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Chicken Ropa Vieja

May 11, 2011

Papi’s is a great Cuban restaurant near my work and I love their grilled chicken wraps full of mustardy mojo sauce.

chicken ropa vieja sandwiches

When I saw this recipe for chicken ropa vieja, I decided to try creating a variation of that sandwich with this filling in a tortilla spread with a mixture of mayo and Dijon mustard, sprinkled with a cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese mixture and grilled hot in a pan.  The results were really, really good.  The Dijon adds a tangy sharpness that’s mellowed out by the flavorful ropa vieja.  Plus it’s a great weeknight meal if you make the chicken ahead of time.  Served with rice and beans, it’s a complete meal.  You can also use the ropa vieja on top of a salad with corn, black beans and chopped tomato.  Maybe some avocado to make it extra special.  This recipe was based on one from Gina’s Skinny Taste and serves 4-6.


For the ropa vieja:

3 chicken breast halves, with bones

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 T olive oil

1 small green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

1 small red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

1/4 c dry white wine

1/2 c tomato sauce

reserved broth

1 t cumin, or more to taste

1/4 t garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

For the sandwiches:

1 c shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack mixture

2 T mayonnaise

2 T Dijon mustard

4 flour tortillas, burrito size


Place chicken, carrot, and 2 cloves of garlic into a pot.  Add water to cover, and bring to a simmer.  Cook at a slow simmer for for 30-40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken to a plate, reserving broth, and allow to cool until it can be handled.  Shred the chicken into strips using a fork and set aside.

In a large deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, green peppers, and red peppers.  Cook about 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in the chicken, tomato sauce, white wine, and about 3/4 cup of the reserved broth to create a sauce. Season with cumin, garlic powder salt, and pepper.  Cover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes more adding more broth and seasoning if needed.

To make the sandwiches, preheat a non-stick pan over medium high heat.  Place a tortilla flat on the counter and spread with some of the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and sprinkle with a handful of cheese.  Spread about 3/4 c to 1 c of the chicken mixture on top and roll closed.

Spray hot pan with cooking spray and place 2 sandwiches, seam side down, in the pan.  Place another pan on top of the sandwiches so it’s pressing them down, then put some soup cans on top of the pan to weigh it down.  Cook sandwiches for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown (reduce heat if it browns too quickly), then flip the sandwiches over and cook until golden brown on the other side.   Serve immediately.

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