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Pollo Guisado (Stewed Chicken)

Pollo Guisado (Stewed Chicken) in a flavorful broth of sofrito and tomato. This Puerto Rican chicken dish is simmered until fall off the bone tender and is best served over rice to soak up that delicious sauce!

Plate of stewed chicken over rice

Pollo Guisado

Today I’m adding another essential Puerto Rican recipe to the arsenal: Pollo Guisado.

For the carne guisada lovers, I already have a recipe for Puerto Rican Beef Stew posted.

There are quite a few names for this dish.

There are also Cuban, Dominican and other Latin variations of this dish.

It goes by Guisado de Pollo, Guiso, Puerto Rican Chicken Stew and Puerto Rican Stewed Chicken.

You may also see this recipe called Fricase de Pollo or Pollo en Fricase (Chicken Fricassee).

The only real difference I can find between Fricase and Guisado is the amount of liquid in the final product.

Guisado usually has more broth and Fricase has more tomato.

Pot of pollo guisado

Sometimes it’s all about the chicken, and sometimes potatoes, carrots or other vegetables are added.

My mom likes to add zucchini to her pollo guisado. This is not at all traditional, but it increases the nutritional value and tastes delicious!

Basically, anything you add to this stew will soak up the incredible flavors of the broth, which is my favorite part.

Because the broth is so tasty and flavorful, we like to serve this stew over rice. It soaks up every last drop.

You’ll need sofrito to make this recipe, so check out my post on Puerto Rican sofrito, which also includes substitutes if you can’t find certain ingredients!

Step by step collage how to make pollo guisado

How to Make Pollo Guisado

The key to good pollo guisado is to season, season, season.

Start by seasoning the chicken. Legs and thighs are my favorite since they have more flavor.

Whatever pieces you use, I recommend bone-in and skin on.

I have used boneless, skinless chicken breasts before. And while the flavor is tasty, they’re nowhere near as tender.

If you want boneless, skinless chicken, stick with dark meat.

Plate of pollo guisado over rice

Brown the chicken. This adds another level of flavor.

Then prepare the broth which is seasoned with sofrito, tomato sauce and spices such as adobo seasoning and sazón.

You’ll also want to add some green olives for a pop of briny flavor and some potatoes.

This is also the time to add vegetables such as carrots or squash.

Taste your broth before adding the chicken back to the pot and make sure it’s well seasoned to your liking.

Then simmer everything until the chicken is fall-apart tender.

I’ve also cooked this in the Crock Pot before. You can do on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4.

Serve over white rice, or arroz con gandules if you so desire.

We also like to eat this with French bread and sliced avocado on the side.

Plate of stewed chicken over rice

Pollo Guisado (Stewed Chicken)

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Puerto Rican style chicken stewed in a sofrito based broth with potatoes and olives.

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs and/or legs
  • 1 tablespoon adobo
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano

For the broth:

  • 1/4 cup sofrito
  • 1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Spanish olives
  • 1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and diced into large chunks
  • 1 cup cubed carrots or squash (optional)
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock/broth or water
  • 1 packet sazón or ½ teaspoon homemade (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon adobo
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic power
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cooked white rice, for serving

Instructions

For the chicken:

  1. Heat oil in caldero or large pot over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, season chicken pieces with adobo, garlic powder, salt, pepper and oregano.
  3. Brown chicken on all sides, then remove from pan and set aside.

For the broth:

  1. Add sofrito to pot and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add olives, potatoes and chicken stock. Use more or less water depending how soupy you like it.
  3. Season with sazón, adobo, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then taste again, broth should taste bold and salty since the potatoes will soak up the flavor.
  4. Add chicken back to pot and lower heat. Cover and simmer until cooked through and chicken is tender, about 30-45 minutes. Serve over white rice.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 624Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 292mgSodium: 1035mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 57g

Nutritional information provided is an estimate only. Please consult the labels of ingredients you use for more accurate results.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment below! Or tag @kitchengidget on Instagram with the hashtag #kitchengidget


If you like Puerto Rican food, also try these delicious recipes…

Plate of chuletas guisadas over rice with avocado on the side
Chuletas Guisadas (Stewed Pork Chops)
Plate of canned corned beef over rice and green beans on the side
Puerto Rican Corned Beef
Puerto Rican Chicken Pasta: juicy bites of chicken, sautéed peppers and onions, and penne pasta to soak up a delicious sofrito-based broth! | Kitchen Gidget
Puerto Rican Chicken Pasta

Mare

Saturday 6th of November 2021

This is a winner. Grew up on this but as time goes on we tweak and tweak then forget the actual basics LOL. This one reminded me so thank you 😉. I make this every two weeks, or rather I switch between guisado and fricasee. When I have wine available. You nailed it!!!

Rebecca

Friday 14th of June 2019

Thankyou so much for this recipe!!! I’m a novice cook, and this was easy to follow and make. I grew up with food like this.... now, I live in a really rural area and there is no place to get anything other than pizza. Anyway, I just made it, I’m actually eating as I’m writing. :) Delicious! I made it with boneless chicken.... still good. :) I did have a hard time finding the Sophrito, primarily because I thought it was a spice.... lol. It was near the Goya section. Thank you so much!

Rebekah

Friday 14th of June 2019

Thanks so much! I've made it with boneless chicken before too. :-) Thanks for the tip on where to find sofrito - readers will appreciate that.

Holly

Saturday 20th of April 2019

One of my best childhood friends is Puerto Rican, and I loved going to her house for dinner! Found this recipe and made it to the T. It was exactly like my friend’s mom used to make! It made a lot (just my boyfriend and me at the house) so I took it to work the next day, along with arroz con grandules. Now everyone thinks I can cook, haha! Thank you so much!

Pat

Monday 31st of December 2018

Can you do this with boneless chicken?

Rebekah

Monday 31st of December 2018

Yes, I've done it with boneless before.

ellen

Tuesday 18th of September 2018

I made this tonight and it was soooo good! Comfort food! Adding it to one of my favorites! Thank you! Oh and the sofrito -I could just eat that by itself even!

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