There aren’t many things that can instantly trigger the nostalgia in me like a bowl of my mom’s pollo guisado. This delicious, one pot Puerto Rican chicken stew was a weekly staple in my home growing up, because it’s a simple recipe that comes together in no time, without a lot of drama. Toss chicken and bunch of simple, yet flavorful ingredients into a pot, cover and cook until the chicken is done. It’s really that simple, using some basic Latin pantry staples!
The quintessential flavor profile of Puerto Rican stews is sofrito. Spices like adobo and sazon give the pollo guisado the salty, umami flavor that keeps you coming back for more! Pollo guisado is an extremely budget friendly dish, as it utilizes the cheapest cuts of chicken, like legs and thighs, to make an ultra flavorful meal. It’s even better the next day, if it lasts that long (it never does in my house). You can also easily adapt this recipe for the slow cooker, just reduce the liquid amount to 2 cups since you won’t have any evaporation.
I like serving pollo guisado with steamed white rice, but you can also serve it with mashed potatoes or just some crusty bread for dipping. Make some tostones and you’ve got yourself a full blown Puerto Rican meal.
Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)
- 2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs or legs if using breasts, cut in half
- 1 teaspoon Adobo all purpose seasoning Recommended brand: Goya
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons sofrito homemade or storebought
- 2 packets Sazon seasoning with annatto Recommended brand: Goya
- 1 tablespoon powdered chicken bouillon or more according to your taste
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 cups water
- 3/4 cup diced potatoes
- 3/4 cup baby carrots
- 2 bay leaves
- 10-12 pimento-stuffed olives
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, for garnish optional
Heat a Dutch oven on medium heat.
Season the chicken with the Adobo seasoning, then add the olive oil and chicken to the pot. Let the pieces brown for 4-5 minutes on each side.
Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside.
Add the sofrito, Sazon, tomato paste, powdered chicken bouillon, oregano, water, potatoes, carrots, bay leaves and olives into the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the chicken back into the pot.
Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the pollo guisado for 40-50 minutes, uncovered,, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Check for seasoning and add a bit more chicken bouillon if the pollo guisado needs a bit more salt.
Sprinkle the finished stew with the chopped cilantro, if using, and stir.
Serve with white rice, mashed potatoes or some crusty bread for dipping!