Panamanian Spicy Stewed Chicken

Serves 4 to 6

This super-flavorful stew features whole chicken pieces simmered in tomato sauce with fiery peppers and tender chunks of yuca. Yuca is classic in Central American cooking, but you can substitute a waxy potato like Yukon Gold.


  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons expeller-pressed canola oil
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 ½ cups canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes with liquid (about 1 ½ [28-ounce] cans)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile pepper
  • 1 large (5-pound) chicken, cut into 10 serving pieces (save wings for another use), skin removed
  • 1 ¼ pounds yuca, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 2 yellow or orange bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro


Heat a large heavy pot over medium heat. Mound sugar in the center and pour oil over it. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar starts to caramelize and turn brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in green onions and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and salt.

Wearing gloves to protect your skin, halve chile and use a spoon to scrape out and discard seeds. Mince half of the chile and add it to the pot. Simmer 20 minutes. Taste the sauce; if you would like more heat, mince remaining chile and add all or some of it to the pot. Add chicken and yuca, stirring them into the sauce. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Turn the chicken pieces. Place bell peppers, parsley and cilantro on top of the stew, cover, and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through and yuca is tender, 25 to 30 minutes more.

Per serving: 440 calories (80 from fat), 9g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 70mg cholesterol, 340mg sodium, 63g total carbohydrate (5g dietary fiber, 14g sugar), 25g protein

Dairy free, Gluten free, High fiber, Wheat free

Special diet notes are included, but always check product labels for changes.


Easy Coconut Rice

Serves 6

Spruce up ordinary white rice with creamy coconut milk and a dash of sugar for a unique side dish that pairs well with spicy curry or grilled veggies. Be sure to stir the pot frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom.


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups white rice
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt


Melt coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add rice and stir to evenly coat with oil. Add coconut milk, 1 cup water, sugar and salt, and stir to combine. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 320 calories (150 from fat), 16g total fat, 14g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium, 41g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 1g sugar), 5g protein

Dairy free, Gluten free, Sugar conscious, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wheat free.

Special diet notes are included, but always check product labels for changes.


Panamanian Papaya Salad


  • 1 whole papaya
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 dash chili powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


Cut papaya in half lengthwise and then peel each section and scoop out the seeds in the middle. Cut into small, bite-size pieces; set aside in a medium bowl. Whisk together cilantro, oil, paprika, cumin and chili powder, and drizzle over papaya. Add salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!