Pollo guisado, a staple in the Caribbean and Dominican Republic, is all about simple, comforting flavors that hit just right. Everyone makes theirs a little different but in the end it’s all about taste! Mine is made with just a handful of ingredients but packs tons of sabor.

Pollo guisado is a key component of La Bandera, a Dominican dish made up of white rice, beans, and chicken or meat. It holds a special place in my heart as one of the first Dominican recipes I learned to make when I moved out on my own.

But perfecting the sauce was always a challenge—getting that balance between too watery and just right, because everyone knows the secret is in that jugito! Let me guide you to getting it perfect on your first try!

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What you’ll need to make pollo guisado

  • Skinless bone-in chicken. Chicken thighs, drumsticks, or wings.
  • Garlic. Use a mortar and pestle to crush my garlic and release those flavors. Substitute for 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
  • Sofrito. Adds a depth of fresh flavor to the chicken.
  • Adobo seasoning. The best all purpose seasoning you can get. I use this organic one from Loisa!
  • Sazon seasoning. For that signature Dominican flavor. I use this organic one from Loisa!
  • Oregano. If you can get your hands on Dominican oregano then use it in this recipe!
  • Oil. Any neutral oil you have on hand.
  • Sugar. Create that caramelization on the chicken.
  • Tomato paste. Thickens the sauce and brings some depth, color, and richness to the Dominican stewed chicken.
  • Onion. Yellow, red, or white onions will work.
  • Bell pepper. Use both green and red bell pepper if you can.
  • Salt. Essential seasoning that bring out the natural flavors of the ingredients.

Caldero Pot

The caldero heats things up evenly and adds layers of flavor as you go. It’s a must have for Caribbean cooking!

Step by step instructions

  • In a bowl, add the chicken, garlic, sofrito, adobo, sazon, and oregano.
  • Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add sugar to the hot oil and let it caramelize.
  • Add the chicken to the pot and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until fully seared. Turn the chicken pieces and continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes, or until fully seared.
  • Add tomato paste, onion, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper to the pot and combine.
  • Add 2 cups of water to the pot and let the chicken cook for 10 minutes, covered.
  • Cook for an additional 10 minutes uncovered, adding ½ cup water if the sauce begins to dry out. Taste for salt and serve. Buen provecho!

Recipe tips and tricks

  • Marinate the chicken to enhance its flavors. You can let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes while you prep the rest of your meal or overnight for best results.
  • Brown the chicken well on each side before flipping and adding any other ingredients.
  • If the sauce is too thin, simmer uncovered for a few minutes to help it reduce and thicken. If the sauce is too thick or dried out, add half a cup of water to thin it out to your desired consistency.
  • Taste for salt at the end to avoid oversalting the dish.

Serving tips

  • Serve the pollo guisado with your favorite rice dish and a side of avocado and tostones! My favorite rice combinations for Dominican stewed chicken are white rice, arroz con gandules, and moro de habichuelas negras.

Storage tips

  • Store the pollo guisado in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Common questions

What can you substitute for tomato paste?

You can substitute fresh chopped tomatoes or tomato puree for tomato paste.

What if you don’t have sofrito on hand?

The dish is packed with fresh flavors from to the onions, bell peppers, and garlic, so you can simply skip it. But you may want to consider stocking up on Loisa’s organic sofrito for a convenient option for next time though!

Pollo Guisado (Dominican Stewed Chicken)

Dominican Stewed Chicken (Pollo Guisado)

5 from 4 votes
Make delicious pollo guisado, a classic Caribbean and Dominican dish, with this easy-to-follow recipe featuring sofrito, adobo, and sazon.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Dominican
Servings 4 servings
Calories 350 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 6-8 pieces skinless, bone-in chicken chicken thighs, drumsticks, or wings
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp sofrito
  • 1 tsp adobo
  • ½ tsp sazon
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • ¼ onion sliced
  • ¼ red bell pepper sliced
  • ¼ green bell pepper sliced
  • 2-2½ cups water
  • To taste salt

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl, add the chicken, garlic, sofrito, adobo, sazon, and oregano.
  • Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add sugar to the hot oil and let it caramelize.
  • Add the chicken to the pot and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until fully seared. Turn the chicken pieces and continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes, or until fully seared.
  • Add tomato paste, onion, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper to the pot and combine.
  • Add 2 cups of water to the pot and let the chicken cook for 10 minutes, covered.
  • Cook for an additional 10 minutes uncovered, adding ½ cup water if the sauce begins to dry out. Taste for salt and serve. Buen provecho!

Nutrition

Serving: 250gCalories: 350kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 30gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 200mgSodium: 600mgPotassium: 500mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1000IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Chicken
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