International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Pollo en Fricasé

Pollo en Fricase Recipe (Caribbean chicken fricassee)

(Caribbean chicken fricassee)

Image Creative Commons by scaredy_kat

Average: 3.5 (4 votes)

Pollo en fricasé is a simple fricasee of chicken with typically Caribbean flavors like ham, oregano, cilantro and olives. Sometimes called fricasé de pollo, it is especially popular in Cuba and Puerto Rico. Leftovers taste even better when reheated the next day.

4 to 6 servings


  • Oil -- 3 tablespoons
  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces -- 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
  • Onion, chopped -- 1
  • Bell pepper, chopped -- 1
  • Garlic, minced -- 3 or 4 cloves
  • Ham (optional), diced -- 1/2 cup
  • Cilantro, chopped -- 1/2 bunch
  • Oregano -- 2 teaspoons
  • Stock or water -- 2 1/2 cups
  • Tomato sauce -- 1/2 cup
  • Red wine vinegar -- 1 tablespoon
  • Green pimento-stuffed olives -- 1/3 cup
  • Raisins -- 1/4 cup
  • Bay leaves -- 2
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Peas (optional) -- 1 cup


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken pieces in batches in the hot oil until browned and remove to a plate.
  2. Add the onion, pepper and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Then add the ham, cilantro and oregano and sauté for another 2 or 3 minutes to heat through.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the peas and return the browned chicken. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  4. Stir in the peas if using and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve with rice.

Pollo en Fricase Variations

  • Use annatto oil if you can to give an authentic yellow hue to the dish. If not available, you can add 1/2 tsp turmeric to the sautéing onions. Neither step is essential though.
  • The onions, peppers, garlic, ham, cilantro and oregano make up a sofrito, a typical flavoring mix for Latin Caribbean dishes. You can marinate the chicken in the sofrito for several hours first if you like. Simply wipe the chicken clean before you brown it in the hot oil and proceed with the recipe.
  • Add 1/2 cupwhite wine at the end of Step 2 and boil down a little for extra flavor.
  • Sometimes 1 or 2 peeled and quartered potatoes are added.


Sorrel is also called roselle, but it is a red flower that blooms in the winter, just in time for Christmas. Hibiscus is a different flower that you have pictured here. It is not sorrel and it is not used to make the sorrel drink that is fermented and made at Christmastime.

The scientific name of sorrel — or roselle or jamaica — is Hibiscus sabdariffa. I've replaced the picture with a better one though. The new one shows the swollen calyxes as they are harvested instead of a fully bloomed flower. Sorrel flowers are white with a red center. Previously I had a picture of an all-red flower.

It would be nice to show the full tree to see how pretty the flowers look when ripen on the tree.
There is also a white sorrel which makes a tasty drink too. Especially with a little Jamaian white rum.

Which is it? i'm a little confused what is the health properties? eg. rich in vit c etc.

This site is the first I've come across so far that clarifies that our Caribbean 'sorrel' is not the same sorrel that is rich in oxalic acid.

In nigeria,we add fresh pineapple or pineapple flavour. Taste alot better