Latin American Cuisine: Arroz Aguado (Nicaraguan Chicken and Rice Stew)

Latin Cuisine

Regional cuisine from Central and South America.


For the soul. [Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]

Arroz aguado is a variation on the traditional Nicaraguan chicken soup, which is laden with an assortment of seasonal vegetables and bone-in chicken pieces. Yerba buena, a more rustic cousin of mint, as well as cilantro are added to the soup, which adds a distinctive note to the soup and differentiates it from American soups.

Arroz aguado translates into "soft rice," and, despite the inclusion of chicken and vegetables, it's the presence of rice that defines the dish and turns it from soup into stew. Rather than add cooked long grain white rice to the soup when it's finished, it is incorporated in the earliest stage of preparation to guarantee rather blown-out, "soft" grains.

This one-pot meal is easy to assemble and more nurturing than a can of chicken noodle soup. Satisfying in its simplicity, and perfect for when you're feeling run down.

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