Spanish Chicken and Yellow Rice

October 6, 2014

If you love briny, Spanish-inspired flavors, you’ll love this family favorite Spanish Chicken and Yellow Rice recipe made with shredded chicken, green olives, and capers!

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Certain recipes remind me of my mom and dad.  They’re comforting and warm and often full of my favorite flavors.  This Spanish Chicken and Yellow Rice is one of those recipes!  Growing up, there were six of us under one roof, so plenty of mouths to feed!  My mom used to make this recipe a lot for us because it’s cheap, easy, and really delicious!  Like most of the things my parents cooked, this was definitely a dish that made me go in for seconds!

Ever since I was little, I’ve loved briny, salty flavors. Give me a slice of bread with some vinegar on it and I was a happy kid!  A strange kid, maybe, but a happy one!  As a adult, I’m all about that salt and vinegar flavor, which is probably why I love hitting up the olive bar so much (olive bar > actual bar)!  This recipe has a lot of that flavor packed into one satisfying dish thanks to green olives and capers!

Spanish Chicken and Yellow Rice

This dish starts with some shredded chicken and bag of Vigo yellow rice.  The chicken is boiled for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool before shredding.  You could also use leftover rotisserie chicken.  The yellow rice is already seasoned, so all you have to do is cook it in water.  I added a little olive oil and garlic to the pan first, then cooked the rice.

When the chicken was cooled through, I shredded it up.  It should easily shred apart!  Once the rice was just about done, I added in the chicken, green olives, and capers.  You could serve this right in the pan with shredded cheddar, sour cream and plenty of hot sauce as toppings! 

How to Make Tomato Sauce with Red Beans

If I remember correctly, my mom also used to serve this recipe with a sauce.  The sauce is made with a can of crushed tomatoes with capers and red beans. So while the chicken and rice was cooking, I whipped this sauce together and let it simmer on the stovetop.

Just like the rice, I started with olive oil and garlic.  Then, I added in the tomatoes, red beans, capers, plus a little extra caper brine.  That brine gives it such a good flavor!  You won’t want to leave it out!  Let it simmer while you’re making everything else and you’ll have yourself an amazing topping for your chicken and rice!

Spanish Chicken and Yellow Rice

Spanish Chicken and Yellow Rice


  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 - 8 oz. package Vigo yellow rice
  • 1 tbsp. capers
  • 1 cup Spanish green olives
  • 2-2 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheddar, sour cream, hot sauce, and/or tomato sauce with red beans


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil.
  2. Add the minced garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Carefully pour the water into the pan and let it come to a boil.
  4. Add the yellow rice and stir.
  5. Cover the pan with a lid and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
  6. When rice is just about done, add the capers and green olives.
  7. Stir in the chicken and cook just until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve the chicken and rice with shredded cheddar, sour cream, hot sauce, and tomato sauce with red beans, if desired.


To make the tomato sauce with red beans and capers: Heat olive oil in a sauce pan. Add a clove of minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add a 15 oz. can of crushed tomatoes. Stir in a can of red kidney beans (drained) and 1 tbsp. capers, including brine. Season with salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Then serve with the Spanish Chicken and Yellow Rice.

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This recipe makes…a lot. So if you’re a family of two, like we are, expect to have a lot of leftovers. Not a bad thing, honestly!  There’s no fighting over leftovers with this dish!  There were enough for both of us to have for lunches.  And if you end up with leftover sauce, you could always pop it in the freezer for later! 

Did you make this Spanish Chicken and Yellow Rice recipe? Share your pics on Instagram using the hashtag #livinglavidaeats. Don’t forget to tag me @lavidaholoka!


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  • Reply Charles August 16, 2021 at 6:55 PM

    I made this tonight, with a few changes, and it was a chart topper. I sauteed some minced onions then add minced garlic and curry powder. Used chicken broth instead of water and Virgo yellow rice. A real winner!

    • Reply Jessica August 17, 2021 at 8:18 AM

      Hi Charles! I’m so glad to hear that! This recipe is a favorite in my family. I might have to try it with your little improvisations next time. 🙂

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