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Chicken Sofrito Stew

Tender chicken breasts, juicy corn, melt-in-your-mouth potatoes and more mingle with a spicy South American seasoning blend in this cozy Chicken Sofrito Stew! Your taste buds will worship every bite of this soul-warming entree.

Two bowls of stew sitting side by side on a dining table next two a halved lime

Spicy Chicken Stew With Vegetables

I love the feeling of warming up under a soft blanket on a cold winter day. This flavorful stew has that same effect! It’s the kind of healthy comfort food that will make your family members come running as soon as they smell it simmering over the stove.

The chicken, potatoes and carrots are meltingly tender while the zucchini and corn add a tempting burst of freshness. The kale provides a delicate finishing touch – and not to mention, a huge nutritional power-up. All those satisfying textures and flavors are enhanced with a garlicky homemade sofrito that packs the perfect kick of heat.

A small dish of sofrito on a dining table beside some fresh cilantro

What Is Sofrito?

Puerto Rican sofrito is an aromatic mixture of herbs, spices and veggies including garlic, onion, tomato, cilantro and red pepper. While it’s a staple seasoning blend across South America, Europe and the Mediterranean, it’s made a little differently depending on where you are. Since the seasoning mix is particularly popular in Puerto Rico, that’s the version that inspired my Easy Homemade Sofrito.

A yellow onion, a red pepper, a tomato and a baby potato in a bowl with fresh sprigs of cilantro behind it

Recipe Ingredients

You don’t need too many ingredients to make this sumptuous chicken stew happen – just the basic items below. If you’d like to see the associated amounts, scroll down to the printable recipe card.

  • Sofrito: My fail-proof recipe is linked in the section above.
  • Salt: To season the chicken before it’s browned.
  • Olive Oil
  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Organic Chicken Stock: Or vegetable stock.
  • Potatoes: I like to use small red, white or purple potatoes – or a combination of all 3!
  • Carrots: Cut into big chunks.
  • Zucchini: Cut into large pieces.
  • Corn Cobs: Sliced into cobettes about 1 or 2 inches long.
  • Kale: Remove the leaves from the stems and tear them up roughly.
  • Limes & Cilantro: To garnish the stew.

How to Make Chicken Sofrito Stew

If you’re a pretty patient person, you’ll have no problem making this stew. If you’re like me and haven’t quite mastered patience yet, you may go a little crazy – but the end product will be so worth it! Plus, the hands-on work is as minimal as it gets.

  1. Season Chicken: Season the chicken generously with salt.
  2. Heat Oil: Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  3. Brown Chicken: Add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook it until it’s browned. This should only take a few minutes per side.
  4. Add Chicken Stock, Potatoes, Carrots & Sofrito: Add in the chicken stock, potatoes, carrots and sofrito.
  5. Cook: Cook the stew uncovered over low heat for about 1-1 ½ hours, or until the veggies and meat are tender. Add salt to taste if needed.
  6. Shred Chicken: Remove the chicken from the stew and shred it into bite-sized pieces.
  7. Add Remaining Ingredients: Add the zucchini, corn, kale and shredded chicken to the stew about 10 minutes before you serve it.
  8. Enjoy! Ladle the stew into bowls and top each serving with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

A bowl of chicken sofrito stew beside a cloth napkin and two spoons

Tips for Success

The following pieces of advice will guide you toward some seriously yummy sofrito stew. Let’s get cooking!

  • Wash the Veggies: It’s important to rinse off your potatoes, carrots, zucchini and kale to remove any potential dirt or pesticides from the surface of the vegetables. Be sure to dry them off as best you can before you add them to the stew.
  • Brown, Don’t Burn: If you notice that your chicken is browning too fast, you’ll have to turn down the heat a bit. The drippings shouldn’t get too dark in color – this indicates that they’re burning, which means your entire batch of stew could end up with a burnt aftertaste.
  • Timing Is Everything: Make sure you don’t add the zucchini, corn or kale to your stew until about 10 minutes before you serve it. If these ingredients are added while it’s still simmering, they’ll overcook.

What Goes With Chicken Stew?

This hearty stew is unbeatable alongside a crusty loaf of bread for dipping. If you’re looking for a full-blown side dish to pair it with, you can’t go wrong with any of these:

  • Pan-Fried Asparagus: Crispy Italian breadcrumbs and tangy parmesan cheese make this simple Pan-Fried Asparagus an unforgettable munchie. I love how the crunchy brown butter breadcrumbs complement this melt-in-your-mouth stew.
  • Ceviche: This citrusy Seafood Ceviche is a flavorful dish that’s guaranteed to turn heads at the table. It’s easy to make in advance and perfectly suited for this South American stew.
  • Broccoli Salad: Made with crunchy green veggies and a tangy apple chia vinaigrette, this Kale Brussels Sprout Broccoli Salad is more than just a healthy side. It’s a refreshing masterpiece you’ll make over and over again!

A bowl of chicken sofrito stew with another bowl in the background

Storage and Reheating

Once it has more or less reached room temperature, you can transfer your stew to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 5 days. Reheat it over medium-low heat until it’s warmed through, stirring occasionally. You could also microwave individual servings in 30-second intervals, stirring after each one.

Can I Freeze This?

I honestly don’t suggest trying to freeze this soup. A lot of the textures will be ruined after it thaws. Luckily, it stays fresh in the fridge for days.

More Hearty Stew Recipes

A bowl of chicken sofrito stew beside a cloth napkin and two spoons

Chicken Sofrito Stew

Tender chicken breasts, juicy corn, melt-in-your-mouth potatoes and more mingle with a spicy South American seasoning blend in this cozy Chicken Sofrito Stew! Your taste buds will worship every bite of this soul-warming entree.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Servings: 8

Equipment

  • Stove

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups sofrito
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 cups organic chicken stock
  • 1 cup small red, white or purple potatoes or combination of all three
  • 6 carrots cut into big chunks
  • 2 small zucchini or 1 large zucchini, cut into big chunks
  • 2 corn cobs cut into 1-2 inch cobettes
  • 1 bunch kale leaves removed from stems and torn roughly
  • limes and cilantro for serving

Instructions

  • Season the chicken generously with salt. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until browned, a few minutes on each side.
  • Add in the sofrito, chicken stock, potatoes, and carrots. Cook uncovered over low heat for about 1 to 1½ hours. Season and salt to taste.
  • Remove the chicken from the soup, and shred the chicken into bite-size pieces.
  • Ten minutes before serving, add the zucchini, corn, kale, and shredded chicken to the soup.
  • To serve, ladle into bowls and top with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Notes

  • Makes 6-8 servings.
  • To Store: Transfer cooled stew to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  • To Reheat: Reheat stew over medium-low heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally. Individual servings can be microwaved for 30 seconds at a time.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: South American

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