This Dominican Chicken Recipe with Sofrito and Sazon dish is made with a whole chicken, sazon completa, adobo, sofrito and braised to perfection!
At the heart of Dominican cuisine is the iconic Dominican Chicken, prepared in various styles and with a multitude of flavors. Whether it's Pollo Guisado, Pollo Asado, or Pollo al Horno, each recipe carries a unique blend of herbs, spices, and techniques that elevate the humble chicken to extraordinary heights.
If you are looking to make a Caribbean style meal, you need to make this chicken. By the time it is done, it is so moist and soft that the chicken falls off the bone. You can pair this dish with rice, beans and tostones!
- What is this Dominican Chicken Recipe?
- Why you will love this recipe
- Dominican Chicken Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Dominican Chicken
- What to serve with Dominican Chicken
- Dominican Chicken Recipe Variations
- How to store my Dominican Chicken Recipe
- Dominican Chicken Recipe Top tips
- Dominican Chicken with Sofrito and Sazon
- Food safety
What is this Dominican Chicken Recipe?
The term "Dominican chicken recipe" refers to a variety of dishes featuring chicken that are popular in the Dominican Republic, a country located in the Caribbean. Dominican cuisine often incorporates vibrant flavors and a mix of influences from African, Spanish, and indigenous Taíno cultures.
One well-known Dominican chicken dish is "Pollo Guisado" or "Pollo Guisado Dominicano," which translates to Dominican-style stewed chicken. It typically involves marinating chicken pieces in a blend of herbs, spices, and citrus juices, then sautéing the chicken with onions, peppers, garlic, and tomatoes. The chicken is slowly cooked in its marinade until tender and flavorful, creating a rich and savory dish. Pollo Guisado is often served with rice, beans, and a side salad or plantains.
Why you will love this recipe
Full of flavor: The combination of the sofrito, sazon and adobo will pack this chicken with so much flavor.
Great for any weather: I love eating this in both the summer and winter months.
Serves a crowd: You can definitely double the recipe and make a ton of chicken in a large pot. The browning will have to be in batches and then throw it all in one pot on low heat.
Dominican Chicken Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Whole chicken, cut up into pieces
- Bay leaves
- Sazon Completa
- Olive oil
- Homemade sofrito or store bought
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Dominican Chicken
Season the chicken. Season chicken with sazon completa, adobo, and salt and pepper.
Brown the chicken. On medium high heat, add the chicken and cook for 4 minutes. Flip the chicken over and add the sofrito, bay leaves and salt and pepper if desired.
The chicken will release liquid as well as the sofrito. Bring to a simmer and then turn the heat to low and cover for about 1 hour.
Serve. You can serve this dish with rice, beans, and tostones.
What to serve with Dominican Chicken
- Rice and Beans: A classic side dish in Dominican cuisine is "arroz con habichuelas," which is rice cooked with red or black beans. The rice is often flavored with spices, herbs, and sometimes coconut milk, resulting in a flavorful and aromatic combination.
- Tostones or Maduros: Plantains are a staple in Dominican cooking, and they can be prepared in different ways. Tostones are fried green plantains that are flattened, fried, and then fried again. They have a crispy texture and are usually seasoned with salt. Maduros, on the other hand, are ripe plantains that are sliced and fried until caramelized. They have a sweet and soft texture. Both tostones and maduros make excellent side dishes to accompany Dominican chicken.
- Avocado Salad: Dominican cuisine often incorporates avocados into various dishes. An avocado salad with sliced avocado, onions, tomatoes, and a drizzle of lime juice and olive oil can complement the flavors of the Dominican chicken.
Chicken: I used a whole chicken and cut it into parts. You can use any style chicken, as long as it is bone in.
Onion: I used a yellow onion but you can use a red or white onion.
Sazon: Sazon completa can be found in the ethnic foods section of your grocery store. There are many variations. You could also combine annatto, garlic powder, and onion powder to make your own.
Adobo: Adobo is a mix of onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, and black pepper. I love buying the Goya brand and using it in most of my recipes.
Dominican Chicken Recipe Variations
- Pollo a la Barbacoa: This is a Dominican take on barbecue chicken. The chicken is marinated in a flavorful blend of spices, herbs, and a tangy barbecue sauce. It is then grilled or roasted until tender and slightly charred. The result is a smoky and succulent chicken dish with a distinct Dominican twist.
- Pollo al Horno: Pollo al Horno refers to Dominican-style roasted chicken. The chicken is marinated in a mixture of herbs, spices, citrus juices, and sometimes vinegar. It is then roasted in the oven until it becomes golden and crispy on the outside while remaining juicy and flavorful on the inside. Check out a similar tasting dish: my Italian Dressing Chicken Recipe.
- Pollo Asado: Pollo Asado is a popular Dominican grilled chicken dish. The chicken is marinated in a blend of citrus juices, garlic, herbs, and spices. It is then grilled over charcoal or an open flame, resulting in a smoky and charred exterior with moist and tender meat. Pollo Asado is often served with a side of chimichurri sauce for added flavor.
- Large Pot: You'll need a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven to cook the chicken and simmer the stew. Make sure it's big enough to hold all the chicken pieces and allow room for the ingredients and liquid.
- Cutting Board and Knife: A sturdy cutting board and a sharp knife are essential for chopping the onions, peppers, garlic, and tomatoes used in the recipe.
- Wooden Spoon or Spatula: A wooden spoon or spatula is handy for stirring the ingredients and scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking or burning.
- Measuring Spoons and Cups: You'll need measuring spoons to accurately measure out the herbs, spices, and other seasonings. Measuring cups will be useful for liquids such as broth or water.
- Tongs: Tongs are useful for flipping and handling the chicken pieces during the browning process.
- Stove or Cooktop: Pollo Guisado is typically cooked on a stovetop, so make sure you have a functioning stove or cooktop.
- Serving Dish: Once the Pollo Guisado is cooked, you'll need a serving dish to transfer the chicken and the flavorful sauce for presentation.
- Optional: If you prefer a smoother texture, you can use a blender or food processor to puree the sauce before serving. This step is not necessary but can be done if desired.
How to store my Dominican Chicken Recipe
- Cool the Chicken: Allow the cooked chicken to cool down to room temperature before storing. This helps prevent condensation and the growth of bacteria in the storage container.
- Separate into Portions: If you anticipate leftovers, divide the chicken into smaller portions. This makes it easier to store and reheat only the amount you need, reducing waste.
- Label and Date: Use labels or markers to clearly indicate the contents and the date of storage on the containers. This practice helps you keep track of the freshness and prevents confusion in the future.
- Refrigeration: Place the containers of Dominican Chicken in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking. The chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three to four days. Ensure that the refrigerator is set at a temperature below 40°F (4°C) to maintain food safety.
- Freezing (optional): If you plan to store the chicken for a longer period, you can freeze it. However, it's important to note that freezing may affect the texture of the chicken. Place the containers or resealable bags in the freezer and store them for up to three to four months. Make sure to leave some headspace in the containers or bags to allow for expansion during freezing.
- Thawing and Reheating: When you're ready to enjoy the stored Dominican Chicken, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the chicken thoroughly until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before consuming. You can reheat it in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven, based on your preference.
Dominican Chicken Recipe Top tips
- Season for Flavor: For maximum flavor, generously season the chicken in a blend of herbs, spices, and sazon at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. This step allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and tenderize it.
- Browning for Depth: Before stewing the chicken, brown it in a hot skillet or pot. This step adds depth and richness to the dish by creating a flavorful caramelized crust on the chicken pieces.
- Simmer Slowly: Once you've added the chicken back to the pot with the sautéed aromatics, be sure to simmer it on low heat. Slow cooking allows the flavors to meld together, and the chicken to become tender and juicy.
- Adjust Seasonings: Taste the stew periodically during the cooking process and adjust the seasonings as needed. You can add more herbs, spices, salt, or even a touch of vinegar or citrus juice to balance the flavors to your liking.
- Serve with Fresh Accompaniments: Consider serving the Pollo Guisado with fresh accompaniments, such as chopped cilantro, lime wedges, or a sprinkle of fresh herbs. These additions can brighten up the flavors and add a vibrant touch to the dish.
- Make Extra Sauce: The sauce in Pollo Guisado is incredibly flavorful and delicious. Consider making extra sauce to have on hand for serving over rice or dipping with bread.
- Customize with Vegetables: While the traditional Pollo Guisado recipe often includes onions, peppers, and tomatoes, feel free to customize it with additional vegetables. Carrots, potatoes, green beans, or bell peppers can be added to the stew for added texture and flavors.
- Don't Forget the Sides: Remember to pair your Pollo Guisado with traditional Dominican side dishes like rice and beans, tostones, or yuca. These sides complement the flavors of the chicken and complete the meal.
- Enjoy the Leftovers: Pollo Guisado often tastes even better the next day as the flavors continue to develop. So, don't hesitate to enjoy the leftovers or use them in other recipes like tacos, empanadas, or sandwiches.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove