Delicious Dominican Cuisine

A Buen Tiempo... Buen Provecho! ;)

Dominican style Stewed Chicken/Pollo Guisado estilo Dominicano


“Pollo Guisado” is without a doubt one of the staple meat dishes of Dominican Republic.  It is an integral part of “La Bandera” and it’s super tasty when cooked right.

Whenever I travel back to the Dominican, I eat alot of this dish since it is cooked in the average household 2 – 3 times a week  (ok I’m making this fact up, but seriously, everywhere I go, it’s usually what’s for lunch) and it’s really delicious when made with fresh chicken and local ingredients.

This is a constant item that I make at home and I promise you this recipe will be packed with delicious flavor and be very easy to make.  Just remember not to stir the chicken constantly while it’s cooking so it doesn’t break apart.  That was a mistake I made often when I was learning how to make pollo guisado because I always worried that the chicken was going to burn.  I promise, it wont if you follow these easy instructions. :)

 

To make this dish you will need the following ingredients:

1 4-5 lbs Whole Chicken (may use 4 to 5 lbs of the cut you prefer if you don’t want to use the whole chicken)
3 Garlic Cloves
1 Green Bell Pepper
1/2 Cup fresh Cilantro
2 Celery Stalks
1 Small Onion
2 tbsp Spanish Green Olives
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tbsp Oregano
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (may substitute with 1/4 cup vino tinto or a red sweet wine (I usually use manischewitz wine))
1 tbsp Achiote Oil (optional)
1 lime
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 Cup Vinegar

I prefer to use a whole chicken because I like the trinkets (especially the gizzards) that come with it.  Also, it’s usually less expensive then getting pre-cut chicken (usually $2 – $3 less, it doesn’t seem like alot but when you are grocery shopping those few dollars add up).  It only takes a few minutes to cut it up and if you’ve never done this before, you can check out my post on how to cut up a whole chicken (como picar un pollo entero).

First, cut the chicken (unless you buy it pre-cut), removing the skin if desired from the individual pieces.   I use every piece, including the neck, gizzards, liver and heart.

Once the chicken is cut, add to a bowl and pour the vinegar over the chicken and
add some water, let soak for a few minutes. (you may use limes, but I use vinegar because it’s cheaper and just as effective :) )

Drain then rinse the chicken with more fresh water.

Once the chicken is rinsed and drained, put in a container to season it.  I usually season my chicken the night before and use a large ziploc bag since it takes up less space in the refrigerator.

To season the chicken, add some salt (1 tsp usually works perfectly but you can always adjust the level to your liking),

Then add some black pepper,

Add the oregano (use good quality oregano for best flavor, I usually use Dominican oregano),

Worcestershire sauce is not a Dominican ingredient, I used to use “vino tinto” which is a sweet red wine from Dominican Republic that can be found here now, but it is very expensive.  If you prefer to use vino tinto, a good substitute is manischewitz wine which can be found very easily in the liquor stores and is very inexpensive.

But let me tell you, this sauce can be easily found in supermarkets and it gives the chicken a punch of flavor.  I love it and use it in many of my recipes.

Now to continue with our marinade, add the worcestershire sauce to the chicken,

Then add the achiote oil.  I usually add this to give the chicken some color, but it may be omitted (some cooks prefer to use tomato paste to give their pollo guisado more color).

Keep in mind, when using this oil, be very careful to get it on your hands, clothes or counter-tops because it stains very easily.  A little goes a LONG way.

Finely chop or mash the garlic, add it to the chicken,

Add some Spanish olives, I prefer to use the ones that don’t have a pit in them,

Add the lime juice,

Finely chop the onion (may subtitute and use 1 tbsp of onion powder) and add it to the chicken,

Finely chop the peppers (may leave in big pieces if you prefer) and add it to the chicken,

And last but NOT least, add the cilantro, may add whole (as I do) or add it chopped,

Mix well to incorporate all of the ingredients well, then let marinate for atleast an hour.  I usually marinate the night before for better flavor.

Now comes the fun part!  Cooking time!! :)

Take a pot (or caldero) and add the vegetable oil (make sure to add it in the center) and the sugar, put on high heat.

While the sugar is melting, take the chicken and separate it form the liquid in the marinade.  I usually just put it on a big plate.

Save the liver for last, set it aside, if you add it in the beginning, it will overcook and dissolve into the sauce.  If you like this part of the chicken, save it for last so it stays whole.

Do NOT discard the marinade, it will be used later on.

Watch the sugar closely as it melts.

It will start to caramelize quickly,

You want it to turn into a dark brown color (NOT BLACK, it will turn bitter if it turns black).  I know it’s ready when it starts to smoke.  When this happens work quickly,

Add the chicken, use some tongs or a long spoon because when you add the thicken to the hot oil it will start to splatter and make a LOUD sizzling noise.  That is normal, don’t worry the chicken is not burning. :)   It’s just getting some good color and developing great flavor.

Once the chicken is in the pot, DO NOT STIR for about 10 – 15 minutes.  The chicken will begin to sweat its juices.

At this point, I usually lightly cover the pot and let it cook for about 15 minutes without stirring,

After about 15 minutes, the chicken will be bubbling away in it’s juices,

Now gently flip the pieces to get good color on the other side,

Once all of the pieces are flipped,

Cover the pot lightly and let it cook for about 30 minutes.  After flipping the chicken it usually takes about 25 – 30 minutes for the liquid to evaporate.  Keep an eye on it, when you see that the chicken is sizzling and “frying” in the thick dark brown oil (since the liquid has evaporated),

Add the the marinade, if it seems a little dry, add a little bit of water (1/2 – 1 cup)

Very GENTLY stir the marinade and incorporate it with the chicken.  Just move the chicken around to get the vegetables in the broth.  If you over stir the chicken it will start to break apart.

Take the celery stalks and cut them into big pieces, then add to the pot as well,

Lightly cover again and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, then add the liver, I usually just nest it in a corner to not stir the chicken, turn the heat down to medium to medium high heat,

Lightly cover and let it cook until the sauce is thick, the chicken is tender and golden, in my stove it usually takes about 25 minutes after adding the liver and slightly lowering the heat,

Note, the chicken releases some fat, you may remove it by picking it out with a spoon if you prefer.

Once it’s cooked, put the heat on low until you’re ready to serve it.

Recommend to pair it with the classic sides of white rice and stewed beans.

Buen Provecho! ;)

 

 

 

39 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Manny

     /  June 17, 2011

    I consider my self a decent cooked. I worked in kitchens for approximately 5 1/2, until I graduated from college. During those years I learned the ins and outs of “Traditional American dishes”, but for some reason it never occurred to me learned how to cook Traditional Dominican Dishes… Well at least until I moved out. From the first day, I started missing my mother’s food and it drove me crazy. First, I tried learning from my mother, but I found her technique counter-intuitive, as I find that our cuisine tends to deviate from “traditional techniques”. For about a year, every single dished I tried to cook, I either ‘messed it up’, turn it into something more familiar OR simply created something that was inedible. For about a year, I gave up…AND then I decided to go into the internets AND Google my way into a Dominican-chef.

    For months I been searching websites for recipes in Spanish and English, with little success. Even though there are websites out there that have Dominican recipes, I find them to be merely a list of ingredients and spoke little about technique. I find that’s what differentiates our food from others (e.g Puerto Ricans, cubans…) is the way in which we built layers and layers on flavors into our dishes. AND, until this day I was yet to find that.

    I found your website by accident AND I was really impressed by your step-by-step instruction. It really hard to find an amateur site (hopefully I don’t offend you by my use of that word) with the level of detail this site has. I used your “Pollo Guisado” receta and I loved it. I was so proud of it, that last Sunday I cooked it for my parents AND they raved about.

    I’m really Thankful I found your website. I know your our Dominican Cuisine is a little limited as far as the number of Dishes we consider our own. But I think you are really onto something with this website. You can incorporate your approach to a number of Latin dishes (why limit yourself). I sure will be back soon. Thanks Again.

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  June 17, 2011

      Manny,
      I am very glad that you and your family enjoyed this recipe! Pollo guisado can be very tricky to make and the technique is very “unamerican”, but the dish is so delicious when cooked right!
      When I started this site, it was my goal to try and give a good visual on the different techniques that are used to make Dominican food to make it easier to make. I wish I had found a site with step by step illustrations when I was learning to cook, it would’ve made it so much easier! :) I used to take notes furiously when I was learning and that was the only way I would not forget any important steps.
      I’m glad that you found my site helpful and keep coming back because I try to update it atleast 2 – 3 times a week. While all of my dishes aren’t 100% authentic Dominican food, I try to improvise and keep it interesting to avoid having the same dishes every week! I’m also open to suggestions, so if there is a recipe that you would like to see posted, please let me know and I can put it on the “priority” list.
      Oh and by the way, you have not offended me at all. I am NOT a chef, just your average Dominican home cook :) and this is my first time attempting blogging, so I am an definitely an amateur at this!
      Janet

      Reply
    • Pedro

       /  May 14, 2013

      This is exactly how I felt! I had learned to cook on my own, watching American cooking shows. My attempt at recreating the food my grandma used to make came out decent, but it just didn’t have that Dominican “soul” until I started following your techniques step by step. Thank you so much for the site.

      Reply
      • Janet O.

         /  May 20, 2013

        Pedro,
        Thanks, I am glad you like the site. I find that now a days many people focus on quick meals and like to use shortcuts which are very helpful, but sometimes I prefer to use the old fashioned method of cooking dishes like this one lol!
        Janet

        Reply
  2. Heecliff

     /  October 17, 2011

    I am so proud to see the technique you use if I where to make it step by step this is the exact same way I’d make it my mom makes my grandma makes it the same way so I com end you for makeing this site I love it book marked for life lol great job.

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  October 17, 2011

      Heecliff,
      Well the technique is so important to get the dish to come out correctly and giving a visual just makes it clearer for anyone who’s never made this before. The seasoning can always be altered because everyone has their own special touches to make it more “sabroso”, but the cooking method is usually the same.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. :)
      Janet

      Reply
  3. Heecliff

     /  October 17, 2011

    And the pictures are awesome BUEN PROBECHO

    Reply
  4. Annie

     /  November 20, 2011

    Hi Janet, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you again for this recipe, I made this recipe today and it was yummy (just ask my son !) . My husband raved on how good it was. I finally made a dominican dish that my family enjoyed :) Your website is truly the best on taste and visual sample on how to make the dish, you are truly talented. Hope to see more of your recipes online.

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  November 20, 2011

      Annie,
      You’re welcome, I’m glad you liked the recipe. :) Stay tuned for more recipes to come.
      Janet

      Reply
  5. Felicia

     /  November 23, 2011

    Thank you sooooo much for the wonderful “recetas”. My son loves dominican food and I use to cook it all the time for him but since my move from NYC to MD, we have been eating more american foods (whats available to our area). Now when he asks me to make him “un locrio” or “un Morito de gandules” I just get a little help from your website.
    Thanks again!!!

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  November 23, 2011

      Felicia,
      I’m glad you like the blog! :) I will be posting a recipe for “moro de guandules”, that will be coming soon. :) In the meantime, let me know if you ever want to see a recipe posted and if I have it, I’ll put it on my priority list. :)
      Janet

      Reply
  6. Cenia

     /  December 6, 2011

    Hi! I am a fellow Dominicana, and I just wanted to say thank you for your site. My mom is an extremely impatient typical Dominican mother, and I could never learn to cook with her pressuring me all the time about doing things wrong. Your site is very clear, and the recipes used are almost exactly the same as my mom’s! Lo agradezco mucho :)

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  December 6, 2011

      Cenia,
      Thank you for the lovely compliment. :) I know the feeling of wanting to learn how to make something and having your mom not trust your cooking skills to be able to do it in the kitchen lol. :)
      Janet

      Reply
  7. Broadway

     /  February 28, 2012

    Everybody LOVES a good chicken dish.
    Now, stop sharing the secrets with the blanquitos!

    Beautiful blog, Janet. Beautifully done and 100% correct. Nobody’s doing this better than you.

    Keep it up,
    Chris
    El Gringo Grande

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  February 29, 2012

      Chris aka “El Gringo Grande”,
      While I know alot of people prefer to keep their recipes a secret, I’m the opposite, I love to share the flavor lol! :) Thanks for the lovely compliments, I’m glad you are liking the blog.
      Janet

      Reply
  8. harry

     /  March 26, 2012

    Hi, just.wanted to thank you for putting this recipe, I did it and it came out good.

    Reply
  9. Holli

     /  August 15, 2012

    I am white as day with Dominican children, its hard to tell my nationality due to my cooking thanks for this recipe my boyfriend says it reminds him of his mom!!!

    Reply
  10. Eddie

     /  September 4, 2012

    Janet, How about ninos envueltos? Do you know how to make them, my mother and my sister make them but they live in NC and I live in MD and the only time I get to eat them is when I go down there for a visit. I’m still wating for them to give me the receipe but nothing yet, I guess they like to make them for me when I go there all the time, but sometimes I will like to have them without making a trip for it.

    Reply
  11. Marce

     /  October 25, 2012

    Janet! Thank you so much for this! I am a Colombian, married to a Dominican and even though he loves my Colombian dishes, I know he misses his Dominican food, especially since we moved to a different state from his mother. She tried to give me some tips on Dominican sazon but I am so bad at memorizing and this step by step it’s just so helpful. He loved it and was very surprised! Muchisimas gracias!

    Reply
  12. Tatiana

     /  November 2, 2012

    Well I just found this website and about to make this recepie can’t wait I’m Colombian but loveeee Dominican food!!! Thank you for showing us step by step!! Please let me know if u have other recepies I love abichuelas lol

    Reply
  13. Paula

     /  November 20, 2012

    Gracias por tus recetas!! cocinas igual que mi abuela!! pero ella nunca me explico bien como hace la cosa! can you make a recipe for bistec encebollado y bistec en salsa?? gracias!!
    Paula

    Reply
  14. Victoria

     /  February 6, 2013

    Can I add potato and carrots? If so do I need more water? Can I cook this in crockpot?

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  March 28, 2013

      Victoria,
      I’ve never tried making this in a crock pot although I’ve thought about it. If you add potatoes and carrots I recommend you do add a little water as well. Good luck!
      - Janet

      Reply
  15. Maritza

     /  April 13, 2013

    This was one of the most detailed, step-by-step recipes I’ve ever seen and read. Thank you for the nice photos and little “nuggets” of information you provided. I will definitely try this recipe and will let you know how it turned out.

    Reply
  16. Darin G.

     /  April 22, 2013

    I just made this tonight, DELICIOUS! Thank you for the great photos, made it a snap to pull this dish off correctly.

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  April 23, 2013

      Darin,
      I am glad that you enjoyed the recipe and that the instructions were easy! :)
      - Janet

      Reply
  17. Shelley

     /  May 4, 2013

    Another huge hit in my household. Again thank you

    Reply
  18. karla

     /  May 7, 2013

    Do you add the oil to water ?

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  May 13, 2013

      Karla,
      I am not sure which step you are referring to, but the only times I add oil to the recipe are to marinate it (if you use achiote oil) and to caramelize the sugar.
      - Janet

      Reply
  19. Your blog is pretty impressive. Congratulations! Hope to keep seeing your recipes!

    Reply
  20. Jessica Kuiee

     /  May 27, 2013

    HI. So I am a white girl with a Dominican boyfriend. I consider myself a very good cook but because I do feel Dominican food is authentic and comes from tradition I had to look up the tricks of the trade to please my man. I came across your website ans so far its the most iformative. I very much appreciate your help everything I’ve made from this site he’s loved! I just have one question I’m making this recipe today and I saw the 3 tbsp of worcestershire sauce… that seems like a lot cause of howstrong that ingredient is. I read the other blogs and everyone said they followed it exact so I would never doubt you I just want to make sure I’m reading correctly causei would hate to ruin that over the Worcestershire. also I don’t have the anchiote oil but I do have the sazpn packets that I always use can I substitute?and if so should i is with oil? thakyou again :)

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  May 27, 2013

      Jessica,
      You can adjust the recipe to your liking and add less Worcestershire sauce. It is not really a Dominican ingredient lol, but I think it enhances the flavor of the dish. I don’t always use it, sometimes I use 1 cup of vino tinto (red wine) instead. With regards to the achiote oil, if you don’t have it you can certainly use the sazon packets (I assume it’s the orange one from goya). Just remember those pre-packaged sazons have high salt levels so if you use that, I would probably use 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce instead of 3, or add less regular salt until the end if it needs it.
      Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with, I am glad that you are getting good use out of the blog. :)
      - Janet

      Reply
      • Janet O.

         /  May 27, 2013

        Jessica,
        Also you do not have to add oil to the marinade if you don’t want to. It works as a binder and I usually prefer to use achiote oil instead of ground achiote, but it’s all a matter of preference. :)
        - Janet

        Reply
  21. Cynthia

     /  June 5, 2013

    I was so impressed by your step by step instructions. Quick question- the marinade, can I blend it up and pour it on top of the chicken? My husband is a very picky eater, he won’t eat chunks of certain stuff such as the peppers and olives, yet he loves dominican cooking. Can I do that with the marinade? Im so anxious to make this :)

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  June 5, 2013

      Cynthia,
      Yes you can blend it up, I usually don’t do that because my hubby doesn’t mind the chunkiness but blending it will make a smoother sauce.
      Janet

      Reply
      • Cynthia

         /  June 8, 2013

        It won’t alternate the taste right? I also couldn’t find the vino tinto that you recommended, being desperate I ended up getting the goya vino tinto. I hope thats ok?

        Reply
        • Janet O.

           /  June 12, 2013

          Cynthia,
          The Goya vino tinto is fine, I have used it and have it as a back up as well. :)
          - Janet

          Reply

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