Chicken Ropa Vieja Recipe -
Chicken Ropa Vieja Recipe

Chicken Ropa Vieja

Recipe by  

"Ropa Vieja is a mainstay of the Cuban-American diet. It's traditionally made with skirt steak, a stringy cut of meat with the poetic name fajita (girdle) in Spanish. This recipe uses chicken breast and is fantastic; the leftovers are even better. It is wonderful served with white rice and fried plantains or a pineapple-coconut slaw."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    40 mins
  • COOK

    45 mins

    1 hr 25 mins


  1. Place chicken, onion, tomato, carrot, and 2 cloves of garlic into a large pot. Add water to cover, then bring to a boil. Skim and discard the foam that has floated to the surface. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered until the chicken is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Place the chicken into a bowl and shred it into strips as thick as a pencil; set aside. Strain the cooking liquid and discard the vegetables.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, onions, green peppers, and red peppers. Cook and stir until the vegetables have softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in tomato puree, white wine, chicken, and enough of the reserved broth to create a thick sauce. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Simmer for about 5 minutes more to reduce the sauce slightly and coat the shredded chicken.
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  • Cooks Note
  • The chicken breasts may be cooked in a slow cooker, covered, on High for 3 to 4 hours.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Mar 26, 2008

I am the author of this recipe. I agree with one of the reviews, stating that it came out bland. I always add 2-3 tbsp cumin - hence "to taste".

Most Helpful Critical Review
Sep 27, 2007

this was ok, it needs a lot more flavor...I added some salsa at the end and it helped

May 15, 2008

My boyfriend really enjoyed this recipe, but only after I added lots of Adobo seasoning, garlic powder, and cumin after I tasted it. I still feel that it is a really great base recipe, and a great idea to use healthier chicken breast as opposed to steak. I am making it again tonight!

Sep 28, 2007

I doubled the sauce portion of this recipe and served it with black beans and rice and fried plantains. It turned out great!

Nov 12, 2013

I love love loved it, my kids devoured it. I did add a little adobo, but other than that, a favorite for my family. Great recipe, thank you =)

Apr 29, 2013

I have made this recipe twice now. The first time I followed the directions verbatim, and it was okay. The second time I made it for a baby shower and decided to add some some extra flavor to it. I tripled the garlic that is added to it the second part of the recipe and for the tomato puree I used a can of Rotel and just pureed it in the food processor. I also bumped up the cumin A LOT, also added Adobo seasoning to taste and used a little white pepper. I made 6 lbs and left with an empty dish. It was amazing. Thank you so much for the recipe.

Oct 14, 2012

This was delicious. I threw the chicken and veggies in corckpot and cooked for 4 hours. Did the rest on the stove. I did add 2-3 T of cumin and added nearly a whole can of tomato puree. Served this with white rice and baked plantain chips.. yumyum Will make again. easy dinner

Apr 26, 2010

This was a real disappointment because it was so bland- tasted like chicken in tomato sauce. I assume the menu really called for tomato paste, and not puree, since paste mixed with the broth might at least have given the sauce more body. We doctored it as best we could with more cumin and cuban hot sauce, but this really wasn't very flavorful.


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  • Calories
  • 291 kcal
  • 15%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 10.6 g
  • 3%
  • Cholesterol
  • 88 mg
  • 29%
  • Fat
  • 10.6 g
  • 16%
  • Fiber
  • 2.4 g
  • 9%
  • Protein
  • 34.7 g
  • 69%
  • Sodium
  • 151 mg
  • 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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