chicken with pepper. Heat a large stockpot over high heat until hot.  Add olive oil to pot and swirl to coat bottom. Add the chicken pieces, (skin side down if using bone-in.) Brown about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally or turning whole pieces after 4 minutes.
  2. Add Old Havana Foods Sofrito – Authentic Cuban Cooking Sauce to pot, stir well to coat chicken with sofrito. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add 1½ cups chicken broth, 8 ounces beer (or additional chicken broth) lime juice, liquid from peas, rice (and saffron if using) to stockpot. Stir well to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to lowest setting; cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat. Add remaining 4 ounces of beer (or chicken stock) and drained peas. Stir well to combine, cover and let stand 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. If large, cut bone-in chicken pieces in half. For a typical Cuban presentation, serve Arroz con Pollo topped with roasted red pepper strips and asparagus.

Serves 4 to 6.


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