As I mentioned in my previous post about Beef Stew, I love fricase de pollo or chicken stew. It has a savory and sweet mix that I find very comforting. I loved eating this at home in Puerto Rico and used to add tostones and avocado slices to my plate.
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Avocados at home taste bit different than here and looked very different from avocados at the store. The stores sometimes bring an avocado from Costa Rica that is similar to the ones in Puerto Rico if you want to try it with avocados. This recipe is what I crave when is rainy and wet outside. It will make my day better instantly. I will forget the traffic, the road construction and the not having Piñones close by.
White Rice Goes with Everything
I took the opportunity to introduce the white rice recipe as part of this chicken stew recipe. I have used white rice for pastelon and beef stew, but this is my favorite recipe so I wanted to introduce white rice here. I also recommend you to try pegao. Some people may think Puerto Ricans are crazy for loving the pegao, but it’s like crackling. It’s crunchy, savory and just delicious. I also love the white rice with fat backs, but that deserves its own post. It has great memories of my Grandma, May Justina, cooking in her fogón.
Even though I don’t cook rice as frequent as before, most of my doctors in Texas have told me to layoff the rice at one point or another. It doesn’t matter how much I tell them I don’t eat that much rice. One of them, who is also Puerto Rican, chuckled when I said I don’t eat that much rice and told me it was embedded in Puerto Rican blood and don’t try to deny it. LOL Maybe white rice love is like the famous “mancha de plátano”, you have it and can’t deny it. It’s there, right on your face and doesn’t matter what skin shade you are, if you are Puerto Rican, you have it.
Whole30 Variation: For those trying to eliminate rice, I recommend cauliflower rice. It’s not the same as rice, but with proper seasoning it can be really tasty and healthy. I have performed this recipe with complaint ingredients, including using coconut oil. You can use refined coconut oil for less flavor or light tasting olive oil, which I have also used for stews.
I hope you all enjoy this recipe. Did you like the recipe? What would you change? Please leave me your comments and feedback below. I would love to get your feedback.
- 1 chicken (3-4lbs) cut in pieces and without skin
- 1 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt for chicken seasoning
- 4 cloves garlic for chicken seasoning
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano for chicken seasoning
- 1/8 tsp black pepper for chicken seasoning
- 1 tsp vinegar for chicken seasoning
- 1 tbsp oil for chicken seasoning
- 1/2 cup grape juice
- 1/2 cup sofrito chunky style, not liquid
- 1 tbsp oil
- 4 oz red pimientos in liquid, small jar
- 1/2 cup pickled ham rinsed and cut in small pieces
- 6 stuffed olives chopped small
- 2 laurel leaves
- 1-1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 3 potatoes cut in quarters
- 3 carrots peeled and sliced
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt or to taste
- 1 tsp oil or fat of your preference
- 3 cups rice short or medium grain
- Wash, skin and cut the chicken in pieces.
- In a mortar or pilon, add the salt, garlic cloves, dried oregano, and black pepper. Mash the ingredients until a paste is formed. Add the oil and vinegar to this mix and season the chicken pieces with it.
- Once the chicken has been seasoned, add ingredients from the grape juice to the laurel leaves and leave marinating for 3hrs or more.
- After marinating the chicken, transfer all the ingredients to a pot and add the chicken broth. Start cooking in medium heat for an hour.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, and tomato sauce about 30 minutes into the cooking process and continue cooking for another 20 to 30 minutes until potatoes are cooked.
- Instant Pot Alternative: Add all the ingredients to the instant pot up to the laurel leaves. Turn the saute function and add the extra 1 tbsp of oil to it and cook the chicken for 5 minutes moving constantly. After sauteing the ingredients, add the chicken broth, tomato sauce, halves potatoes and carrots, and cook for 20 minutes in the meat setting. Note: The potatoes and carrots may be too soft if you add them to the instant pot at the beginning. I usually cooked everything but the potatoes and carrots. I boil these on the stove separate or just leave them in the instant pot cut in halves instead of quarters like I mentioned in the instruction above.
- Add all the white rice ingredients to a pot, stir and set to cook at medium high heat until it starts boiling.
- Once boiling, reduced the heat to medium until the water is almost gone.
- With a big spoon, move rice by scooping and turning so the bottom of the rice is now the top of the rice until the entire pot has been changed. Put the lid on and cook for 15 minutes at medium low to low heat.
- Scoop the rice using the process above and changing the bottom of the rice to the top, cover again and cook for another 15 minutes. Repeat until rice is cooked.
- I normally test the rice hardness by biting a grain after moving the rice. I like the rice “granoso” / loose, not sticky sushi style so I usually do 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of water for medium grain. You can use the proportions from the bag if using a different grain size. If you prefer a softer rice, then add 1/2 cup of water to the rice.
- I like “pegao” which is the burnt rice at the bottom of the pot. I don’t always make pegao and using the instant pot or rice cooker is not good for pegao. If you like pegao or want to try making pegao, use a heavy bottom pot for rice making and leave it for a few extra minutes over the heat. Watch it carefully cause it can go from pegao to the whole thing burnt in a matter of minutes.
- If your rice smells like burnt rice or smoked, remove from the heat, cover the rice with wet napkins, and add sliced onions on top of the napkins. Cover it for 15-20 minutes then remove the napkins and onions, and move the rice to a new pot or bowl without disturbing the burnt bottom too much.
Yumm yummm aguacate es el complemento perfecto!!