Rice with Pigeon Peas (Arroz con Gandules)

Makes 10 to 15 servings, as part of a larger meal

  • ½ cup Achiote Oil
  • 1 cup Sofrito
  • 3 tablespoons alcaparrado or coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 3 tablespoons fine sea or kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1½ pounds smoked pork neck bones or smoked turkey wings or one smoked ham hock
  • One 13-ounce bag frozen pigeon peas or one 15-ounce can pigeon peas, drained
  • 6 cups long grain rice
  • Beef Broth, homemade or store-bought and/or water as needed (about 8 cups)
  • 1 banana leaf, optional

Heat the achiote oil in a heavy 5-quart pot or Dutch oven over high heat until rippling. Stir in the sofrito, alcaparrada or olives, salt, pepper and cumin. Cook until the sofrito stops boiling and starts to sizzle, about 5 minutes
Add the pork bones and stir until they’re coated with oil, then stir in the rice until everything is mixed together and the rice is coated with oil. Stir in the pigeon peas, then pour in enough broth and/or water to cover the rice by the width of two fingers. Top with the banana leaf, folding it up as necessary to fit over the rice. Bring to a boil and boil without stirring until the level of liquid meets the rice. Take the banana leaf off, give the rice a big, healthy stir and put the leaf back on top. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove the banana leaf, give the rice a big stir and fluff it with a fork. Serve hot.

18 Responses to “Rice with Pigeon Peas (Arroz con Gandules)”

  1. 1 Paola August 2, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Love all your recipes! When will we see you on tv/cable or in personal presentations?

  2. 2 daisy August 17, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Hola Paola,
    I’m thrilled that you are enjoying the recipes. I am currently shopping a new TV show, so keep your eye on BBlog to keep up the minute about it, and where I will be appearing next.
    Hasta pronto,

  3. 3 Lorraine November 19, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    Hi daisy, I cannot wait to try this on my own, but I remember my mother putting in sason. would the achiote oil make up for that?

    Thanks again.


  4. 4 daisy November 19, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Dear Lorraine:

    The Sofrito and ingredients like the cumin is all you need…That’s what “Sazon” is all about.

    No need for the “packaged” variety..


  5. 5 Yvonne Albino December 24, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    I love watching your shows on PBS. Will we be seeing you soon? I bought your book and think you’re the greatest. Thank you for showing everyone that our people are great. I wish you success and happiness for you and your beautiful family,

    A fellow New YorRican,

  6. 6 Migui December 25, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    Dear Yvonne:

    Big announcement on the show’s future, coming your way pretty soon!

    Happy Holidays!


  7. 7 liliana February 23, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    hola Daisy’s espero que hables espanol,tengo una inquietud,yo tengo un pequeno restaurant y vendo arroz con gandules y los jibaritos,pero tengo un problema con el arroz con gandulez,yo lo hago con pimiento verde,rojo,amarillo y anaranjado achiote todo esto para el refrito,pero le pongo jamon perola otra vez se me agrio el arroz me imagino que porque puse el jamon directamente no lo cocine con el refrito,yo lo se preparar como para 2 o 3 dias ya que recien estoy comenzando y no vendo mucho de este arroz quisiera que me ayudes con algun consejo

  8. 8 daisy March 5, 2008 at 12:53 pm


    Tienes mi libro?

    Si sigues mi receta te aseguro éxito total!!


  9. 9 Michelle March 27, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Hi Daisy,
    It’s been almost four years now since mi vieja linda (grandmother) passed away, and your cookbook brings back beautiful memories of her and I in the kitchen cooking. Thank you for your love of our food and people.

  10. 10 daisy March 27, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Dear Michelle:

    What an honor to be able to help you keep memories of your Abuela intact!!

    Thank you very much for your kind words, and support..



  11. 11 Dixie April 23, 2008 at 12:55 am

    Dear Daisy,

    This dish is cooking on the stove right now and it’s my first stab at it! I learned alot (as my mouth watered) from watching you prepare it on your show. Hope I do you proud! I’ll let you know.

    You put such love in your food and it shows!

    Thanks for sharing it with us.


  12. 12 daisy April 23, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Dear Dixie:

    Thank you very much for writing, and cooking!

    Make sure I get pictures of the final result!



  13. 13 Kimmberly May 3, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Daisy, you are da BOMB! Awesome to see a strong Puerto Rican woman cooking on TV! Your recipes are always slamming and a big hit at my table! Thanks!

  14. 14 daisy May 3, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Dear Kimberly:

    Thank you very much…I love what I do, and I’m please that you are happy with my work as well!



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