Pollo Guisado | Dominican Style Stew Chicken

by Chef Zee

Pollo Guisado. I have to take a moment and let that dish sink in. Pollo Guisado. I’ve shared a bunch of recipes here on my blog and on my YouTube channel, but this recipe is one of the most special simply because it reminds me of home. It’s the dish that takes me back time and time again to my childhood in Queens, NY.  I remember coming from school smelling the Pollo Guisado from outside of the house. If you’ve never had this dish just now that it smells divine. It’s heavenly.

What’s best is that the trick to making this braised stew chicken is to get the oil really REALLY hot. The sizzle it makes when you’re browning the chicken is unreal. As a kid, I remember watching my aunt making this dish and being worried that the oil would pop and hurt us both since I was right there next to her learning how to cook. Years later, it’s my turn to make this dish and I crank up the fire just as high to get the oil just as hot.

I had this dish at least once a week; it was a staple in my house. We usually had it with rice and beans but my favorite way to have it with boiled green plantains. Pollo Guisado leftovers were a treat since the sauce had a chance to settle and the meat was forever tender—never dry. No two Pollo Guisados taste the same since every family has its own sabor. In fact, Pollo Guisado is a popular dish all throughout the Caribbean. It’s fun and interesting to see such a traditional dish evolve island to island. Today, I’m sharing my version, which I hope you enjoy.

Feel free to follow along the step by step tutorial on How to Make Dominican Style Pollo Guisado | Dominican Stew Chicken

Pollo Guisado Dominicano | Dominican Stew Chicken | Made To Order | Chef Zee Cooks

Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 3.9/5
( 12 voted )


  • 2.5 lbs of chicken-- cleaned
  • ½ red onion finely chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper chopped
  • ½ cubanelle pepper
  • 6-8 Mashed garlic cloves
  • 1.5-2 tsp adobo
  • ½ tsp ground oregano
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tbs sazon or paprika
  • 2 tbs Soy sauce
  • ¼ sopita/ bouillon cube
  • ½ lime
  • 2-3 tbs olives
  • 1 ½ tsp tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • Canola oil
  • Celery leaves ** optional
  • 1 smal red onion
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp vinegar—red or white


  1. Begin by thoroughly cleaning your chicken with water and lime juice
  2. Then add all of the dried ingredients like the adobo, black pepper, oregano, bouillon cube, and sazon
  3. Now add all of the fresh veggies—peppers, onions, garlic, olives
  4. Followed by the wet ingredients—soy sauce, lime juice, and olives
  5. Mix everything together. If you like, you can even massage the seasonings into the chicken. I usually put on a pair of disposable cooking gloves and do this. My grandmother used to do this and in my mind it makes the chicken taste better
  6. Next, cover the chicken and let it marinate for at least an hour in the fridge. The longer is marinades, the better
  7. Once the chicken is done marinating, heat canola or veggie oil. Make sure you heat it on medium to high flame to get it REALLY hot. Some people like to burn some sugar into the oil to help with the browning, but I find that heating the oil super hot will also work
  8. Add the chicken one by one making sure to add the bigger thicker pieces facing face down since these take longer to cook. Feel free to dust off any extra marinade. In fact, set the marinade aside—this will come in handy later
  9. Once you’ve added all of the chicken, rotate them so that they brown evenly on all sides. Your kitchen should already smell like delicious Pollo Guisado
  10. Now that your chicken is all browned, add the tomato to the remaining marinade. Stir it up so that it begins to dissolves
  11. Add the leftover marinade-tomato paste mixture to the chicken
  12. Then add water to that same bowl and add it to the chicken
  13. Your chicken should now be submerged in the water. Bring it to a simmer-boil but be sure to keep an eye on it. This is where the chicken will cook all the way through and retain its moisture. Also make sure you continue to flip over the chicken so that it cooks evenly on all sides. If your Pollo Guisado dries up too much add more water. The Pollo Guisado should take about 40-50 minutes to cook depending on the pieces of chicken you have
  14. When the chicken is cooked all the way through, make sure that there’s enough stew. Add a little more water if the chicken stew is too dry
  15. In the end, dice up some onion and pepper and drizzle it with a little bit of vinegar. Then add to the chicken. Cover the chicken and turn off the heat. The steam from the chicken will cook the onions and peppers. This is an optional step but highly recommended. The vinegar will balance all of the flavors in the stew/pollo guisado

Enjoy! Buen provecho!

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