“San Isidro, labrador, quita el agua y pon el sol.” This is a phrase that Catholic farmers in spanish speaking countries say to one of agriculture’s patron Saints when they want the rain to go away and the sun to come out. This summer in Puerto Rico it has been raining a lot as opposed to bright sunny days typical of the season. The weather has been crazy, like in many parts of the world, and we have missed the traditional trips to the beach. For us, the best comfort food for a rainy day is Asopao. A stew made of chicken or seafood with rice which is heartier than a traditional chicken soup. I usually accompany my Asopao with a side of avocado and tostones (fried green plantains). So, for those of you that will be sequestered in your homes during this weekend (due to the rain or the cold), here is my recipe for Asopao de Pollo (Chicken Asopao).
Asopao de Pollo
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 drum sticks or large chicken wings (season with a little adobo or salt and pepper)
1/2 cup of yellow onion finely chopped
1/4 cup cubanel or green pepper finely chopped
3 garlic cloves minced
6 grape tomatoes chopped or 1 small tomato chopped
1 recaito frozen cube homemade or 1 1/2 tbsp store bought recaito
10 spanish olives stuffed with pimento (manzanilla olives)
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 can (7 0z.) pureed pimientos morrones (roasted red bell peppers in brine)
1/2 tbsp fine sea salt
2 cups of good quality chicken broth
3 cups of water
1 potato diced or 6 baby potatoes peeled and cut in half
3/4 cup of white rice or parboiled rice
1/2 cup frozen sweet green peas
1. In a med-large heavy bottom sauce pan, heat olive oil (med) and saute the seasoned pieces of chicken. About 5-8 minutes.
2. Add onions and green pepper and saute for about 3 minutes.
3. Add minced garlic and saute for about 3 more minutes.
4. Add recaito ice cube, tomatoes, olives and tomato sauce. Saute for about 5 minutes.
5. Add white wine, pureed pimentos and salt. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
6. Add chicken broth, water and potatoes. Let stew simmer for 25 minutes covered.
7. Add 1 cup of rice and cook for 15 minutes covered.
8. Add sweet green peas and cook for 5 more minutes covered. At this point add more water if you want the Asopao to have a more liquid. Serve with side of tostones and avocado.