Fricase de Pollo | Cuban Style Pollo Guisado

by Chef Zee

Slow simmered Cuban style Fricase de Pollo in a sauce that delights!

Fricase de Pollo is truly the definition of Cuban comfort food! There’s honestly nothing like it. Mojo marinated chicken slow simmered in a tomato sauce with potatoes and served over white rice is what dreams and my childhood are made of. Every Hispanic household has their version! 

It’s hard to think about Pollo Fricase and not immediately smile from ear-to-ear. The slow simmered chicken falls off the bone. The sauce perfectly coats white rice and fires off so many great memories. My favorite part of this dish are the tasty potatoes that are also slow simmered in the tomato sauce. In fact, I add extra potatoes because that’s how much I love it. 

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Now before you roll your eyes and think — rice AND potatoes! Isn’t that too much starch? In theory, it can be, but when it comes to this Cuban treasure, it’s utter perfection! 

When thinking of this dish, it’s important to note that it’s much different than the French Chicken Fricassee. The French version is creamy and delicious, but entirely a different beast. The Cuban version (surprise!) is much more Spanish in flavor. It involves onions, peppers, dry white wine, bay leaves, and tomato sauce. The ingredients come together in perfect harmony for an explosion of flavor that friends and family will love. 

Like all authentic and classic Cuban recipes, there’s so many different ways of making this dish. It varies region-by-region and household-to-household. However, regardless of how you make it, a few things need to be true– you need fresh onions, peppers, garlic, and tomato sauce to bring this dish to life. 

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Making Cuban Style Fricase de Pollo is pretty simple, but you want to keep a few things in mind to make sure that you get it right each and every single time. Here are my tips & tricks! 

Tip #1: Use skinless bone-in chicken for the best results. If you leave the skin on, it can become gummy as the chicken simmers. Removing the skin will give you the best results 

Tip #2: If you use chicken breasts in addition to bone-in chicken, be mindful of their different cooking times. You don’t want to overcook and dry out the chicken breasts where it shreds into nothing. 

Tip #3: If possible, avoid using a non-stick pan. This dish build flavor onto itself so it’s best to use a cast iron, hard anodized, or even stainless steel pot 

Tip #4: Use a good dry white wine that you wouldn’t mind drinking to really elevate this dish 

Tip #5: Add the potatoes when the chicken has cooked halfway through.

Tip #6: Note the size that you cut the potatoes. The larger you cut the potatoes, the longer that they will take to cook. 

This Cuban Pollo en Salsa is one of my favorite dishes to make whenever I’m having guests over. It is slow-simmered, and doesn’t need much babysitting. It also tastes better the longer it sits. The flavors all have a chance to settle. The potatoes especially will absorb so much of the flavor and sauce. You guests will be amazed at how tasty it all is. 

Cuban Style Picadillo!

Keep in mind that what you use to make this dish is also really important. In fact, I strongly advise not using a non-stick pot to make this dish. This dish builds flavor onto itself. You want to build a crust when you’re browning the chicken. You also want some fond to build on the bottom of your pot. Fond is browning gold that builds at the bottom of your pot whenever you’re browning or braising meats. You eventually deglaze the fond with wine, tomato sauce, and even the juices released from onions and peppers. It’s essential to this dish because it adds color and flavor. 

You don’t always get that when you use nonstick pans. Whenever I make this recipe, I swear by my Le Creuset Marseille Braiser. It gets the job done! However, if I’m making a large amount, I’ll sometimes even use my Hearth & Hand Dutch oven. The key is to use a pot that will help build flavor. It’s also important to use a pot with tall sides to hold both the chicken and sauce in place. Remember, we’re adding potatoes to this dish, which can cause this dish to grow in size. 

And now for the recipe…

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Fricase de Pollo Cubano | Cuban Style Pollo Guisado | Chef Zee Cooks

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Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 2lbs Bone-in Skinless Chicken (Thighs & Drumsticks)
  • 1 White Onion
  • ¼ Green Bell Pepper
  • ¼ Red Bell Pepper
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 2-3 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Orange
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 tsp Paprika or Ground Annatto
  • 1 cup Tomato Sauce
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine
  • ½ cup Spanish Olive & Capers
  • 3 Potatoes Cubed Medium Size
  • Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Mash garlic and season chicken with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic, limes, and orange. Let marinate for 20-30 minutes
  2. Warm cast iron braiser over medium heat and add olive oil. Then add chicken and flip chicken after 5 minutes. Once chicken is browned on all sides, remove chicken and set aside
  3. Add diced onions and peppers. Add kosher salt and black pepper to help veggies sweat. After 3-5 minutes when the veggies after softened, add tomato sauce and left over marinade from the chicken. Mix together until well combined. Let sauce simmer for 1 minute
  4. Once the sauce has begun to bubble, add dry white wine, bay leaves, and olives. Mix together. Let sauce simmer for 2 minutes
  5. After sauce has simmered for 2 minutes, add chicken back into the sauce. Cover with lid and reduce flame to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes
  6. After 30 minutes, remove lid and add potatoes. Feel free to rotate chicken so that it's all covered in sauce. Cover with lid again. Reduce flame to low. Simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are all the way cooked through
  7. After 30 minutes, remove pot flame and let sit for 15 minutes before serving. Feel free to cook chicken on medium-high if you'd like to thicken the sauce. Enjoy with white rice

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