It seems like every cuisine has a version of chicken soup — and for good reason! It might be the ultimate comfort food. Try this version from Puerto Rico, full of Caribbean flavors, which was showcased at the 2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
1/2 tablespoon culantro (see Cook’s Notes below)
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 cup Spanish olives
1/2 cup green pepper
1/2 cup roasted red pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Asopao de Pollo Ingredients:
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup sofrito
1/2 cup sliced Spanish olives
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup uncooked white rice
8 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped culantro (see Cook’s Notes below)
Coarse salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until very finely chopped. Set aside.
Asopao de Pollo Instructions:
1. Heat oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs and sofrito; saute until chicken is seared on the outside.
2. Add olives, roasted peppers, tomato paste and bay leaves, and saue, stirring, for 3 minutes.
3. Add white wine, stirring to combine. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add rice and chicken stock.
4. Simmer soup until chicken and rice are cooked. Remove chicken thighs, and transfer to a cutting board. Chop or shred chicken into small pieces, and return to the pot.
5. Stir in culantro, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Cook’s Note: Culantro is an herb very similar in flavor to cilantro. It is available in Asian or Latin American grocery stores. Cilantro may be substituted.
This recipe has been converted from a larger quantity in the restaurant kitchens. The flavor profile may vary from the restaurant’s version.
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