Salpicao (also known as “shredded chicken with bacon” or “chicken salad”) is a popular Spanish-American dish that’s typically prepared by shredding cooked chicken breast into small pieces, mixing them with chopped green bell peppers, onions, black olives, celery, and tomatoes in a bowl, adding salt and pepper, and then topping it all off with crumbled bacon.
This dish is often served on top of white rice or other grains like quinoa or couscous.
This classic dish has been around since at least the 1940s, but its origins lie in Cuba.
It was created by combining two dishes: arroz con pollo (“rice with chicken”), which itself originated from Puerto Rico, and picadillo de Pollo (“chicken stew”).
The name salpicao comes from the word “salpicar,” which means to sprinkle salt on something.
The first written reference to this dish dates back to 1945, when an article in El Mundo called “Picada de Salmón y Arroz” featured recipes for both chicken and shrimp salads using different toppings.
In 1958, the New York Times printed a recipe for “Shrimp Salad with Chicken” — though without any mention of bacon.
By 1964, however, the Times had added bacon to their version, citing it as one of the most popular Cuban dishes in America.
In 1965, Esquire magazine ran an article about how Americans were starting to embrace Latin cuisine.
One of the items they mentioned as being very popular among American Latinos was salpicao, saying, “It’s just what we call ‘fried chicken’ here.” While there have been many variations throughout the years, one thing remains consistent: The dish always features some type of shredded chicken tossed with vegetables, and topped with crumbled bacon.
But while this may be true, the exact combination of ingredients changes depending on where you live.
Some versions include diced ham instead of bacon, others add fresh herbs like cilantro and parsley, and some even use ground turkey or beef instead of chicken.
And if you’re looking for more variety, check out these creative ways to prepare salpicao.
What Is The Recipe For Salpicao?
Recipe Name: Salpicao
Ingredients: 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 large ripe tomato, cut into wedges
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 cup minced scallions
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 head butter lettuce leaves
Cherry tomatoes, quartered
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dice chicken into bite sized chunks.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until hot.
Add chicken and cook 2 minutes per side.
Remove chicken from pan and place in a shallow baking dish.
Season with salt and pepper.
Bake 10 minutes.
Add remaining olive oil to same skillet and sauté onion until soft.
Add seasonings and mix well.
Cook 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
Turn down heat to low and stir in tomato wedges and bell pepper slices.
Cover and let simmer 8 minutes.
Remove lid and continue to cook 5 minutes so flavors develop.
Stir in scallion bits and remove from heat.
Transfer mixture to a serving platter and arrange chicken on top.
Garnish with cherry tomatoes and serve immediately.
How Do You Make Salpicao?
To prepare salpicao, you’ll need to start by cutting up your chicken.
You should buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts because this will ensure that everything cooks evenly.
Next, dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Then, combine the diced chicken with the rest of the ingredients except the lettuce in a bowl.
Mix thoroughly before transferring the contents to a plate.
Top the chicken salad with lettuce leaves and garnish with bacon bits and cherry tomatoes.
What Are The Ingredients For Salpicao?
You’ll want to purchase a whole chicken breast, preferably with bone-in.
It makes the process easier! After buying chicken, you’ll also need some veggies.
Cut up a bunch of green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and yellow onion.
If you’d prefer not to chop up your own veggies, you could always buy pre-cut ones.
Lastly, you’ll need some basic spices like salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
These are really important to give the finished product the right amount of taste.
For the dressing, you’ll need extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and kosher salt.
To finish things off, you’ll probably want to grate some parmesan cheese on top.
However, if you don’t want to go through the trouble of making Parmesan yourself, you could always order some online.
How Long Does It Take To Make Salpicao?
Depending on the size of your chicken breasts, it shouldn’t take too much time to complete this recipe.
For the best results, try to keep things moving along as quickly as possible.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Salpicao?
Salpicao is pretty healthy overall. Most nutritionists agree that it contains high amounts of vitamin A, B vitamins, iron, calcium, zinc, niacin, and riboflavin. On average, each portion provides approximately 200 calories, 11 grams of fat, 24 milligrams of cholesterol, and 12 grams of carbohydrates.
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Salpicao?
This dish is great for people who enjoy spicy foods.
According to the Mayo Clinic, chili peppers contain capsaicin, which helps reduce pain caused by arthritis and other conditions.
They also provide antioxidants that help prevent cancer cells from growing.
Chili peppers are rich in Vitamin C and fiber, which helps strengthen teeth and bones.
Capsicum, another common ingredient found in chili peppers, is thought to protect against heart disease.
On the flipside, consuming excess amounts of raw chili peppers can cause stomach upset, dizziness, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea.
So please remember to only consume moderate quantities of this delicious dish.
What Are The Side Effects Of Eating Salpicao?
There aren’t actually any serious side effects associated with eating salpicao.
While some people report feeling slightly nauseous after taking part in this meal, it’s generally nothing to worry about.
Is Salpicao Good For You?
Many health experts consider salpicao to be a healthy alternative to traditional fast food options.
Plus, it tastes amazing!
Why Is Salpicao Good For You?
As previously stated, salpicao is packed full of nutrients that benefit your body.
Not only does it contain plenty of vitamin A, but it also has lots of B vitamins and minerals such as potassium and copper.
Other than those, it also offers a lot of antioxidants that work hard to combat free radicals in our bodies.
Another reason why salpicao is considered good for us is because it doesn’t involve animal products.
People who avoid meats due to ethical concerns will find this dish to be a welcome substitute.
How Can I Make Salpicao Healthier?
If you’re looking to improve your diet, you might want to experiment with replacing some of the fatty ingredients with leaner alternatives.
For example, you could replace the bacon with some grilled chicken or even skip it altogether.
Or, you could swap the olive oil for avocado oil, which is higher in monounsaturated fats.
Or maybe you want to change up the vegetables used in the dish.
Instead of using standard green bell pepper, you could try orange bell pepper or red bell pepper.
You could also toss in some spinach or kale instead of the regular lettuce.
Finally, you might want to opt for a different veggie altogether.
Try cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, corn, mushrooms, eggplant, or squash instead! And lastly, you could always choose to omit certain ingredients entirely.
You could leave out the chicken, for instance, or you could eliminate the bacon completely.
Just know that the end result won’t necessarily be better for you, so you’ll have to decide whether that’s worth compromising on the quality of the dish.
Have you ever eaten salpicao?
What did you think?
Let us know in the comments below!
- 1 Pan
- 1 Mortar
- 1 Pestle
- 1 ½ lbs. beef tenderloin cubed
- 1 head garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic.
- In a pan, combine the garlic and olive oil. Turn on your stove and adjust the heat to low to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic turns golden brown.
- Remove the fried garlic and oil from the pan and set them aside. Place aside.
- Combine the beef, salt, ground black pepper, olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce in a mixing bowl. Combine thoroughly. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
- Warm up a clean pan. Sear the marinated beef in a hot pan until the sides are browned.
- Add oyster sauce and butter to taste. Remaining butter should be saved for later use. Cook for another 3 minutes.
- Combine the remaining butter, fried garlic, and parsley in a mixing bowl. Cook until the liquid has completely evaporated.
- Place on a serving plate. Serve over rice. Please share and enjoy!