Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice Stew Recipe – Asopao de Pollo

This chicken and rice stew, also known as Asopao de Pollo, is commonly found bubbling on most stove tops in Puerto Rican kitchens and considered the ultimate comfort food!

I have been researching several different versions of this traditional Puerto Rican stew.  The ingredients of chicken, rice, green olives, peas, and tomato soup base drew me in.

The word asopao translates to stew.  Puerto Rican cooking is derived from a mix of cultural influences such as Spanish, Taino, and African cultures. Asopao de Pollo is considered the cousin to Spanish paella and is very similar to Mexican Arroz con Pollo, with the exception that green olives are added and a sofrito base (comprised of onions, green bell pepper, garlic, cilantro, and tomato paste) serves as the flavor foundation for this stew.

Sofrito is a popular recipe flavor foundation used in stews, soups, beans, and meat dishes throughout the Latin America Caribbean islands, especially in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Dominican Republic.  You can find many different variations of sofrito, depending on the Latin American country or Caribbean island.  To save time, sofrito can be found in stores premade.  In the below recipe, I will show you how easy it is to make your own sofrito base.

I have also provided instructions for both the traditional stove top method to cook in a Dutch oven and slow cooker instructions.

Check out these delicious Arroz Con Pollo and Paella recipes.

 

 

Asopao de Pollo - Puerto Rican Chicken & Rice Stew

 

 

 

Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice Stew Recipe – Asopao de Pollo:

Puerto Rican Chicken And Rice Stew Recipe - Asopao de Pollo

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Makes 8 servings

Stovetop Cook Time: 30 minutes Slow Cooker Time: Low Heat 8 hours

Ingredients:

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into large chunks)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons of Adobo Seasoning, divided*
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups uncooked medium grain rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 (15.5-ounce) can of Chicken Stock**
4 cups water
1 cup small green olives stuffed with pimentos
1 cup frozen petite green peas***
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnishment:
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Avocado slices

* Adobo seasoning can be found in the Latin American section of most grocery stores or local Hispanic market.  The main flavors are comprised of salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.  You can also order online at What's Cooking America's store:  Adobo Seasoning

** Check out Chicken Stock - Basic Chicken Stock to learn how easy it is to make your own homemade chicken stock.

*** Can substitute frozen peas with canned pigeon peas, which can be found in the Latin American section of most grocery stores or local Hispanic market.  You can also order online at What's Cooking America's store: Pigeon Peas.

Instructions:

Stove Top Preparation: 

Sofrito Recipe:
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 green bell pepper, cored seeded and diced
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed and leaves finely chopped
1/4 cup water 

Sofrito Preparation:  In a  Dutch oven over medium high heat, pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Let oil heat up in pan.  Add in onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes until onions appear translucent.  Next add in green bell pepper and saute for a few minutes until vegetables are softened.  Stir in tomato paste, cilantro, and water until completely mixed.  Mixture will be a thick paste, continue to cook until mixture begins to bubble.  Remove the sofrito mixture from the Dutch oven and set aside in another dish.

Asopao-prep-sofrito_mixing

  Asopao-prep sofrito sauteeing

 

Asopao-prep-browning-chicken

 

Add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to Dutch oven and let heat up for a couple minutes.  While oil is heating, sprinkle the chicken thighs with black pepper, oregano, and 1 tablespoon of Adobo Seasonings.  Add the seasoned chicken to the hot oil and cook the chicken until the meat is browned on both sides.  Cooking time is about 4 to 5 minutes per side.  Add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to Dutch oven and let heat up for a couple minutes.  While oil is heating, sprinkle the chicken thighs with black pepper, oregano, and 1 tablespoon of Adobo Seasonings.  Add the seasoned chicken to the hot oil and cook the chicken until the meat is browned on both sides.  Cooking time is about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

To the Dutch oven with browned chicken, add the prepared sofrito and diced tomatoes with liquid.  Stir together with chicken and let cook for about 3 minutes until mixture begins to boil.  Add the rice and white wine and stir everything together.  Cook for a few more minutes until boiling.  Next add the chicken broth, water, and remaining Adobo Seasoning.  Stir everything together and bring just to a boil.  Turn heat down to medium-low and and stir in the green olives.  Let simmer, on the stove, for about 20 minutes until the rice is fully cooked.  Stir in the frozen peas and simmer for approximately 5 minutes until peas are heated.  Add additional Adobo Seasoning or salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in bowls garnished with fresh cilantro and avocado slices and enjoy.  Enjoy some crusty bread or tortillas to scoop up your soup.

Serves 8.

  

Slow Cooker Preparation: 

Preheat slow cooker.

Sofrito preparation:  In a large skillet over medium high heat, pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Let oil heat up in pan. Add in onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes until onions appear translucent.  Next add green bell pepper and saute for a few minutes until vegetables are softened.  Stir in tomato paste, cilantro, and water until completely mixed.  Mixture will be a thick paste, continue to cook until mixture begins to bubble.  Remove the sofrito mixture from the skillet and add to the slow cooker.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to skillet and let heat up for a couple minutes.  While oil is heating, sprinkle the chicken thighs with black pepper, oregano, and 1 tablespoon of Adobo Seasonings.  Add the seasoned chicken to the hot oil and cook the chicken until meat is browned on both sides. C ooking time is about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

To the slow cooker, add the browned chicken, diced tomatoes with liquid, white wine, chicken broth, water, and remaining Adobo Seasoning.  Stir everything together and cover with lid.  Cook on low heat for 8 hours or high heat for 4 to 5 hours.  If you are home, remove lid and stir every couple hours to keep mixture from sticking to bottom of cooker.

During last 30 minutes of cooking, stir in the rice and green olives until completely mixed.  Cover with lid and let cook until rice is softened.  Stir in the frozen peas and cook for 5 additional minutes until peas are heated.  Add additional Adobo Seasoning or salt and pepper seasoning to taste.

Asopao-Pot-Stew 

Serve in bowls garnished with fresh cilantro and avocado slices and enjoy.  Enjoy some crusty bread or tortillas to scoop up your soup.

Serves 8.

 

https://whatscookingamerica.net/Poultry/PuertoRican-Chicken.htm

 

Comments from Readers:

Just tried this recipe today in the slow cooker.  I have to say, it turned out amazing!  Definitely worth all the prep work.  I served it to my Puerto Rican father-in-law and he asked for the recipe.  We all thoroughly enjoyed it.  I am personally not a fan of green olives, but it went well with the dish.  I used a dry Riesling and the flavor came out great, and I hate wine. – Ryan Hutchinson (11/23/14)

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