Served on chilly days, or as a quick, inexpensive dish, this Asopao de Pollo (Chicken and Rice Pottage) recipe is always a favorite.
Most of the recipes in this blog are recipes I learned from my mom, some I've learned along the way, but this Asopao de Pollo recipe (Chicken and Rice Pottage) -- a very popular Dominican dish -- is one I took straight out of my mom's repertoire with nearly zero changes.
This is something I ate many, many times when I lived at the paternal home.
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.
About this Asopao recipe
Years ago, possibly the first writing this blog, I published a recipe for Asopao de Camarones (Rice and Shrimp Pottage) that I called a "generic" recipe. I thought it would be easy for our readers to just adapt the recipe to other meats on their own. I was wrong.
I guess I was making the same mistake many mothers make when they tell their children to add "un chin de esto y un chin de aquello" (a little bit of this and a little bit of that).
I hope that I am not making the same mistake again, because I am going to tell you that you can adapt this same recipe and make your asopao even fancier. The recipe gives you some ideas to make asopao de pollo y chuleta, or asopao de pollo y camarones, if you want to get fancy.
Do you have any secrets for a great asopao de pollo? Let me know in the comments!
Asopao de Pollo (Chicken and Rice Pottage
- 3/4 gallon of water
- 3 lb of chicken , boneless and cut into small pieces.
- 3 teaspoons of salt
- 1/4 teaspoons of pepper
- 1 tablespoon of bitter orange juice (optional)
- 2 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil (canola, corn or peanut)
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 4 large tomatoes , chopped
- 1 bell pepper , chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon of dry oregano
- 1 large carrot , diced
- 1/4 cup of peas
- 1 lb auyama (West Indian pumpkin), diced
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 2 cups of long grain rice
- 2 tablespoons of bitter orange vinegar , or spicy sauce (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
- Boil the water in a covered pot over very low heat.
- Season the chicken with 1.5 teaspoon of salt, pepper and bitter orange juice.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a 3/4 qt [3 lt] pot. Add sugar and heat until it turns golden brown. Add chicken and stir to brown all over. Be careful with splatters.
- Cover the pot in which you are cooking the chicken and simmer over medium heat. Stir frequently to cook evenly for 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water should it become necessary to prevent it from burning.
- Add garlic, tomato, bell pepper, oregano, carrot, peas, auyama and stir to mix.
- Pour in half the water from the other pot into the pot with the chicken. Add tomato sauce and rice. Stir to mix well and cover the pot.
- Simmer, stirring often to avoid the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot, add water from the pot as it becomes necessary to maintain the same level.
- Once the rice has doubled in size, and the grains have opened, season with the remaining salt, or to taste, bitter orange vinegar and parsley. Remove from the heat. It should have turned into a thick soup. If you find it to be too dry, stir in more water from the other pot. Consistency is a matter of taste.