Pollo en Fricasé

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Poultry | Pollo en Fricase

(Caribbean chicken fricassee)

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.

Image Creative Commons by scaredy_kat

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  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.
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