This Pollo Guisado Recipe (Dominican Chicken Stew) is made with onion, potatoes, bell peppers, sazón and braised to perfection.
Pollo Guisado is an amazing chicken dish with meat that falls off the bone and contains rich Dominican flavors. One of my favorite things to do in NYC would be to go over to my friend Kristina's house, bring over a bottle of wine, and she would make the most amazing Pollo Guisado. The key ingredient is Sazon, which is made up of cumin, coriander, annatto and oregano. So of course, I had to make it.
- Why you will love this Chicken Stew Recipe
- What is Pollo Guisado?
- What is the difference between Adobo and Sazon?
- Latin Chicken Stew Ingredients
- How to make Pollo Guisado
- Pollo Guisado Recipe Variations
- What to serve with Pollo Guisado
- How to store Pollo Guisado
- Pollo Guisado Recipe Top tips
- Pollo Guisado Recipe
- Food safety
Why you will love this Chicken Stew Recipe
Full of flavor: The combination of the sazon and oregano 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.
What is Pollo Guisado?
This pollo guisado recipe is a flavorful braised latin chicken stew popular in the Carribean. There are many variations in the Dominican Republic as well as Puerto Rico. This recipe came from my friend who is Dominican, but some other Pollo Guisados can be Puerto Rican as well. They both use bone-in chicken that are braised and cooked with vegetables. The seasonings vary from sazón, adobo, and/or sofrito.
What is the difference between Adobo and Sazon?
If you were to put Adobo on chicken it really just gives it a chicken taste. Sazon on the other hand is much more savory and distinctive. It goes well with tomatoes and peppers. To be fair, the box for store bought Sazon says to put it on everything! In Spanish, sazonar is "to season" and Sazon does just that!
Latin Chicken Stew 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:
- Bone-in chicken thighs or whole chicken cut up
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Bell peppers
- Chicken broth
- Chicken bouillon
- Bay leaves
See recipe card for quantities for this Pollo Guisado Recipe (Dominican Chicken Stew).
How to make Pollo Guisado
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season all over with the packet of Sazon and salt on both sides. Add olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. When oil is hot, add the chicken and brown for 4 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken and set aside on a plate.
In the same pan, add more oil if needed. Add the potatoes, garlic, onion, bell peppers and salt, stirring, and cook until the onion and peppers are soft, about 6-8 minutes. Add the diced tomato, oregano, chicken bouillon, bay leaves, a cup of chicken broth and salt and pepper.
Stir, reduce heat to low heat, return the chicken, cover and cook for 1 hour and a half.
When the chicken is ready, squeeze half a lime into the sauce and stir. Garnish with cilantro.
Hint: Keep the heat low and covered well.
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.
Potatoes: You can use baby potatoes, russet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes, as long as they are diced.
Peppers: I used green bell peppers, but feel free to use any color you want.
Pollo Guisado Recipe Variations
Pollo Guisado is a traditional Latin American and Caribbean dish that consists of stewed chicken cooked in a flavorful sauce. While the basic recipe typically includes chicken, onions, garlic, and spices, there are several variations and additions you can make to customize the dish to your taste. Here are some popular variations of Pollo Guisado:
- Vegetables: Enhance the nutritional profile and flavors of the dish by adding vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, peas, potatoes, or tomatoes. These vegetables can add texture and additional layers of flavor to the stew.
- Citrus: Add a tangy twist to your Pollo Guisado by incorporating citrus juice or zest. Squeeze in some fresh lime or lemon juice, or grate the zest of an orange to add brightness and acidity to the dish.
- Olives: For a savory and briny addition, consider adding sliced green or black olives to the stew. They can provide a unique flavor and a pleasant contrast to the richness of the sauce.
- Heat: If you prefer a spicier Pollo Guisado, you can add diced jalapenos, serrano peppers, or crushed red pepper flakes. Adjust the amount of heat based on your personal preference.
- Coconut Milk: To add richness and a touch of sweetness, substitute some of the broth with coconut milk. This variation is common in Caribbean-style Pollo Guisado and adds a creamy element to the dish.
What to serve with Pollo Guisado
This chicken works with so many different dishes:
- I love pairing with tostones, to give this a nice crunch.
- You cant make Pollo Guisado without rice and beans on the side. This Moro Rice cooks the rice and beans in the same pot, which makes clean up easier.
- Mashed potatoes go great as well.
- If you want a simple rice recipe, this Cilantro Lime Rice would pair well.
- Dutch Oven or Large Pot: A sturdy, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid is ideal for cooking Pollo Guisado. A Dutch oven or a large, deep pot will allow for even heat distribution and help retain moisture during the cooking process.
- Cutting Board and Knife: A cutting board and a sharp knife are essential for preparing the chicken and chopping the vegetables and herbs.
- Wooden Spoon or Spatula: A wooden spoon or spatula is useful for stirring and sautéing the ingredients in the pot.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accurate measurements are important when adding spices, liquids, and other ingredients, so having a set of measuring cups and spoons on hand is helpful.
- Tongs or Fork: Tongs or a fork are useful for flipping and handling the chicken pieces while browning or during the cooking process.
- Can Opener: If you're using canned ingredients such as tomatoes or broth, a can opener will be necessary.
- Serving Dish or Plates: Once the Pollo Guisado is cooked, you'll need plates or a serving dish to present and serve the dish.
- Optional: Immersion Blender or Blender: If you prefer a smoother sauce or want to blend some of the ingredients for a thicker consistency, an immersion blender or regular blender can be handy.
How to store Pollo Guisado
- Cool the Dish: Allow the Pollo Guisado to cool down to room temperature before storing. Placing hot food directly in the refrigerator can raise its internal temperature and potentially affect the other items in the fridge.
- Divide into Portions: If you have a large batch of Pollo Guisado, consider dividing it into smaller portions. This makes it easier to store and allows you to defrost and reheat only the amount you need at a given time.
- Use Airtight Containers: Transfer the Pollo Guisado to airtight containers or freezer-safe bags. Ensure they are tightly sealed to prevent air exposure and freezer burn.
- Label and Date: It's helpful to label the containers with the name of the dish and the date of storage. This allows you to keep track of the contents and ensures you use them within a reasonable timeframe.
- Refrigeration: If you plan to consume the Pollo Guisado within 2-3 days, store it in the refrigerator. Keep the containers in the coldest part of the fridge to maintain freshness.
- Freezing: For longer storage, place the Pollo Guisado containers in the freezer. It can typically be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months without significant loss of quality.
- Thawing and Reheating: When you're ready to enjoy the stored Pollo Guisado, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, you can reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave until it reaches a safe and desired serving temperature. Ensure the dish is heated through before serving.
Pollo Guisado Recipe Top tips
- Brown the Chicken: Before adding the other ingredients, take the time to brown the chicken pieces. This step adds flavor and helps seal in the juices, resulting in tender and flavorful chicken in the finished dish.
- Sauté the Aromatics: Sautéing the onions, garlic, and other aromatic ingredients in oil or butter before adding the liquids and chicken adds depth of flavor to the dish. Allow them to soften and become fragrant for optimal flavor development.
- Season Generously: Pollo Guisado benefits from a well-balanced blend of spices and seasonings. Don't be afraid to season the dish generously with salt, pepper, and other spices like cumin, paprika, or oregano. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed to suit your preference.
- Use Homemade Chicken Broth: If possible, use homemade chicken broth instead of store-bought. Homemade broth adds an extra layer of flavor and richness to the dish. However, store-bought broth can still work well if homemade is not available.
- Simmer Low and Slow: Allow the Pollo Guisado to simmer over low heat to develop deep flavors and ensure the chicken is tender and juicy. Low and slow cooking helps the flavors meld together and creates a delicious sauce.
- Add Vegetables at the Right Time: If you're adding vegetables to your Pollo Guisado, consider their cooking times. Add vegetables that require longer cooking, such as potatoes or carrots, at the beginning, and more delicate vegetables like peas or bell peppers towards the end, to avoid overcooking them.
- Adjust the Consistency: If you prefer a thicker sauce, remove some of the liquid towards the end of cooking and continue simmering until the desired consistency is reached. Alternatively, if you prefer a thinner sauce, you can add a bit of water or broth to adjust the consistency.
- Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Just before serving, garnish the Pollo Guisado with freshly chopped herbs like cilantro or parsley. The bright, fresh flavors will add a pop of freshness to the dish.
- 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