Growing up in Florida, I had so many friends who were Cuban. I ate A LOT of Cuban food made by loving Abuelas. Foods like, Arroz con pollo, platinos, black beans and rice, and Ropa Vieja. I am so in love with Cuban food and culture. When Mario Specialty Foods asked us to help them create some memorable Olive recipes, this one popped in my head! Ropa Vieja means old clothes in Spanish and is supposed to look messy and kind of like a pile of old clothes. It’s traditionally made with beef, which is absolutely delicious. But I decided to clean it up a little and make it with chicken breast. Also, I thought I could try to take some of the mystique out of Cuban cooking by making this a slow cooker recipe. I put this in last night before I went to bed (late, but still) around 11:30 and when we woke up this morning our house was filled with a delicious aroma of tomato, peppers and yumminess! I also made a quick black beans and rice (Made with brown rice but could also be done with quinoa. I’ll post that recipe soon, I promise.)
To start, I made a tomato sauce from scratch by throwing about 25 campari tomatoes in to a stock pot with a splash of olive oil and cooking them down until they were all broken apart. Then I used my food mill to get the seed and skins out. Then I let it simmer for a couple of hours until it thickened. I added a dash of salt and then put it in an airtight container to store until it was ready for the slow cooker. For the Ropa Vieja, I literally just added all the ingredients except the olives and cilantro to the slow cooker and set it to low for 10 hours. Then I removed the chicken, shredded it and then returned it to the slow cooker along with the olives and cilantro. Serve it with a lime wedge, because a squeeze of lime juice on top of this is SO yummy. It’s just not the same without it.
I’d like to thank Mario Specialty Food for the Olives for this dish. They were simply perfect!
Local Ingredient: Hydroponically Grown Tomatoes from a Local Farm.
Fresh Tomatoes for Homemade Sauce
Food Mill to Remove Seeds and Skin
Ropa Vieja IngredientsSee the beautiful jar of homemade sauce!
Ropa Vieja in the Slow Cooker
Shredding the Chicken
FlavorFUL Ropa Vieja!Enjoy!
2 Cubanelles or Cuban Sweet Peppers, seeded and sliced
1 Onion, diced
2 cups Tomato Sauce (homemade is best or plain jarred tomato puree sauce)
2 tablespoons Organic Tomato Paste
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 Bay Leaf
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns
3-4 Organic Skinless Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup Mario Pimento Stuffed Olives, coarsly chopped leaving a few whole for garnish
A handful of Cilantro
1 Lime, cut into wedges
- Add the peppers, onion, tomato sauce, tomato paste, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, cumin, bay leaf, salt, and peppercorns to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- Place the chicken breasts on top. Flip once to coat with the tomato mixture.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Remove the chicken and shred with two forks. Return chicken to slow cooker.
- Add the Mario olives and cilantro.
- Serve with a lime wedge.
it looks lovely. What is the side dish you use on the pic? Rice with some red beans? Can you please put the recipe for it also?
That is a quick black beans and rice I made to go with it. It was super easy. I haven’t posted that recipe yet but I can give you the quick and dirty here! 🙂
1 cup brown rice or quinoa
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 a cubanelle pepper, seeded and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
2 cans organic black beans(drained and rinsed) or 16 oz freshly soaked black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
First put the peppers, onion, garlic, cumin in a pot with the water. Heat over medium high heat. About 6-7 minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for about 40 minutes or until the rice is tender.
It’s that simple! I’ll post the recipe here sometime in the next few weeks. Enjoy!