30 minute asopao

It is cold and rainy here for most of the week, so I had two options (food wise). Asopao or chicken noodle soup. When I thought of the chicken noodle, was going to make the “cheater/fast way”. Using rotisserie chicken instead of making my own. Then I had an idea, what if I used that same method, and apply it to asopao?

If you do not know what asopao is, its a rice stew from PR. All of my friends joke that moms use asopao whenever it was HOT outside. And here in Iowa, people sometimes think “it’s hot” when its 90 degrees outside. Which, yes. It is hot, but back home it can be 99 degrees with 80 % humidity which feels like death. When I moved to Illinois for grad school, I started to use Asopao when I felt homesick and when it was winter!

If you are looking for a new stew/stoup that you will use with staples and only 2 or 3 “different” ingredients, here’s a good recipe for you!

Ingredients

  • Frozen veggies (I had a mix that had peas, corn, etc)
  • 1 carrot (diced)
  • 1.5 cups of rice
  • 8 cups of chicken stock/broth (I had 4 cups of each, so I added both)
  • Salt, Pepper to taste
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 big squirt or tablespoon of tomato paste
  • Adobo (to taste)
  • 2 Sazón packets
  • Fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons (or more to taste) of Oregano
  • 1 tablespoon (or more to taste) of Garlic powder
  • 2 cubes (or Tablespoons) of my homemade sofrito (I have shared this is a stand alone post, but also in my Instant Pot Arroz con Pollo)
  • 1 to 2 lbs of rotisserie chicken

How to make it:

  • In a large Dutch oven, heat to medium high and add the 2 cube of sofrito (if you have fresh sofrito use 2 tablespoons.
  • Grab a blender or food processor and add the can of tomatoes (i used diced) and the big squirt of tomato paste and give it a whirl. If you use tomato sauce you can skip this step.
  • After the sofrito is heated through, add the adobo, sazon packets, oregano and garlic powder and let them hang in there for 30 seconds. Mix well. Add the carrots
  • Add all of the liquids. Stir well. At this time shred the chicken (if you haven’t done so already), by the time the chicken is shredded, the liquids should be bubbling away. Since you’re just heating the chicken/cooking the rice this should be done quickly.
  • add the rice (slowly) and mix well. Add the chicken, and frozen veggies, salt and pepper. Check for season. Adjust if needed.
  • Close the Dutch oven and let it cook for 20 minutes.
  • After the 20 minutes, check the rice if to your liking. Now this is the controversial part. There are a lot of people that see asopao as a soup. I like my asopao on the thicker side. At this point, if you think your asopao needs more liquid, by all means do so. You can add water, stock or broth. If you are happy with it, go ahead! You’re done. If you’re like me, check seasoning, adjust as needed and close the lid, drop it to low, and let it simmer for 5 mins.
  • This is completely optional, but if you want to make some flavors pop, add some lemon zest and a some lemon juice over the top.

This recipe makes for AMAZING left overs. As a grad student, I lived by myself, so I when I made this, I made a huge batch and had it for a couple of days over the winter. If you want a seafood version, you can swap this with some shrimp!

To reheat this recipe, just add it to a sauce pan, add some stock, broth or water, and bring it to a boil (5-6 minutes)! Adjust for seasoning and have a really comforting lunch!

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