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- Meat and poultry
- Popular chicken
- Chicken and rice
This gumbo-style dish is packed with chicken thighs, rice, red and green peppers and olives. It's flavoured with adobo seasoning, garlic and fresh coriander.
1 person made this
- 900g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Mexican fajita seasoning
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 300g white rice
- 2 (400g) tins chopped tomatoes
- 1.5L reduced salt chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes, or to taste
- 200g frozen petite peas, thawed
- 225g sliced pimento-stuffed green olives
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
MethodPrep:25min ›Cook:35min ›Ready in:1hr
- Season chicken thighs with black pepper and seasoning.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook and stir green pepper, red pepper, onion, garlic, and tomato puree in the hot oil, until the vegetables have softened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove vegetables from the pot and set aside.
- Pan fry chicken in the pot until browned, 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Return cooked vegetables to the pot along with rice, tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf and chilli flakes. Bring to the boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in peas and olives and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard bay leaf. Stir in fresh coriander and serve.
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- 1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 1/4 pound(s) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 Anaheim or poblano chile peppers, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon(s) dried oregano, crushed
- 1 teaspoon(s) sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon(s) salt
- 1 can(s) tomato sauce
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 can(s) pimientos, rinsed
- 8 pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
- 2 tablespoon(s) capers, rinsed
- 8 cup(s) water
- 2 1/2 cup(s) brown rice
- 2/3 cup(s) packed chopped fresh cilantro
What is asopao?
Asopao in Spanish means soup-like. Actually, it's a contraction of "asopado". In the Dominican Republic and --unsurprisingly-- Puerto Rico, asopao is a soupy rice dish that also includes vegetables and some meat or seafood. Chicken asopao is probably the most common.
Asopao ingredients vary depending on the family taste, and --most importantly-- the food budget. This is one of those dishes that can be stretched, and serve a lot with little, consequently, asopao dominicano has become associated with last-minute "cocinados" (get-togethers) on a tight budget.
How to make asopao de pollo
Now that you have gathered your ingredients it is time to make chicken rice gumbo. All you have to do is follow the steps below:
The first step is to heat the oil in a stock pot and cook your onions and garlic until transparent.
Next, add the chicken and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the outside is browned, this step helps keep the chicken juicy as the dish cooks.
Stir in the orange juice and spices until well combined. You can then add the bell pepper and pumpkin.
Keep stirring for another 2 minutes before adding the rice. The rice should cook for 3 minutes until it becomes translucent. You can then add the stock and tomato sauce.
Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes or until the rice is done.
Your asopao de pollo is ready to serve!
Check out how to make Asopao de Pollo another way. The video below will show another way to make it.
Asopao de Pollo | Chicken & Rice Soup
Asopao de Pollo is a popular Dominican and Puerto Rican dish. It’s essentially our version of a Chicken and Rice Soup that infuses all of our favorite flavors. It’s the dish that keeps on giving because you seriously feed an entire village with just cups of rice! And remember, we’re talking about rice jambalaya type soup so you know it’s going to be filling!
Every family has their secret recipe on how to make Asopao de Pollo. Some insists that it be spicy and soupy while others love it thick and filled with chicken. I personally love it the way that my grandmother made it with smoked pork chops and auyama which gives this Asopao de Pollo a subtle smokiness and sweetness. It’s perfectly balanced especially with perfectly ripe avocados on the side, lime, and hot sauce. I remember being a greedy child ready to dive into the Asopao only to burn the roof of my mouth! It was then that I learned, good things are worth waiting for!
Winter time immediately puts certain dishes in heavy rotation. Sancocho, Avena, and Asopao. Asopao de Pollo is a staple during the wintertime or anytime a large crowd unexpectedly arrives at your house. Just this past year, my fiance’s family brought back parranda which is when you show up at midnight singing Christmas Carols. The host of the house is typically caught off guard and woken from their slumber to a crowd of cheerful family members. This year, we ventured off to 3 parrandas– all of whom were aunts and uncles of my fiance. The feast that they made to feed the singing carolers? … You guessed it — Asopao de Pollo.
Asopao de Pollo comes together really quickly. It’s also a dish that you probably have all of the ingredients for but you probably don’t even realize. My fiance’s aunts are all parranda pros, so Asopao de Pollo is usually their go-to. You season the chicken with some staple Dominican seasoning like sour oranges or lime, garlic, adobo or chicken bouillon cube and Dominican Orégano. For the soup, you celery, onions, and carrots. You can then choose to add auyama (kabocha squash) or sazón for color along with tomato paste. There’s no question that you definitely need fresh cilantro to bring this all together. The fresh herbs brings together this dish. More importantly, you need a really big pot.
Asopao de Pollo, just like its cousin Asopao de Camarones has the tendency to multiply and grow. In fact, one the very first times that I made Asopao de Pollo was a funny disaster. I started off by eyeballing everything. I didn’t quite understand the nature of this dish or understand that this dish is famous for feeding a village. It’s budget friendly because a tiny bit of rice and chicken produces a hearty. Unknowingly, I seasoned POUNDS of chicken and then added 3 cups of white rice. The crazy part? I was doing all of this in my 5qt Dutch Oven and not my Sancocho Pot. Hint: The Sancocho Pot is the infamous pot in every Hispanic household that can feed 25 or more people! Fast forward to my Asopao growing out of control and me making a huge mess. Lesson learned.
Now I’ve previously featured Asopao de Camarones which is very similar to Asopao de Pollo with the obvious difference being the shrimp & the chicken. Both are super tasty and really comes down to what mood you’re in– meat or seafood. Both are a mix of soup and jambalaya with bold Hispanic and Caribbean flavors and both require you to take note of certain things. For example:
- Do keep an eye on your Asopao. It has the tendency to grow and it also has the tendency to stick to the bottom of the pot. Now while I love con-con, the crispy golden burnt delight is best when making regular rice, not Asopao.
- Do mix your Asopao. In addition to keeping an eye on your asopao, you also want to constantly stir it so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. If possible, stay away from making this dish in a cast iron dutch oven. Been there, done that and it’s never a good look. The rice almost always gets stuck and leave behind the smokey flavor that you don’t want
- Smoked pork chops are optional. I love the flavor or smoked pork chops in Asopao and in Sancocho, however, this doesn’t really jive with everyone. Feel free to omit. Your Asopao will be AMAZING!
- There are a few ways to color your Asopao. You can choose to use Auyama- Kabocha Squash or you can use the Sazón Packets. You can also rely entirely on the tomato paste. The choice is entirely up to you. Just make sure not to be too heavy handed with tomato paste or else you’ll end up with a tomato and rice soup.
- Add water when reheating the Asopao. Like many soups and stews that I feature on my YouTube Channel: Chef Zee Cooks and blog, soups and stews tend to thicken as they cool. When reheating this dish, add water and adjust any seasoning if needed.
- Hot water is your friend! When making Asopao de Camarones, I insisted on always having a hot pot of shrimp stock ready to go. As the Asopao thickens, it will also dry out thus needing more water. It’s best that the water that you add be hot so that it doesn’t shock the rice and slow down the cooking process.
Are you hungry yet? Let’s go ahead and jump right into the recipe…
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 Anaheim or poblano chile peppers, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 4-ounce jar pimientos, rinsed
- 8 pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
- 8 cups water
- 2 ½ cups brown rice
- ⅔ cup packed chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken, chiles, onion, oregano, paprika and salt and cook, stirring, until the onions have softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add tomato sauce, tomato, pimientos, olives, capers and water and bring to a boil. Stir in rice return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the sauce is thick, the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through, 35 to 45 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve.
The Dominican Republic was formerly a Spanish colony. Many Spanish traits are still present in the island. Many traditional Spanish dishes have found a new home in the Dominican Republic, some with a twist. African and Taíno dishes still hold strong, some of them unchanged.
All or nearly all food groups are accommodated in typical Dominican cuisine, as it incorporates meat or seafood grains, especially rice, corn (native to the island  ), and wheat vegetables, such as beans and other legumes, potatoes, yuca, or plantains, and salad dairy products, especially milk and cheese and fruits, such as oranges, bananas, and mangos. However, there is heaviest consumption of starches and meats, and least of dairy products and non-starchy vegetables.
Sofrito, a sautéed mix including local herbs and spices, is used in many dishes. Throughout the south-central coast bulgur, or whole wheat, is a main ingredient in quipes and tipili, two dishes brought by Levantine Middle Eastern immigrants. Other favorite foods and dishes include chicharrón, yautía, pastelitos or empanadas, batata (sweet potato), pasteles en hoja (ground roots pockets), chimichurris, plátanos maduros (ripe plantain), yuca con mojo (boiled yuca/cassava) and tostones/fritos (fried plantains).
Bouillon cubes are used heavily in the preparation of Dominican lunch food.
Taíno dishes Edit
- Casabe – bread made out of yuca
- Pera Piña - Rice and pineapple peel drink. Before rice was introduced it was made with corn and pineapple and called chicha.
- Guanimo – Guanimo are Dominican tamales. In the Dominican Republic they are now made from cornmeal and stuffed with picadillo.
Spanish dishes Edit
- Arroz con leche – rice pudding. Raisins, star anis, clove, and nutmeg is added with the traditional long-grain rice, cinnamon, sugar and milk.
- Crème caramel – sweet egg custard known as flan. Coconut flan is known as quesillo de coco.
African dishes Edit
Middle Eastern dishes Edit
- Arroz con almendras y pasas – A rice with raisins and almonds brought over by Lebanese. It is usually eaten around Christmas.
- Arroz con fideos - Rice cooked with toasted pasta. This dish is eaten with fresh cilantro.
- Kipes or Quipes - Deep fried bulgur roll filled with picadillo.
- Niño envuelto – Cabbage roll filled with rice. A dish brought over by Lebanese immigrants.
Cocolo influence Edit
Cocolo is a term used in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean to refer to non- Hispanic African descendants, or darker skin people in general. The term originated in the Dominican Republic, and was historically used to refer to the Anglophone and Francophone Caribbean descendants. The Cocolo cuisine brought over threw various parts of the Caribbean have influenced Dominican cuisine. Some recipes have changed but most have stood the same but with different names.
- Chen-chen – A cracked corn pilaf dish from Haiti thats made its way through the Dominican Republic.
- Dumplings - Dumplings in the Dominican Republic are eaten with braised meats or seasoned tomato sauce. They came from the British Caribbean mostly in and around San Pedro de Macorís. Simple recipe including all-purpose flour, water, and salt made into a thick dough before boiling. When cornmeal is added they're known as bollitos de maíz (boiled cornmeal dumplings).
- - Guavaberry is used to make jams and drinks. Guavaberry liqueur, which is made from rum, is a common Christmas drink on many of the islands, particularly in Sint Maarten and the Virgin Islands.  The colonists from Denmark and Holland found it could flavor rum by infusion similar to infused schnapps.  In the Dominican Republic it is associated with the eastern town of San Pedro de Macorís which has a large population of Eastern Caribbean descent. 
- Gofio – A sweet cornmeal powder from the Canary islands.
- - Known as chocolate de maní. Although chocolate is in the name the drink has no chocolate. Instead peanut butter is cooked with water, milk, sugar, and spices. The drink may have been brought over from Jamaica.
Venezuelan influence Edit
The Dominican Republic is thought to be home to about 30,000 Venezuelans, a fraction of its 11 million population. Most Venezuelans live in the city of Santo Domingo bringing recipes and changing recipes in mainly food trucks. Burgers, hot dogs, chorizo and even tostones topped with chimichurri sauce known as wasakaka in the Dominican Republic were said to be brought over from Venezuela.
- - The chimichurri also known as chimi or chimichurri burger was first recognized on food trucks in Santo Domingo. The original recipe was made by Venezuelan immigrants. Ground meat was mixed with chimichurri sauce, topped with cabbage slaw marinated in chimichurri, mayonnaise, ketchup and served on pan de agua a traditional bread from Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Chimichurri sauce has moved away from the burger. Chimichurri is typically seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and oregano but most vendors in Santo Domingo have their personal taste. It is agreed that the chimichurri is always topped with slaw and mayonnaise-ketchup.
- Wasakaka – Mojo and chimichurri both are known as wasakaka. The name was changed and the recipe was brought over by Venezuelans. It is used on roasted chicken.
Cuban & Puerto Rican influences Edit
Dominican cuisine is adopted from Puerto Rico and Cuba, though the dish names differ sometimes. Because of the historic migration between Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico its three cultures are closely related. It is unclear for most dishes between these countries on where it originated from. Some dishes like mofongo and pastlese are from Puerto Rico and became a part of Dominican cuisine. Moros y Cristianos and yuca con mojo from Cuba. While the Dominican pastelón is seen in Cuba and Puerto Rico.
- Asopao - Rice, chicken or fish and vegetable soup similar to Gumbo originating in Puerto Rico. Dominicans have a unique asopao adding chicarron de pollo or coconut milk with seafood.
- Bollitos de yuca - The recipe is exact to carimañola in Colombia and Panama and almojábana de yuca in Puerto Rico.
- Jalao – A balls that is made with shredded coconut, honey, and sometimes ginger. In Puerto Rico it is known as mampostial and Cuba as coquíto. Unclear where these recipe originated from but all three islands add there own flavoring. The Dominican Republic adds ginger while Puerto Ricans add nuts and fruit and Cubans dip there in chocolate.
- Pasteles en hojas – Puerto Rican tamales have been an important part of Dominican Christmas. These tamales are made from plantains, squash, tubers, stuffed with meat and wrapped in banana leaf.
- Majarete – Corn pudding made with fresh blended corn, cornstarch, milk, vanilla and cinnamon. This dessert is claimed by Cuba and Dominican Republic. The only difference is Dominicans add nutmeg while Cubans add lemon zest and raisins. When corn isn't blended it is known as Chaca and can sometimes have rice.
- Mofongo –
Dominican dishes Edit
- Aguají – Vegan soup made with mashed plantains, allspice and sofrito.
- Arepitas – Shredded yuca or cornmeal fritters mixed with eggs, sugar, and anise seeds.
- Buche e perico – Literally parrot's cheek. Corn chowder cooked with smoked pork chops and squash.
- Catibía - Dominican style empanada. Insted of flour or cornmeal dough, these are made with tapioca flour.
- Camarones con coco y gengibre – Shrimp with coconut and ginger. This dish is prepared with Dominican seasoning as a base and with the addition of coconut milk and ginger.
- Chicharrón de pollo – fried chicken.
- Chulitos - Fresh grated cassava filled with ground meat.
- Guandules de coco - Pigeon peas stewed in coconut milk with herbs and vegetables. Similar to stew peas, but with no hot chilies, ginger, meat or spice involved and dumplings are replaced with cubed squash.
- Rice dishes – Most dishes in the Dominican Republic are served with rice. A popular staple of the Dominican cuisine is arroz con maiz that combines the sweet flavor of corn with the salty flavor of rice and other ingredients.
Locrio a classic style of mixing rice with other kind of meat this dish is usually served with a salad, yuca or plantains. Moro de guandules con coco a rice, pigeon peas (guandules), and coconut milk dish. Concón is usually something not cooked on its own. Instead, it is a byproduct of cooking rice. Simply put, it is the layer of burnt hard rice left behind when cooking in a caldero (iron pot). It contains the most flavor.
- Soups – Dominicans take much pride in their soups and most cooks on the island claim to make the best soup. More than a third of the country’s total population lives in poverty, and almost 20 per cent are living in extreme poverty. In rural areas poor people constitute half of the population. Soup in the Dominican Republic is easy, cheap and can feed a large number of people. Chambre a legumes, rice and meat stew. Chapea a red or white beans stew with mashed squash, longaniza (sausage), and ripe plantains. Dominican Republic has also adopted many soups like sancocho the Dominican national soup, mondongo (beef tripe soup), crema de cepa de apio (celery root soup).
- Spaghetti a la Dominicana – Spaghetti cooked with Dominican salami, celery, stewed tomatoes, onions, garlic, tomato sauce, orégano, and olives and then afterwards meat sauce is poured. Also served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Recipe tends to vary.
- Telera – Dominican bread similar to Mexican Telera.
- Pan de coco – Coconut bread.
- Pico y pala – Pick and shovel. Chicken feet and neck is associated with the popular dining rooms and cafeterias, very common in low income neighborhoods. Usually cooked with onions, cilantro, culantro, oregano, and sugar.
- Guisados – Braised meat or fish cooked a have tomato sauce base with Dominican style sofrito. A small amount of sour orange or lime juice, and sugar is traditional added. When done it is served with rice. This is a popular staple in Dominican kitchens. Carne mechada is braised tenderloin or flank. Brasied oxtail and cow tongue are usually spicy using scotch bonnet or other local chilies. Beans and vegetables are cooked the same but with no citrus added.
- Pastelón – Casseroles. A main element of Dominican cuisine. There are more than six variations in the Dominican Republic the most popular ones being pastelón de platano maduro (yellow plantain casserole) and pastelón de yuca (cassava casserole). Pastelón can be found in other Latin American Countries like Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Panama and Cuba, specially the eastern part which has great Dominican influence. Pastelón are usually stuffed with ground meat or chicken.
- Yaroa - a fast food made from mashed plantains, meat, cheese, and condiments.
- Almibar de frutas – Fruit cooked in syrup. The most popular is called mala rabia. Guava, sweet plantains, and sweet potato with cinnamon.
- Arepa – Cornmeal and coconut cake. Dominican arepa is different from that of the Venezuelan and Colombian arepa.
- Bizcocho Dominicano – Dominican cake uses a basic cake recipe with vanilla, eggs, flour, sugar, margarine, and baking soda, milk with orange juice and lime zest. When done the cake is then filled with pineapple jam and frosted with meringue.
- Dulce de coco tierno – Fresh coconut cooked slowly with milk, sugar and cinnamon.
- Dulce de Leche en Tabla – Milk fudge usually eaten with pineapple jam.
- Habichuelas con dulce – Sweet creamed beans dessert. Made with coconut milk, sweet potato chunks, etc.
- Jalea de batata – Sweet potato pudding slowly cooked with spices, sugar, milk, and coconut milk. – Coconut macaroons are popular all over the island. Most popular flavors are with added ginger with cinnamon and condensed milk macaroons.
- Palitos de coco – Shredded coconut lollipops cooked with condensed milk. When done they are formed into small balls and coated in a simple syrup made from sugar, corn syrup, and red food coloring.
The most popular drinks in the Dominican Republic are rum locally known as romo, beer (especially Presidente), coffee, eggnog with rum, local fruit smoothies, mabí juice made from colubrina bark or fruit that's done all over the Caribbean. Alcohol drinks such as piña colada, coquito, Cuba libre, and mojitos from Cuba and Puerto Rico.
- Mama Juana – an alcoholic drink concocted by allowing rum, red wine, and honey to soak in a bottle with tree bark and herbs.
- Jugo de avena – oatmeal juice made with oats, orange peel, ginger, sugar, milk, and spices.
- Morir Soñando - Evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla and orange juice.
What Dominicans tend to eat depends highly on where they live: whether near the sea or in the interior mountains. In either case, most Dominican meat dishes tend to involve pork, as pigs are farmed quite heavily on the island. Meat dishes tend to be very well cooked or even stewed in Dominican restaurants, a tradition stemming from the lesser availability of refrigeration on the island.
Seaside Dominican fishing villages will have great varieties of seafood, the most common being shrimp, marlin, mahi-mahi or dorado, and lobster. Most villagers more commonly dine on cheap, lesser-quality fish, usually stewed with la criolla, a type of rice. Premium seafood tends to be too expensive for the many locals, and is saved for the island's upper class and the tourist resorts.
Differences between Dominican cuisine and those of other parts of the West Indies include the milder spicing, which mainly uses onions, garlic, cilantro, cilantro ancho (culantro), ají cubanela (cubanelle pepper), and oregano. Dominican sofrito is known on the island as sazón.
Asopao de pollo (Chicken and rice stew) recipe - Recipes
Puerto Rican Recipes
2-3 lbs broiler-fryer chickens, cut up 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1 (16 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, blended
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 cups uncooked rice
10 ounces frozen green peas (1 package)
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup fully cooked smoked ham, cubed
1/3 cup pitted small green olives
1 tablespoon capers
grated parmesan cheese
Sear chicken pieces and diced onion in a deep 12" skillet or dutch oven. Add broth, salt, oregano, coriander,blended tomatoes, onion, and garlic. Heat to boiling reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Cook rice according to directions on bag, except add chicken broth where it calls for water. While the rice is cooking add peas, green pepper, ham, olives, capers and 1 tablespoon of the caper liquid to chicken dish. Cover and simmer the chicken dish until the rice is done. Serve the chicken on top of the rice, pour the sauce over and sprinkle with parmesan.
Recipe Asopao de Pollo
Chicken Stew, Receta Asopao de Pollo
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- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3-to-4-pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces
- 2 thick slices bacon
- 1 1/2 ounces smoked ham, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon drained capers
- 1/4 cup diced, pimiento-stuffed olives
- 2 cups medium-grain rice (about 12 ounces), such as Valencia
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- 4 pimientos, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a small bowl, combine the oregano, garlic and salt. Rub the seasonings on the chicken pieces.
In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, cook the bacon over moderately low heat until the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon and reserve for another use. Add half the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned all over, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and brown the remaining chicken. Return all the chicken to the pan and add the ham, tomatoes, onion and green pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Let cool.
Remove the chicken meat from the bones. Discard the skin and bones and return the meat to the pan. Add 6 1/2 cups of water and the capers and olives and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the peas until tender, about 1 minute for frozen and 4 minutes for fresh.
Season the asopao with salt. Garnish with the peas and pimientos and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Serve at once otherwise it will lose its characteristic soupiness.
Asopao de Pollo
In a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven*** heat lard over medium heat. Add annatto seeds (if using). Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant and oil is a deep red color. Immediately remove the seeds from the oil discard seeds.
Add Sofrito to the hot oil. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ham hocks and chicken broth. Bring to boiling reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Add chicken return to a simmer. Cook, covered, 30 to 35 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink (180°F). Remove chicken and ham hocks from the pan to a cutting board. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Add rice to the pan. Return to boiling reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Meanwhile, remove chicken and ham from the bones shred meat. Discard any fat from ham.
Add shredded chicken and ham, tomatoes, peas, olives, and capers to pan. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat 10 minutes.
If desired, for fried plantains, use a sharp knife to cut off the ends of the plantains and score the skin on four sides. Use your finger to pry the skins loose. Cut peeled plantains into 1/2-inch slices. In a deep large skillet heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add plantain slices, half at at time, and fry 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once. Remove plantains drain on paper towels.
Serve stew topped with fried plantains and fresh cilantro.
If desired, substitute 8 ounces chopped cooked smoked ham for the ham hocks. Omit the 20 minute cook time for the ham hocks in step 2.
It's important to use green plantains for this recipe. To more easily peel plantains, trim off ends and cut a few slits in skin from end to end. Push thumb under skin and peel it off in sections.
If your dutch oven doesn't have a lid, covering it with foil will work just as well.
Nutrition Facts (Asopao de Pollo)