Puerto Rican Pollo Fricase (Chicken Fricassee) is a comforting chicken stew that’s made special with the addition of wine or beer. This makes it a distinctive dish that’s a variation of traditional Pollo Guisado. This comfort food classic is a great one pot meal that’s easily adaptable for the slow cooker.
Pollo fricase is one of my father’s specialties. He learned how to make it from his mom, my Abuela Carmen. This dish usually has wine or beer in it, but if that wasn’t readily available, he says they used to make it by adding some grape juice into the dish. Sounds crazy right? Well, grape juice and wine are related, so I totally get it. The sweetness and acidity from the wine or juice gives this dish a unique twist. Puerto Rican pollo fricase is a hearty one-pot dish that’s a total crowd pleaser, and it tastes even better the next day.
What Is Pollo Fricase?
Pollo Fricase is a chicken stew that features Spanish and French influences on the Caribbean. A fricassee is halfway between a saute and a stew. There are as many variations as there are Abuelas in Puerto Rico — it relies on humble ingredients and just a single pot. This dish originated in France. It’s the original French comfort food that features simmered chicken with hearty vegetables in a rich, tomato-based sauce that features wine.
What Ingredients Do I Need For Puerto Rican Pollo Fricase?
The basis of pollo fricase, and many other Puerto Rican recipes, is sofrito. In addition, wine or beer is essential, as it gives the dish a lovely acidity and depth of flavor that you don’t get from a broth only stew like pollo guisado. The chicken is seasoned with adobo and sazon. I add potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, and/or corn on the cob to the pot as well. It’s an amazing one-pot wonder. Other flavorings include olives, bay leaves and oregano.
What’s The Difference Between Pollo Fricase & Pollo Guisado?
There’s no definitive answer, but fricase typically features wine, beer or even grape juice as a supplement to the broth. In addition, pollo fricase has less liquid, so it’s more stew-like. Fricase tends to have more vegetables, less tomato sauce, and a thicker sauce than pollo guisado.
The Best Pot To Use For Pollo Fricase?
A fricassee is best prepared in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven that has a cover. Any size vessel should work, but be sure not to crowd the pot with too many ingredients. You’ll need a vessel that can comfortably fit all your ingredients and can easily be sealed with a cover during the cooking process.
Can I Freeze Leftover Pollo Fricase?
Heck yea! Cool the fricase down to room temperature, then package it in freezer safe containers. To reheat, add the frozen stew to a pot and reheat thoroughly. Serve immediately.
Puerto Rican Pollo Fricase (Chicken Fricassee)
Pollo Fricase is a comforting chicken stew that's made special with the addition of wine or beer. This makes it a distinctive dish that's a variation of traditional Pollo Guisado. This comfort food classic is a great one pot meal that's easily adaptable for the slow cooker.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs or legs
- 2 tsp Sazon seasoning with annatto
- 1 teaspoon Adobo all purpose seasoning
- 4 tablespoons sofrito homemade or storebought
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth plus more if needed
- 1 cup white wine, red wine, beer or grape juice
- 2 teaspoons powdered chicken bouillon or more according to your taste use like salt
- 3/4 cup peeled & diced potatoes
- 3/4 cup baby carrots
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 pimento-stuffed olives
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro for garnish, optional
- optional: cubed sweet potatoes, split corn on the cob, cubed pumpkin
Heat a Dutch oven on medium heat.
Season the chicken with the Adobo seasoning and sazon, 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, tomato paste and oregano to the Dutch oven and saute for one minute. Add the wine. broth, bay leaves and olives into the pot, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any brown bits. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the chicken back into the pot.
Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the pollo fricase for 30 minutes with the lid on.
Add the peeled potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato and corn (if using). Cook the stew for 30 more minutes, until the potatoes are soft and the chicken is cooked through. If your stew is too watery. cook with the lid off to reduce the liquid to your desired level. If there’s not enough liquid, add more broth.
Check for seasoning and add a bit more chicken bouillon if the pollo fricase needs a bit more salt.
Sprinkle the finished stew with the chopped cilantro, if using, and stir.
Serve with rice, tostones and avocado, if desired.