Pollo Guisado is a dish that I can make with my eyes closed. I make it so much that it’s practically embedded in my memories. Whenever I’m at a loss on what to make for dinner, I know that Pollo Guisado aka Stew Chicken will definitely hold me down. It’s a must have staple in my house. In fact, it’s one of those dishes that I think everyone should master early on in their cooking journey. It’s flavorful chicken with equally amazing sauce– what’s there not to love?
Now there’s definitely a ton of different ways of making this dish which is usually the case with any classic-traditional dish. Today’s recipe is no different. The twist to this recipe, is that we’re actually using an Instant Pot to make Pollo Guisado. **gasp** I know!
For those of you who know, you know that I’m really not a fan of most kitchen gadgets. I prefer to do things by hand the old-fashioned way just like I saw my grandmother do it. I personally believe that there’s a virtue to it. I also find that not all kitchen gadgets save you time, money, or clean up. What they save you is effort and some even give you peace of mind. However, this Instant Pot Pollo Guisado is different. While it doesn’t necessarily save you time on the front end and cooking, it does save you time on the back end when it comes to cleaning. It’s also pretty effortless and takes a ton of guesswork out of cooking.
When making Pollo Guisado in an Instant Pot or your favorite pressure cooker, the chicken cooks insanely fast. Sometimes too fast and too much. It’s important to know that there’s a steep learning curve with any pressure cooker that you use. I also find that making the chicken in a pressure cooker is about the same as making it on the stove. Remember, the Instant Pot has to come up to temperature, then pressure, and then has to release pressure. Those bits of time you spend waiting for the machine to calibrate is almost the same that you spend cooking the chicken on the stove. The biggest difference is that you don’t have to man the stove. And I won’t lie, I really like this feature especially when I’m doing a million and one things around the house. The best part is also not having to scrub down a dirty stove and pot at the end of the night. The Instant Pot clean up is a breeze.
All in all, there are a few differences between Instant Pot Pollo Guisado and stovetop Pollo Guisado.
- Using a blended sofrito or none at all is best. This will give you a fairly smooth sauce and gravy at the end
- Know that your Instant Pot saute setting won’t get as hot as your stovetop pot. This means that you have to brown your chicken for a bit longer to get the same color and caramelization.
- Brown your chicken in batches. This is super important if you want to develop color and flavor
- Play around with your pressure cook settings to figure out which one is best for you. I find that pressure cooking it on high for 15 minutes is ideal. Anything more will give me tasty chicken that has literally fallen off the bone. You may find that your settings are a tad different than mine given your machine
- Reduce your sauce at the end to make sure you get the right thickness that you want
And now for the recipe…
- 2 lbs Skinless Chicken
- ¼ Green Bell Pepper
- ¼ Red Bell Pepper
- 1 White Onion
- 5 Garlic Cloves Mashed
- 1 tbs Spanish Olives
- 2 tbs Chicken Bouillon Cube or Adobo
- ½ tbs Soy Sauce *optional
- 1 tsp Tomato Paste
- 1 tsp Dominican Orégano
- 1 tbs Sazón con Achiote
- ⅛ tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Vinegar
- 1 Lime
- 1 tbs Fresh Cilantro
- Black Pepper to Taste
- Olive Oil
- 1 cup water
- Season skinless chicken with mashed garlic, chicken bouillon cube or adobo, soy sauce *optional, sazon con achiote, cumin, black pepper, fresh lime, and olive oil. Mix everything until it's well combined and marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- Prep your Instant Pot by setting it to saute. Once the Instant Pot is hot, add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot and brown chicken in batches. Depending on the size of the chicken and the size of your pressure cooker, you may have to brown chicken in 2-3 batches. Once you finish browning the chicken, add all of the browned chicken back into the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water. Feel free to add water to the same bowl where chicken was marinating and then transfer that water to the Instant Pot. You want to make sure to capture all of the marinade. Note that browning the chicken will seal in flavor and help develop color. Once you've added the water to the Instant Pot, gently scrape the bottom of the pot making sure that all of the marinade is deglazed.
- Next, cover your Instant Pot with lid and set it to pressure cook on HIGH for 15 MINUTES. Once it's done cooking, carefully release pressure BEFORE opening lid.
- Afterwards, set Instant Pot back to saute mode. Add tomato paste and fresh cilantro and carefully mix together. Cook until sauce has reduce to your desire thickness. At the very end, add fresh onions, peppers, Spanish olives, and vinegar. Mix together and turn off Instant Pot. Veggies will continue softening with stem.
Cooktimes and settings may vary depending on pressure cooker or Instant Pot.
Once you’re done making your Instant Pot Pollo Guisado, remember to enjoy with your favorite Rice, Beans, and Tostones! Or feel free to enjoy with mashed potatoes and veggies. Buen Provecho!