Now you can make Pollo Guisado (Braised Chicken)--one of the most popular dishes in Dominican cuisine-- with this detailed recipe with easy-to-follow video. This is a treat you cannot miss.
All over Latin America Pollo Guisado is a staple at mealtime. From Colombian to Puerto Rican Pollo Guisado they all have their fans. And we Dominicans love our own braised Dominican chicken every bit as much!
Pollo Guisado is served daily in millions of Dominican homes, after all, it is one of the cornerstones of La Bandera Dominicana, the traditional Dominican lunch meal. To be exact, Res Guisada can take that place too, but chicken is more inexpensive, faster to cook, and more popular.
An inexpensive food
Let's return to the "inexpensive" part...
What's with all those bits in Pollo Guisado?
How many times have I heard a foreigner who, between laughter and confused looks, fails to comprehend why a lot of Dominicans eat chicken feet, giblets and other parts of the chicken that are discarded in other countries?
The truth is that it is all a matter of culture (and, to a certain extent, the person's means), many a Dominican has to squeeze every penny out of their grocery budget. Every little bit counts, and so the whole chicken (not whole, technically) goes into the pot.
Here from our perspective, removed from the reality of the farmer of yesteryear, or the poor of today, we're in no position to judge anyone's culinary choice. And, frankly, all those bits are tasty. But if you are amongst the blessed who can afford to pick their chicken parts, go with breasts, or thighs. That's also fine.
About our recipe
Each Dominican home, further, each Dominican cook has their own version of this dish. The changes may be imperceptible to some, but each will swear by their own "best chicken recipe". As is the case for most of our recipes, mine is inspired by my own family traditions and my taste. While this may not taste exactly like your mom's or grandma's braised chicken, you'll find this one may become a new favorite. Or feel free to change it, perhaps you'll find just the thing that makes yours as good as grandma's Pollo Guisado.
Of all the ways you can cook chicken, this tender, flavorful, fall-off-the-bone Dominican Pollo Guisado is the indisputable favorite in this country.
Pollo Guisado Recipe
- 2 lbs [0.9 kg] of chicken cut into small pieces
- Juice of 1 lime
- A pinch of oregano
- 1 small red onion chopped into fine strips or eighths
- 1/2 cup of chopped celery (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of salt (more may be necessary)
- 1/2 teaspoon of mashed garlic
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 teaspoon of granulated white sugar
- 2 cups of water
- 2 green bell or cubanela (cubanelle) peppers
- 4 plum tomatoes cut into quarters
- 1/4 cup of pitted olives (optional)
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- A small bunch of fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
- Prep chicken: Cut the chicken into small pieces and place in a bowl that has a lid. Season the chicken pieces with the lime juice.
- Season chicken: Mix the chicken, oregano, onion, celery, salt, and garlic. Marinate for 30 minutes.
- Brown chicken: In a pot heat the oil over medium heat, add sugar, and wait until it browns. Add the chicken (reserve all the other things in the marinade for use in a later step) and cook and stir until the meat is light brown.
- Braise: Add 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring and adding water by the tablespoon as it becomes necessary to prevent it from burning.
- Add vegetables: Stir in the vegetables that you had set aside from marinating the chicken, plus cubanelle pepper, tomatoes, and olives. Cover, and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through, adding water by the tablespoon and stirring as it becomes necessary.
- Make sauce: Add the tomato sauce and half a cup of water, simmer over low heat to produce a light sauce. The vegetables will be very soft, the sauce a bit thick, and the chicken fall-off-the-bone tender. Add fresh cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.