Recipes are passed down from generation to generation changing along the way. Each family member putting their own special twist on the dish. This Puerto Rican Asopao recipe was shared with me from someone I consider to be family. This recipe reminds me of the love that is shared in a kitchen while cooking. If you are looking for a comforting meal that you can share with your family, you are going to want to try this amazing chicken and rice stew. It leaves you feeling the love that is shared in the kitchen.
Most people don’t typically think of stew when counting macros, but I do…so check out my notes at the bottom for ways you can adjust this recipe to fit your goals!
How to Make Puerto Rican Asopao Chicken & Rice Stew?
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 16 oz Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs, cut into bite sized cubes
- 3 oz Ham Steak, cut into bite sized cubes
- 4 oz Hard Chorizo, sliced
- 1½ cup White Onion, diced, (275 grams, or 1[a/adjustable] onion)
- 1 cup Red Bell Pepper, diced, (140 grams, or 1[a/adjustable] pepper)
- 3 cloves Fresh Garlic, diced, (15 grams)
- 2 tbsp Fresh Cilantro, diced, (15 grams)
- ½ tsp Ground Oregano
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¾ tsp Black Pepper
- 8 cups Water, (64 oz)
- 3 tsp Ham Base, Better Than Bouillon, optional, or sub for chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 packets Sazon, Goya: Culantro/Achiote, optional, or sub for chicken bouillion cubes
- ½ cup Arborio Rice, any rice works, I like a short to medium grain
- Heat a large heavy bottom stove top pot to medium low heat. Once the pot is warm add the extra virgina olive oil to the pan. Then add your cubed chicken.
- Cook the chicken for 3-5 minutes stiring every minute or so to prevnet burning. Then add your ham and hard chorizo. Cook for an additional 3 minutes with the chicken, stiring every minute or so.
- Then add your onion, bell pepper, garlic, cilantro, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir everything together and cook for 5 minutes. (Each of the above steps helps to develop flavor in the base of the stew.)
- Now add your water, ham base, and sazon seasioning. If you dont have either of these, 4 chicken bouillion cubes will work. But the ham and sazon adds a special flavor.(If you developed good flavor in steps 1-3 you dont need to use any of these additional seasonings if you don't have them or can't find them.)
- Once you have added the water and seasoning bring everything to a boil, cook at a rolling boil for 2-3 minutes. Then turn down to a simmer and cook for 1 hour minimum. (This like most soups and stew is better the longer you simmer it for.)
- Add the rice 20 minutes before you plan to serve the stew.(Cooking the rice with the rest of the ingredients for more than 20 minutes will cause the rice to soak up too much liquid, making a thick mushy rice.)
- Serve with your favor bread and enjoy!
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NOTES FOR MEAL PLANNING:
Meal planning doesn’t have to be hard or take a lot of time. In fact, meal planning can be fun when you are provided with easy new recipes each week. Meal Planning can also help save money, prevent food waste, and save you time.
The best things about this recipe is: it’s super easy to make, it tastes phenomenal, it’s freezer friendly, and it is easy to put your own twist on!
If you would like to lean more about meal planning and putting your own personal plan together click HERE.
NOTES FOR MEAL PREP:
When meal prepping recipes, it is important to think about the best way to store and reheat your finished meals:
Storing this Puerto Rican Asopao Recipe in the fridge will last 5-7 days.
There are a few ways you can choose to store this recipe in your fridge:
- You can store as one large meal or as individual servings.
- I always prefer individual servings. This allows me to only reheat the number of servings that will be eaten.
For fridge storage you can use plastic containers, or glass food containers. I prefer to use glass container, as this allows me to reheat and eat the recipe right out of the same container. Which in turn saves me time, dirty dishes, and makes clean up easier. It also save on waste: eventually having to replace the plastic containers.
Be sure to allow the recipe to cool completely before closing the container or placing in the fridge. If you close the container or place the recipe in the fridge before it has cooled you could have built up condensation within your container, thus watering down the recipe. Additionally, it traps in the heat, which in turn continues to cook this rice, making a mushy rice stew.
TIPS FOR RE-HEATING AFTER BEING IN THE FRIDGE:
- If reheating as an individual serving, you can warm it up on the stove or in the microwave.
- Microwave: Cook in a microwave safe container for 90-120 seconds, stirring half way thru.
- Stove: Place however much you plan to eat in a pot and cook at medium low for 5 minutes. Just enough to cook thru, you don’t want the rice to start to over cook.
- If reheating as a one large meal, I recommend reheating on the stove, in a large pot, at medium low heat. Cook for 7-10 minutes until the recipe is warmed thru. This will ensure the best flavor, consistency, and really bring the recipe back to life. You may want to add a tiny bit of water to help loosen up the sauce and ingredients. Adding 1 tablespoon at a time, you don’t want to water down the recipe.
This is the perfect freezer friendly recipe. When frozen this Puerto Rican Asopao, Chicken and Rice Stew will keep for 3-6 months.
There are a few ways that you can choose to freeze this recipe:
- Freeze as individual portions, one serving per each freezer safe zip lock bag or container. Storing individually allows you to reheat as many servings as you wish later.
- However, you can also store the entire recipe. To do this you would simply use a larger freezer safe zip lock bag or container.
- Or, my favorite way to freeze meals is in souper cubes. These cubes are reusable, freezer safe, and store the perfect serving size.
Be sure to remove all the air from the zip lock bags and allow the recipe to cool completely before placing in the freezer. Failing to allow the recipe to cool completely could result in freezer burn.
Be sure to label your frozen meal with the name of the recipe and the date you cooked it. I like to use a piece of masking tape to write on. You don’t want to forget about the delicious recipe you have on hand!
TIPS FOR RE-HEATING AFTER BEING FROZEN:
Going straight from the freezer to the microwave or oven you will want to remove the recipe from the frozen container. You can not microwave zip lock bags, a glass container could crack going from such cold temps to such warm temps, and super cubes are not microwave or oven safe.
- As individual servings or as one large meal, I recommend reheating on the stove and not the microwave. Frozen stew and soup recipes always defrost better this way. Cook in a medium pot at medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the recipe has defrosted and is warmed thru. You may want to add a tiny bit of water to help loosen up the sauce and ingredients. Adding 1 tablespoon at a time. Be careful not to over cook the stew when reheating or your rice will get soft and mushy soaking up too much liquid.
- Or pull from the freezer the night before. Then store in the fridge to defrost overnight. Once defrosted follow the instructions above for reheating from the fridge.
NOTES FOR COUNTING MACROS:
The majority of the protein in this Puerto Rican Asopao, comes from the chicken. You can easily adjust the amount of chicken without changing the flavor of this recipe too much.
- For every 1 ounce of chicken thigh you can increase or decrease the protein macro by 4.8 grams. However it is important to remember that chicken thighs also contain fat, 1 gram per every 1 ounce.
So go ahead, add as much or as little protein as you would like to this recipe. Keeping in mind the amount of fat your macros allow for. You can choose to use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs to reduce the amount of fat, see those notes below.
You can adjusted the amount of carbohydrates based on the amount and/or type of rice you chose to use. For this recipe I used a short grain rice.
To increase the carbs in this recipe you could easily increase the amount of rice.
- For every 45 grams (1/4 cup) there is 36 grams of carbs.
You could double the amount of rice in this recipe without changing the other ingredients. However more than that you will want to add additional water: 1/2 cup of water to every 1/4 cup rice.
To decrease the carbs you can reduce the amount of rice or remove the rice all together.
However, you could choose to use a chickpea rice, or vegetable rice which will have less carbs and more protein. There are so many new types of pasta and rice out there, choose the one you like the best and use the amount that fits your macros goals.
This Puerto Rican Asopao, Chicken and Rice Stew does have a decent about of fat, with a total of 10.7 grams per serving.
The fat in this recipe comes form each of the meats and the oil that everything is cooked in.
The easiest ways to decrease the fat would be to:
- Reduce the amount of oil you’re using. You could reduce this to as little as 1 tsp. This would reduce the fat by 9 grams for the entire recipe.
- Reduce the amount of hard chorizo your using. For every 1 ounce there is 4.5 grams of fat. But remember, you will also be reducing the protein with this ingredient, 7 grams per every ounce.
- You could swap out the chicken thigh for chicken breast. This would increase your protein slightly but remove 16 grams of fat from the entire recipe.
If you are looking to increase the fat, this is the perfect recipe to add a little avocado to! Who doesn’t love avocado?
- For every 35 grams (about 1/4 avocado) there is 5.1 grams of fat. Allowing you to add as much additional healthy fats to this recipes as your heart and macros allow!
If you’re counting macros and making adjustments to this Puerto Rican Asopa recipe you will want to keep in mind the number of servings you are making.
Looking for another stew recipe?
Check out my Pork Shoulder Green Chili Stew recipe.