Be on the lookout for recipes just like this one – ones I wrote down (in a weird combination of English and Spanish shorthand!) this holiday season in my Mom’s Dominican kitchen perched on a plastic white chair as I watched her stir, chop, and simmer. These recipes haven’t been “tested” as we say in the culinary world. Better yet, they’ve been made over and over and over again by Mami for the past 20 years. Feeding my father, myself, and both my younger brothers, these are the recipes I grew up on and I’ve started with one of my favorites: Asopao de Pollo.
Crazy thing is, I’m surprised I even took a photo of this dish, it’s THAT good. Rich and creamy for the tomato sauce, the tiny rice share the bowl with gorgeously moist chicken and when paired with a few slices of fresh avocado, it’s a complete meal and one of the first meals my Mom made M and I when we landed in the Dominican Republic!
Asopao de Pollo can be loosely translated into English as a Dominican version of the Italian risotto, without the endless stirring and the added cheese. More like a stew thicken with rice, tomatoes, and meat. A one pot meal that’s fantastic to have on rainy Dominican days or cold New England nights, it’s a versatile dish that’s easy to adapt with whatever you have in the fridge and pantry.
Try this with all pork, including some spicy sausage; maybe pair the chicken with some rabbit meat for a little added gamey-ness; even better, make this a seafood dish by adding shrimp during the last 10 minutes of cooking!