I grew up in a diverse neighborhood in New York City, and as it happens, my best friend, nephew, son-in-law and grandsons are of full or half Puerto Rican descent. As a result, I’ve been fortunate enough to have enjoyed some fabulously delicious Puerto Rican dishes. I’m still learning but I’ve been able to get a few of them down pat. This one-dish wonder is one of my favorites. The dish will be absolutely delicious with or without the cilantro — but it looks prettier with. — L. Weal
2 tablespoons olive oil
1—2 pounds chicken thighs, legs, wings
1 tablespoon adobo
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons sofrito
3/4 teaspoon sazón
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 medium potatoes, chopped
1—2 carrots, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup sliced olives with pimiento, or alcaparrado
5-quart pot, with lid
1. Pour oil into pot and set flame to medium. Season chicken pieces, on both sides, with Adobo.
2. When oil is hot, place chicken into the pot and cook about 4 minutes per side. When chicken is browned, take it out and set it aside.
3. Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, sofrito, Sazon, cumin, potatoes, and carrots to the pot and stir.
4. When mixture begins to bubble, put the chicken back into the pot and turn pieces to coat with the sauce.
5. Turn heat down to medium-low and cover. Simmer 20—25 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are fork tender and chicken is cooked through.
NOTES & TIPS
• For best results, use legs and thighs with bone in and skin on. Legs and thighs are juicier and meatier than chicken breasts which can get dry if cooked too long. If chicken thighs are large, cut them in half before cooking.
• Try not to crowd chicken as crowding may prevent even browning. Brown the pieces in batches if necessary.
• If using cilantro and olives, add to pot about five minutes before serving and stir well while the stew is still hot.
• Serve over hot white or yellow rice.