International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Pollo Guisado

Pollo Guisado (Caribbean stewed chicken and vegetables)

(Dominican, Puerto Rican stewed chicken)

Average: 2.1 (99 votes)

This delicious dish of chicken stewed with vegetables is an indispensable part of Dominican cooking. Along with arroz con habichuelas (red beans and rice) and a side salad, pollo guisado makes up a patriotic lunch called la bandera, or "the Dominican flag." Even so, Puerto Ricans are fans of pollo guisado too.

4 to 6 servings

  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces -- 2 to 3 pounds
  • Salt and pepper -- to season
  • Oil -- 3 tablespoons
  • Onion, finely chopped -- 1
  • Bell pepper, finely chopped -- 1
  • Garlic, minced -- 3 to 4 cloves
  • Tomatoes, seeded and chopped -- 2 cups
  • Cilantro, chopped -- 1/4 cup
  • Oregano -- 2 teaspoons
  • Bay Leaves -- 2
  • Chicken stock or water -- 2 cups
  • Salt and pepper -- to season
  • Potatoes, cut into chunks -- 2


  1. Rinse the chicken pieces, pat them dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high flame and brown the chicken, a few pieces at a time, on both sides. Set aside.
  2. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic to the pot and saute until the onion softens and turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, cilantro, oregano and bay leaves and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes to reduce the liquid somewhat.
  3. Return the chicken pieces to the pot and add the chicken stock or water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover loosely and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Add more stock or water if necessary.
  4. Add the potatoes and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through and tender.
  5. Adjust seasoning and serve with arroz con habichuelas and a side salad.

Pollo Guisado Variations

  • Carne de Res Guisada: Substitute 2 pounds stewing beef for the chicken. Simmer the beef for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it gets tender, before adding the potatoes.
  • You can use boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs cut into chunks if you prefer.
  • Many cooks marinate the chicken in the onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes, oregano and bay leaves overnight to give it added flavor. Remove the chicken from its marinade before browning. Then add all the marinade ingredients at once and cook for about 5 minutes before adding back the chicken and the stock or water.
  • Other possible additions to the stew include chopped carrots, green olives, peas, chopped ham, a teaspoon or two of sazón, or a big pinch of saffron.
  • Some recipes call for the addition of 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 teaspoons of sugar to give the sauce a light sweet-sour flavor.


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