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Easy Slow-Cooker Chicken Ropa Vieja

When discussing various methods of cooking ropas, a friend of mine told me her sister adds apple juice. I thought a Granny Smith apple might give it an extra kick— and it does. The ropas may be served over hominy or tortillas—however the plantains add a special touch. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 5 hours
  • Makes
    6 Servings


  • 2 medium sweet red peppers, sliced
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup chunky salsa
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5 teaspoons adobo seasoning, divided
  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 to 6 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 ripe plantains, peeled and thinly sliced into thin rounds
  • Hot cooked rice, lime wedges and additional fresh cilantro leaves, optional


  • Place the first 7 ingredients and 1 teaspoon adobo in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Rub the remaining adobo seasoning over chicken; add to slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low until chicken is tender, 5-6 hours. Using 2 forks, shred chicken. Stir in lime juice to taste; heat through.
  • Meanwhile, heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook plantains in batches until tender and golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
  • Serve chicken with plantains using a slotted spoon. If desired, serve with rice, lime wedges and cilantro.
Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 387 calories, 16g fat (7g saturated fat), 96mg cholesterol, 1428mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (20g sugars, 4g fiber), 23g protein.

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Average Rating:
    Oct 3, 2020

    10-02-2020 I made this today for dinner and it was excellent! I substituted (4) thinly sliced chicken breasts for the boneless skinless chicken thighs (which I also like, but decided to use the chicken breasts instead). I slow-cooked the mixture on Low in a 4 qt. slow cooker for 5 hours. The chicken was falling apart and easy to shred. We ate it with warm (no-lard) corn tortilla's with a dollop of sour cream and cilantro on top. Delicious meal!

  • curlylis85
    Dec 10, 2018

    I also couldn't find adobo seasoning, so I substituted in a mixture of salt, pepper, paprika,onion powder, and chili powder. We enjoyed it with the plantain the first night and then ate the leftovers with corn tortillas and on top of baked potatoes.

  • aug2295
    Nov 3, 2018

    Loved these easy way to make a chicken stew. The timing (5 hours) resulted in an awesome texture and the stew had so much flavor but didn't feel too heavy. I thought the apple added just a touch of sweetness. I added some pickled jalapenos because we love a spicy kick.

  • fyree
    Oct 29, 2018

    This was my first time making this recipe and it turned out fantastic. The only problem was I couldn't find Adobo seasoning anywhere, but not to worry, I made one from a recipe on the Internet. I was quite pleased. I did put about twice as much chicken than the recipe called for because I have meat lovers in my household. I will be making this one again

  • Netticus
    Oct 16, 2018

    No comment left