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9 November 2020

This pollo guisado recipe is a flavorful braised chicken stew popular in Caribbean and Latin American cuisines, with loads of chicken, so easy to make!

If you’re looking for a chicken stew recipe that is huge on flavor with lots of seasonings and hearty ingredients, look no further than Pollo Guisado, my friends. This is the chicken stew you’ve been searching for.

Chicken stew is an easy choice for simple weeknight cooking. This is true in American where we can season up some inexpensive cuts of chicken, toss it into a pot with vegetables and liquid, then braise it until it’s ready to enjoy.

It’s also true of many Caribbean and Latin American countries, where Pollo Guisado is the standard. You’ll find variations of this recipe from Dominican, Spanish, El Salvidor, Mexico and elsewhere. Ingredients vary from country to country and cook to cook.

This is more of a Puerto Rican Pollo Guisado, and the results are wonderful. You’ll get so much flavor with this dish. It is so easy to make.

Let’s talk about how we make pollo guisado, shall we?

Puerto Rican Chicken Stew (Pollo Guisado) in a pot

Pollo Guisado Ingredients

  • Chicken. Use a whole chicken for this recipe, cut up, about 2-1/2 pounds. You can use boneless, skinless chicken, but you’ll get much more flavor with bone-in chicken.
  • Seasonings. Use 2 tablespoons adobo seasoning and 1 tablespoon sazon seasoning, very popular seasonings in Latin American cuisine. Also bay leaf for the simmering.
  • Oil. 2 tablespoons olive oil for browning the chicken.
  • Vegetables. Use 1 small onion, 1 small bell pepper, (or use hotter peppers to your taste), 3 cloves garlic, 1/2 cup olives and 3 medium potatoes.
  • Sofrito. I use 1/4 cup sofrito, though you can use more or less to your personal tastes. Try this homemade sofrito recipe.
  • Liquid. Use 8 ounces tomato sauce and 1 cup chicken broth
  • Garnish. Spicy chili flakes, fresh chopped parsley

How to Make Pollo Guisado – the Recipe Method

Season and Brown the Chicken. Season the chicken pieces with adobo and sazon seasoning. Be sure to get all sides. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes to brown all sides, flipping half way through.

Browing the chicken in a large pot

Vegetables and Liquid. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and sofrito. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the olives, potatoes, bay leaves, tomato sauce and chicken broth.

Simmering the pollo guisado in a pot

Boil, then Simmer. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and fall-off-the-bone. It should register 165 degrees internal (minimum) when measured with a food thermometer.

Garnish and Serve. Garnish with red pepper flakes and fresh chopped parsley and serve.

Pollo Guisado Recipe (Chicken Stew) in a pot with lots of potatoes and olives

Boom! Done! Pollo guisado is ready to serve! Looks delicious, doesn’t it? I’m ready to dig right into this amazing chicken stew. Such a great recipe.

Serving Suggestions for Pollo Guisado

Serve your pollo guisado in a bowl as a hearty chicken stew with some crusty bread to sop up the wonderful sauce. Or, serve it over rice.

Pollo Guisado Recipe (Chicken Stew) in a pot with garnish

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • The Chicken. It is best to use bone-in chicken for the overall flavor. Chicken skin is optional. I usually keep it on. This recipe does work with boneless chicken, however, so feel free to use boneless chicken breast, thighs, or your favorite cuts.
  • The Seasonings. I use both adobo seasoning and sazon seasoning, popular in Puerto Rican and Latin American cuisine. Feel free to use others, such as cumin or chili powders.
  • The Vegetables. You can easily stretch this recipe with more potatoes, or use other ingredients you might have on hand, such as carrots, rutabaga, peas, corn, or root vegetables.
  • Slow Cooker Pollo Guisado. You can easily use a slow cooker or crock pot to make your pollo guisado. Just be sure to brown the chicken in a pan first, then transfer everything to a slow cooker and cook on low for about 1.5 – 2 hours, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through. This is not a traditional method, but it works great.

That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this pollo guisado recipe. Let me know if you make it. I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. You can make it as spicy as you’d like.

Pollo Guisado Recipe (Chicken Stew) in a pot, ready to serve

Cookbook Recommendations

I’ve been learning a lot about Puerto Rican cooking from several different cookbooks. Here are links to 2 Puerto Rican cookbooks I highly recommend. They are great. These are affiliate links, my friends!

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

Also check out my story on Pollo Guisado Chicken Stew.

Pollo Guisado Recipe (Chicken Stew) in a pot

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Pollo Guisado Recipe (Chicken Stew)
Print Recipe
5 from 7 votes

Pollo Guisado Recipe (Chicken Stew)

This pollo guisado recipe is a flavorful braised chicken stew popular in Caribbean and Latin American cuisines, with loads of chicken, so easy to make!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Caribbean, Puerto Rican, Spanish
Keyword: chicken, one pot, sofrito, stew, whole chicken
Servings: 6
Calories: 451kcal

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 pound chicken cut up, skin on
  • 2 tablespoons adobo seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon sazon seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 small bell pepper chopped (or use hotter peppers to your taste)
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/4 cup sofrito
  • 1/2 cup olives
  • 3 medium potatoes halved and quartered
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • FOR GARNISH: Spicy chili flakes fresh chopped parsley

Instructions

  • Season the chicken with adobo and sazon seasoning. Be sure to get all sides.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes to brown all sides, flipping half way through.
  • Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and sofrito. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the olives, potatoes, bay leaves, tomato sauce and chicken broth.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and fall-off-the-bone. It should register 165 degrees internal (minimum) when measured with a food thermometer.
  • Garnish with red pepper flakes and fresh chopped parsley and serve.

Notes

Serving Suggestions
Serve your pollo guisado in a bowl as a hearty chicken stew with some crusty bread to sop up the wonderful sauce. Or, serve it over rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 451kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 618mg | Potassium: 1003mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1009IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 3mg
Pollo Guisado Recipe (Chicken Stew)

18 comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious!!! I didnt use bay leaf I was so excited to see this simmering… taste super delicious

  2. 5 stars
    I’m making this tonight for the second time this month. One word…AMAZING.
    This dish is so easy to make and so packed with flavor. I used chicken drums and thighs and threw some peas in at the end (hubbs doesn’t like olives). It is so simple but tastes like it’s been cooking for hours an hours!! SCORE!!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Yes! Love to hear it, Cara. Glad you are enjoying it. Big flavor right here!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Wendy, you can fit more chicken in the pot. No problem! Let me know how it turns out for you.

  3. 5 stars
    Diana and Michael: Great recipe! Thanks for sharing Michael! I don’t care for a whole lot of chopping or cleaning up of the food processor, and had the same observation as Diane that most of the ingredients in sofrito, or all depending upon the version of sofrito, are already covered. Glad to read about the exchange between the two of you about sofrito. Always looking for ways to simplify a bit without sacrificing too much taste. Thanks!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Elaine! I appreciate the comments. Thank you very much for sharing. I’m super happy you liked it!

  4. 5 stars
    This was delicious. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs that I already had. This is a keeper, thank you.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Perfect with boneless chicken thighs! I love to hear it, KT. Glad you enjoyed it.

  5. 5 stars
    I give this five stars, even though it’s still on the stove right now. It’s in that last stage where you have to simmer 30 minutes.

    I had to change a couple things up.

    I used boneless thighs because my 20 year-old has recently revealed to me that the bones-on gross him out. (Which I never knew all the time I was serving him bones-on. I love bones-on, but he is 20 and so he knows everything.)

    I also didn’t do the sofrito because I don’t want to make a quart of it and it seemed like everything in the recipe was sofrito ingredients anyway. For that step, I substituted 1/4 cup of cilantro and called it a day. I can tell by the way it’s cooking, it will be great. Bones-on would have been better, but…

    Anyhoo, it seems to be turning out well. I’m really happy with it right now.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Sounds great, Diana! I hope you love it as much as I do!

  6. 5 stars
    Mike – once again you nailed a recipe that my PuertoRican abuelita (and mom too) used to make. Kudos to you!! It’s only missing one thing: sliced carrots. Try it one time; I think you’ll like that addition. 🙂 Once again, thanks so much for sharing these recipes from the Caribbean.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Gloria! I am DEFINITELY going to use carrots next time! I love them! They would be so perfect here. Cheers to your abuelita, and mom!

  7. Mmmm good flavor. We find the finest quality most spicy recipes from Chili Pepper Madness… thanks for the ideas

  8. 5 stars
    I love meals with olive in it! Soooo much flavors here!!! Dear Mike, this is very very good (again).

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Jérémie! Yes! I really love this one. Tasty!

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