Have you ever tried a Cuban sofrito recipe? One night, I wasn’t sure what I was going to make for dinner, but I had some inspiration from a Cuban sofrito recipe that I saw that was made on the Food Network. When I got to the kitchen, I realized that I didn’t have many of the ingredients that I wanted. This recipe still turned out to be a winner! Since we are pinching pennies, hubby has wanted me to make things that can last a few days. I know you can do this and still eat healthy, but, I’ve been spoiled lately from when I was able to make things fresh everyday. So, I came up with this recipe and for us 2, the recipe has lasted about 3 days so far. Some aspects of this recipe is a lot healthier than some others like it, so I hope you will try it and enjoy!
1 minced onion
1 green pepper
1-3 tablespoons Garlic Powder
1-3 tablespoons Cumin
Approximately 2 Cups of Low sodium or homemade chicken stock
1 1/2 Cans of Prego Tomato Sauce
Approximately 1 pound of black beans
2 cans of sweet corn
12 chicken drumsticks
2 Cups Whole Grain Brown Rice
(Note about the ingredients: You can use minced garlic cloves, and different color peppers. Also, the type of chicken that you use and the amount can vary. It is up to you. This is what I love about Cuban sofrito. It is a basic recipe, but you can add what you want to it. I used what I had at the time.)
1) I made my black beans beforehand. I follow the instructions on the bag I buy. Typically, I put the amount I want in pan, cover with water and bring them to a boil. After that I let them sit for an hour. Then I rinse them and put them in a pan again with water so they can boil for about 40-50 minutes. This is called the quick soak method. (No worries, similar instructions will be on a bag of beans you buy.
2) When I am ready to start the sofrito, I preheat the oven to 375 degrees to prepare it for the chicken. I clean it and season it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, cumin and parsley. I’m liberal with the seasonings except the salt because the chicken will be added into the sofrito which will already have salt in it.
3) Once the chicken has been in the oven for about 20 minutes (I cook it for a full hour), I start the brown rice in a pan and the sofrito in a separate large pot. Follow the instructions to make the rice on the box or bag. For the sofrito, I put in the pepper and onion in a large pot. I cooked this with butter because that was all we had. You can use extra virgin olive oil which is what I would have used if we had any. Once they are tender but not charred, I add in garlic and cumin seasonings. I am liberal with these two seasonings. You can always add more later if you think it needs it. I mixed it together and add in the tomato sauce. Stir everything together and then I add in the chicken stock. Add salt and pepper to taste. I let this simmer on very low heat.
4) Once the chicken is finished, (it could probably cook for another 10 minutes in the oven), but we are going to add it to the sofrito. I added 6 to my pot. That’s about what it could fit comfortably. If you have a deep pot that is large enough, you should be able to fit in more drumsticks. This will depend on how many people you have to feed at once. We were fine with preparing 6 drumsticks one night and then making the other 6 the next night. So once you have the chicken in the sofrito, bring it to a slight boil and then let it simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. At this point, I add in the beans and the corn (right from the can) and I let everything simmer for about 10 more minutes.
Yields 8-12 servings
P.S. An added bonus to this recipe is this: when you are ready to store it and serve the next day, you can typically add malta (latin non-alcoholic beer) or more chicken stock like I did in order to loosen up the sauce. After we finished the chicken in two days, we decided not to add any stock and just put it over rice and sprinkle a little sharp cheddar cheese on top and just heat it in the microwave. It was like a Cuban chili! It was so tasty!