Served on chilly days, or as a quick, inexpensive dish, this asopao de pollo (chicken and rice pottage) recipe is always a favorite.
Why we ❤️ it
This asopao de pollo recipe -- a very popular Dominican dish -- is one I took straight from my mom's repertoire, with almost no change to the flavor of hers. This is something I ate many, MANY times when I lived at the parental home.
Asopao is a thick rice soup or pottage with vegetables, tomato sauce, and some kind of protein, chicken asopao and shrimp asopao being the most popular in both the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
The word asopao is a contraction of "asopado", which means soupy, or soup-like in Spanish. In English, the translation for asopao can be "rice stew" or "rice pottage".
The basic ingredients in asopao are rice, seasonings, tomato sauce, and some kind of protein (meat or seafood). How much of any of these are added depends 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 "cocina'os" (get-togethers) on a tight budget.
Asopao de pollo (chicken & rice pottage).
About this recipe
As the recipe indicates, some of these vegetables are actually optional, though commonly found in chicken asopaos. My favorite is auyama, which gives this asopao a creaminess I love. This recipe reflects my own taste and my family's sazon, but you can definitely add more vegetables if you wish. Some popular additions are green peas, pitted green olives, capers, celery, and onion. You can also substitute fresh cilantro for parsley, or add a mixture of both. This is a very forgiving dish.
Remember that the consistency of this stew is also a matter of taste, some prefer it soupier, some thicker (closer to a risotto consistency), some people prefer very soft grain or rice but still firm, some prefer it when they have doubled and open. Try to find the exact way you like it best.
Do you have any secrets for how to make asopao de pollo even better? Let me know in the comments!
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[Recipe + Video] Asopao de Pollo (Chicken and Rice Pottage)
- 1½ pound chicken, [0.7 kg] boneless, and cut into small pieces (see notes)
- 1½ tablespoon salt, (or more, to taste, divided)
- 1¼ teaspoons pepper (freshly-cracked, or ground), (or more, to taste, divided)
- 1 teaspoon oregano (dry, ground)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice, (optional)
- 2 ½ tablespoon oil for frying
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon mashed garlic
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced (optional)
- ¼ cup sweet corn, or green peas, or both (optional)
- 1 cup diced auyama (kabocha squash), optional)
- 1½ cup tomato sauce
- 1¼ cups rice
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- Seasoning chicken: Season the chicken with 1½ teaspoons of salt, pepper, oregano, and lime juice.
- Browning chicken: Heat the oil over medium heat in a ¾ qt [3 lt] pot. Add sugar to the hot oil and heat until it turns brown. Add chicken and stir to brown all over. Be careful with splatters.
- Adding vegetables: Add garlic, tomato, bell pepper, oregano, carrot, peas, auyama, and stir to mix. Stir frequently to cook evenly for about a minute (until they are heated through). Add tomato sauce and stir to combine.
- Cooking rice: Pour 6 cups [1½ liters] of water and heat until it breaks the boil.Add the rice to the pot. Stir to mix well and simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer, stirring often to avoid the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.Once the rice has doubled in size, and the grains have opened, and it has reduced to the consistency you prefer, season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the parsley. and remove from the heat.
Tips and Notes
How to make Asopao de Pollo y CamaronesAdd ½ pound of peeled shrimp in the last 5 minutes of cooking when the rice is cooked. Cook some more until the shrimp turns pink. No other changes are needed.
How to make Asopao de Pollo y ChuletaAdd ½ pound of diced, boneless, smoked pork chops to brown with the chicken. No other changes are needed.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
Published Jan 2, 2015, revised