Puerto Rican Sancocho de Pollo

Hey doll hey!! How’s your day/night going? Great I hope. On today’s menu is a staple in the Latino household for cool and rainy days…. Sancocho (pronounced: saan/kow/chow). It’s basically a root vegetable stew that many Latinos add some sort of meat and either rice or vermicelli (a traditional type of pasta round in section similar to spaghetti, but thinner in diameter which in spanish we call fideo). Every family makes this a bit diffrent … just like with any other traditional dish that is handed down from generation to generation, I’ve adapted mine to suit my family’s likes and dislikes. Typically I use fideo in my Sancocho but I ran out and didn’t feel well enough to run out and get some so I used rice this time and my husband also decided he wanted chicken so instead of beef … I made Sacocho de Pollo (pronouced: saan/kow/chow , day, poh/yo). Pollo is chicken in Spanish. I thought it might be fun to throw some Spanish words into this blog to maybe help you learn a few thing in Spanish… Hope you don’t mind.  Also I included a few bonus recipes in this post to try out.  This recipe is for 4 servings plus a bit left over for a thicker stew for tomorrow’s lunch (because of the rice the soup will thicken over night).
So… let’s get started ….

1. Start by prepping you meat selection … there should be 1 piece of meat per person you are making this dish for. If you are making a Chicken you need to debone and peel off the skin as well (you can leave it on but that results in a very greasy stew). 
2. cut the meat into bite sized pieces
3. set a side while you prep the rest of the pot.
Remember Chicken is Pollo (Poh/Yo)
You’ll need a 5 quart stock pot (excuse the mess in the background … this picture is recycled from my Homemade Sofrito  blog post because I forgot to take a picture of the pot today and making Sofrito can get very messy).
In Spanish we call this a caldero (Cal/Deh/Row)
1. To the stock pot add 2 tables spoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (you can substitute avocado oil if you don’t have olive oil).  
2. set the heat on high and heat up the oil
1. Once the oil is hot add a heaping 1/2 cup of Sofrito (remember you can make your own and it will make the soup be so much yummier … see Homemade Sofrito  for a walk-through on how to make it … I’ve even included a recipe on how to make a smaller amount just in case you don’t want to commit to a 1/2 years worth of this delicious base )
2. cook the Sofrito, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
1. Next add 1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce and allow to come to a boil. 
2. Next add your prepared meat that you set aside and cook until the meat is semi cooked through (I typically cook it for around 3 to 4 minutes.)
1. Next add 4 Tablespoons of Adobo All Purpose Seasoning to the stock pot
NOTE: If you don’t have Adobo on hand it’s OK … here’s how to make some homemade Adobo just mix together equal parts of : Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, Salt, Oinion Powder, Oreagano, and if you want to get fancy add an equal part of Tumeric. Store it in a salt or pepper shaker.
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1. Next add 4 Tablespoons Garlic Powder (I actually use 6 tablespoons because we love a really garlicy taste to our Sancocho)
1. Next add 6 Tablespoons of Tomato Boulinon with Chicken Flavor
1. Next add 7 Tablesoons of Chicken Flavored Boulinon
1. Next add 2 teaspoons of Cumin
1. Next add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of Salt (we use 2 Tablespoons because we add extra water to our bowls to cool the stew down some)
1. Next add 2 Tablespoons of Black Pepper (my husband likes his Sancocho to have a kick so I use 2 Tablespoons…. but really 1 Tablespoon is all you really need)
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1. Next add your viandas … Bi/An/Das (root vegetables )…. for this dish you will need
1 malanga … MA/LAN/GA (toro root)- Peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces PER PERSON
2 cups calabaza … KA/LA/Ba/Za (pumpkin)
1 platano … Plah/Tah/NO (plantain) Peeled and cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces PER PERSON
1 corn on the cob (cut into 1 inch pieces) PER EVERY 2 PEOPLE (I know how to say Corn on the Cob in Spanish it’s maíz en la mazorca but I couldn’t figure out how to anunciate it for you)
1 batata …. Bah/Tah/Tah (sweet potato) Peeled and cut into roughly 2 inch peices PER PERSON
1 Yuca … You/Ka (I think this is called Cassava in English) Peeled and cut into roughly 1 to 2 inch peices (add 1 more Yuca per every 4 people if you are making this for more than 4 people)
*NOTE* I suck at picking viandas so I cheat a little and buy a frozen 4 pound bag of Sancocho mix at my local Spanish supermarket … I’ve also seen this bag sold at Save-A-Lot stores too. It’s not as yummy when you use the bagged mix… as with all dishes fresh root vegtables will always turn your dish up a notch.
1. Next add 9 cups of water to the stock pot.
1. Next add 5 full bay leaves (remember to remove these before you serve the Sancocho)
1. Next add 1 packet of Sazon
*Note if you can’t find Sazon you can make your own by combining 1 Tablespoon of Ground Cilantro (corriander),Ground Cumin, Salt, Garlic Powder, and ground achiote seeds… Ah/Chow/Tay (I grind my own in a small coffee grinder) (I beileve this is called Annatto seeds) and 2 teaspoons of Oregano, black pepper, and oinion powder
1. Bring the stew to a boil and cook for 1 hour (or until all the root vegetables are fork tender)
2. Add an aditional 3 cups of water and bring once again to a boil
3. Next add 2/3 cup to 1 full cup of white rice and cook on high for an additonal 45 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.
4. Once the soup is ready add an additional 2 cups of water, remove the bay leaves and serve .
*NOTE* we add about 1/2 cup more water to our bowls so that we can eat straight away without burning our mouths … this is not necisary … just remember if you do not plan to do this then only use 1 Tablespoon of salt so the soup doesn’t come out salty.


I like to serve my Sancochos with a side of Puerto Rican Arepas (Puerto Rican Fried Bread) and this is one thing I never knew how to make on my own… the recipe I use is the Puerto Rican Arepas Recipe by Tablespoon.com. I love to dip the Arepas into the broth… I also love these warm in the morning with eggs and Puerto Rican frying cheese.

Well that’s all for now dolls. I hope you liked this recipe. It was hard to do because I had to measure out the ingredients instead of just pouring them straight away into the stock pot and just eye balling it as I normally do but it was fun to put together this recipe for you and if you do try it … shoot me a message letting me know how you liked it.

I hope you have a great rest of your day/night and that you are in good spirits and health.

Remember dolls … Save a spoon for a bit of lipstick.