Puerto Rican-Style Chicken Stew with Rice (Asopao)

puerto rican-style chicken stew with rice

This recipe is as simple as it can get when it comes to making Puerto Rican-Style chicken stews (or as we call it in Puerto Rico, asopao de pollo).  Takes me back to when I was a little girl. When my grandmother made this stew everything was right with the world.  Hers used to have green olives in it as well but being that many people do not like it (including my wonderful husband), I did not include it.  You can if you’d like to, everyone has options in life.  🙂

All the ingredients I love are here: chicken, ham, pigeon peas and rice topped off with diced avocados all in a bowl of rich chicken broth!  Let’s not forget the taste of Puerto Rico which we get from the sofrito (PLEASE do yourselves a favor and make your own sofrito and skip the “Goya” prepared brand.  Your taste buds will thank you for it – get that recipe HERE).

And can we talk about how fast we can whip this up?  About 30-35 minutes tops is all you’ll need since you’ll be using leftover white rice –  and you’ll be sitting down to a warm bowl of chicken stew straight from “la Isla”.

Buen Provecho,


Recipe slightly adapted from The Pampered Chef for which I am an Independent consultant.

Serves 1 1/2 cups

Puerto Rican-Style Chicken Stew (Asopao)

With Fall season in full force, enjoy a bowl of Puerto Rican comfort food. This hearty stew is packed with flavor thanks to the absolutely necessary Puerto Rican ingredient: SOFRITO.

10 minPrep Time

29 minTotal Time

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  • 3/4 lb smoked ham
  • 3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (seasoned to your taste)
  • 2 tsp olive oil or canola oil, divided
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 tsps. minced garlic
  • 1 carton (48 oz) chicken broth or chicken stock (about 6 cups)
  • 1 can (8 oz) Spanish-style tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups prepared sofrito (click HERE for recipe)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 can (15 oz) pigeon peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • For Garnish:
  • 2 medium avocados
  • Hot sauce (optional)


  1. Season and marinate chicken with seasonings of your choice (I, of course, use Angie's Adobo, LOL)
  2. Dice ham and chicken into 1/2-inch and 1-inch pieces, respectively.
  3. Heat 1 tsp. of the oil over medium-high heat in an 8 quart stockpot or caldero, for 1-3 minutes or until shimmering. Saute chopped onions and garlic.
  4. Add the diced ham and cook for 2-3 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove diced ham to a separate bowl and add remaining 1 tsp. of oil and the diced chicken to stockpot or caldero.
  5. Cook chicken for 3-4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add in ham, broth, spanish-style tomato sauce and sofrito to stockpot or caldero. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium.
  7. Chop cilantro and oregano; set cilantro aside.
  8. Add oregano, pigeon peas and rice to stew; cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Taste for salt and pepper and add accordingly.
  10. Peel and dice avocados and ladle stew into bowls, top with avocado pieces, cilantro and hot sauce, if desired.