Learn how to make Pollo Guisado Dominicano (Dominican Stewed Chicken) - a hearty dish that is a staple of Dominican cooking. Get the recipe here.
Dominican Braised Chicken or pollo guisado is a simple and easy meat dish that is filled with flavor and is one of the most popular dishes in Dominican cooking.
Although this dish is very popular in Dominican cooking, it is also commonly enjoyed among other Latin American cultures such as Puerto Rico, Cuba and those along Central and South America. Each approaches their pollo guisado recipe according to their preference in taste and availability in ingredients, but they all for the most part involve the process of braised chicken.
If you are Dominican, whether in the island or abroad, you have been fed pollo guisado practically your entire life. This dish is one of the easiest and most popular dishes in Dominican food and it’s one of the pillar ingredients in the island’s national dish, La Bandera Dominicana.
What’s even better is that it doesn’t call for many ingredients, which makes this a great weeknight dinner option for the family.
What is pollo guisado?
Braised chicken is a meat dish made with chicken that is cooked using a cooking technique called braising, which involves lightly frying and then stewing the meat low and slow in a closed container. The result when cooking meat using this technique is a delicious super tender chicken that practically falls off the bone and it's filled with so much flavor.
Making this Dominican pollo guisado is so easy that it will quickly become a weekly staple. Here're the ingredients you'll need:
- Chicken (legs and thighs) - If either legs or thighs aren’t available to you, don’t worry about it. You can work with either or. You can also work with chicken breast or a whole cut chicken if you want to get a little crafty.
- Seasonings - I use organic sazón and adobo seasoning, which are free of MSG. My brand of choice is Loisa, a Latinx-owned business set on feeding tradition with better quality, proudly flavored, real Latin foods. Use my code to get Loisa products for 15% off: MYDOMINICANKITCHEN15
- Ground black pepper - For extra flavor.
- Oregano - I prefer using the Dominican oregano for all my recipes.
- Lime juice - I like to use freshly squeezed lime juice, but you can add a bit of vinegar if that is what you have on hand.
- Sofrito - You can use your own or try my homemade latin sofrito recipe!
- Vegetable oil - You can either work with pure vegetable oil or even olive oil.
- Brown sugar - This is an important ingredient in this recipe used to add color and flavor to the chicken.
- Bell peppers or Cubanelle peppers - I use a combination of green and red bell peppers, but you can use whichever kind you like.
- Tomato sauce - tomato paste can also work for this recipe.
- Cilantro - This ingredient is specifically used for garnishing and can do without if so preferred since the sofrito already contains the herb.
Instructions on How to Make Pollo Guisado?
- First, season the chicken with adobo, ground black pepper, oregano, sazón, lime and about two tablespoons of sofrito in a large bowl.
- Heat up some vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure to use a pan with a lid because you are going to cover it later.
- Sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar in the pan and let the sugar brown slightly. When the sugar starts to turn brown, carefully, add the chicken. Saute the chicken until the meat is light brown.
- Add water, cover and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir and add water accordingly.
- Add onion and bell pepper, cover and simmer until the vegetables are slightly cooked through.
- Finally, add the tomato sauce and half a cup of water, simmer over low heat to produce a light sauce.
- Add fresh cilantro and serve with white rice, beans stew, and maduros.
- Some people enjoy adding a little bit more vegetables, herbs, or spices in their recipe for seasoning. If this is you, you can try adding some carrots, garlic, or chicken bouillon in the first step or even bay leaves for aromatic flavoring.
- Add in olives for garnishing the pollo guisado along with the bell peppers and cilantro.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pollo guisado can be served with anything you like. I especially enjoy eating it with some white rice and beans with maduros topped with cilantro and maybe even a slice of avocado on the side. Although this may be the most traditional way to eat it, it’s not the only way! Pollo guisado can also be delicious with some yuca, tostones or even mangú.
Yes, you sure can! Pollo guisado can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days while covered.
Why not! You can actually freeze pollo guisado and store it for up to 3 months. However, to properly reheat and ensure a fresh tasting meal upon cooking, make sure to thaw overnight.
Recipe Tips and Notes:
- You will need a pan with a lid for this recipe. If this is not available, you can also use a dutch oven, a caldero or any other type of large pot.
- Make sure to remove the skin from the chicken while prepping. You can look on YouTube for proper instructions on doing so.
Other Dominican Recipes You'll Love:
- Black Beans and Rice
- Beef Picadillo
- Slow Cooker Shredded Beef (Ropa Vieja)
- Dominican Chimichurri Burger
- Black Beans Stew
- Rice with Beans (Moro de Habichuelas)
- Dominican Kipes (Quipes)
Pollo Guisado Dominicano (Dominican Stewed Chicken Recipe)
- 2 pounds chicken (legs and thighs)
- ¾ teaspoon adobo
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 pack sazón
- 1 tablespoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons sofrito
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 1 small red onion, chopped into fine strips
- ½ green bell pepper, cut into thin slices
- ½ red bell pepper, cut into thin slices
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, roughly chopped
- Season the chicken with adobo, ground black pepper, oregano, sazón, lime juice and about two tablespoons of sofrito.
- Heat up vegetable oil in a large saute pan. Make sure to use a pan with a lid because you are going to cover it later.
- Sprinkle brown sugar in the pan and let the sugar brown slightly. When the sugar starts to turn brown, carefully, add the chicken. Saute the chicken until the meat is light brown.
- Add ¼ cup of water. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring and adding a bit of water as it becomes necessary.
- Add onion, and pepper, cover and simmer until the vegetables are slightly cooked through.
- Then, add the tomato sauce and half a cup of water, simmer over low heat to produce a light sauce. Add fresh cilantro.
- Serve with a side of white rice, beans stew and maduros.