Flavors of Caribbean: Pollo Guisado and Its Cultural Roots

by Jahnvi Ahuja
Pollo Guisado

Pollo Guisado is a robust Puerto Rican chicken stew that is quick to prepare, full of flavor, and ready to eat in about an hour. It will warm your bones and satisfy your hunger. Granted, we eat this all year round on my small island, where it seldom gets below 70 degrees. However, it’s delightful in the winter when you’re craving a filling dish to keep you warm and cozy.

Pollo Guisado: What Is It?

Puerto Rican stew called Pollo Guisado is made with braised chicken, potatoes, carrots, and olives in a broth with tomatoes. Its strong taste derives from sofrito, a concoction of peppers, onions, garlic, and cilantro, just like most savory meals on the island. The succulent chicken, salty olives, and delicate sweetness of the carrots create a genuinely ideal mouthful.

What Ingredients Are Needed for This Recipe?

This Pollo Guisado recipe is among those that are passed down through families. Every family cooks it in a unique way as a result. It’s an easy basic recipe.

  • For this dish, use a whole, chopped chicken (approximately 2-1/2 pounds). Although you can use skinless, boneless chicken, bone-in chicken tastes much better.
  • Use two teaspoons of adobo and one tablespoon of sazon seasoning, which is widely used in Latin American cooking. Add bay leaf as well for simmering.
  • Two teaspoons of olive oil will help the chicken brown.
  • Combine one small onion, one small bell pepper, three garlic cloves, half a cup of olives, and three medium potatoes.
  • We use 1/4 cup sofrito, but you can adjust the amount to suit your preferences. Try this recipe for handmade sofritos.
  • Make a garnish with 1 cup of chicken broth and 8 ounces of tomato sauce. Hot chili flakes and recently cut parsley

How to Prepare Pollo Guisado: The Method of Recipe

  • Chicken should be seasoned and browned. Season the chicken pieces with season and adobo seasoning, ensuring you hear everything. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. After adding the chicken, grill it for ten minutes, rotating it halfway through to brown all sides.
  • Add the veggies and Add the sofrito, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook for 3–4 minutes while stirring. Add the chicken stock, tomato sauce, potatoes, bay leaves, and olives
  • Simmer after a boil. Cover and simmer after 30 minutes, or until the chicken is soft and falls off the bone. A food thermometer should read 165 degrees internal, which is the minimum.
  • After garnishing, serve. Serve with a garnish of freshly chopped parsley and red pepper flakes.
  • It’s time to serve the guisado chicken! It seems tasty, doesn’t it?

Essential Guidelines and Flavor Changes

  • If you don’t have any sazon and adobo seasoning on hand, just season the chicken as usual. A mixture of paprika, onion powder, cumin, oregano, and granulated garlic adds tons of flavor. This chipotle seasoning is another flavor
  • You can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of the preferred bone-in, skin-on chicken legs and thighs.
  • Would you like it hotter? Add some cayenne pepper or finely chopped green chilies.
  • Cook the sauce uncovered to thicken it. But if you want the sauce to be extra thick, remove the chicken, potatoes, and olives from the saucepan and set them aside. Elevate the temperature to high and simmer the sauce, stirring constantly, until it reduces by half. Flour or cornstarch is not needed!
  • The chicken will release a lot of oil; feel free to use a spoon or ladle to skim the fat.

Is It Possible to Do This in a Slow Cooker?

Sure, this recipe can also be readily adapted for a slow cooker. Since there won’t be any evaporation throughout the cooking phase, simply lower the liquid to 2 cups. Otherwise, just follow the recipe exactly as written.

Tips for Freezing

You may freeze leftovers for up to three months by transferring them to an airtight freezer-safe container. To reheat, defrost in the fridge for the entire night, then reheat in the microwave, pressure cooker, or stovetop.

Appetizers for Pollo Guisado

Unlike stew, typically served in a bowl, Pollo Guisado is never eaten by itself in the United States. Serve steamed white or brown rice with your Pollo Guisado. Typically, it’s served with stewed beans and a few ripe avocado slices. However, you are welcome to defy custom and serve it with:

  • Coconut Rice
  • Easy Soda Bread
  • Garlic Parmesan Polenta

Final Words

There is nothing like Pollo Guisado stew without its signature flavor profile, the sofrito. Adobo and sazon are two spices that give the chicken stew its umami-rich, salty flavor—it makes you want more! Because it uses the least expensive chicken parts—legs and thighs—Pollo Guisado is a very tasty and affordable dish.

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