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    Dominican Pollo Guisado (Chicken Stew)

    Pollo Guisado, the beloved chicken dish that everybody from Latin Caribbean islands grew up on. Its dynamics and taste changes from Dominican to Puerto Rican to Cuban.

    This colorful, fall off the bone chicken is caramelized first and then braised in a beautiful sauce. Atop a bed of rice, this is ultimate bliss for many people!

    Try it, you will love the simplicity of this most flavorful and yum chicken stew.

    pollo guisado alongside a scoop of white rice on a blue plate

    What is Pollo Guisado?

    Pronounced as “poy-yo gweeSAH-doh”, it translates as chicken stew. It is braised low and slow until the chicken is tender in the most flavorful sauce or stew. It comes in variations, evolving from island to island, with the family recipes passing from generation to generation.

    The pollo guisado that first came into my life wasn’t Dominican, but Puerto Rican (which is coming to GypsyPlate in the near future… another reason to subscribe?). That has a bit more Latin ingredients and spices, so I decided to introduce this simple and easy Dominican version first.

    It has a beautiful sauce created by veggies and a few Latin spices, with the occasional tanginess of olives.

    Why You’ll LOVE this Recipe

    • Bold Flavors: This dish is a symphony of tastes, thanks to the savory adobo and earthy oregano, enhanced by aromatic cilantro and garlic. Each bite is a flavor bomb that delights the palate.
    • Versatility: Pollo Guisado pairs excellently with a variety of sides. Imagine it next to a fluffy bed of white rice, or even tortillas. The possibilities are endless!
    • Family-Friendly: Making 6 servings, this recipe is fantastic for family dinners. The warm, comforting nature of the dish brings everyone together.
    • Irresistible Aroma: From the moment you start cooking, the kitchen fills up with mouth-watering smells that promise a fantastic meal ahead.
    • Meal Prep Friendly: Leftovers, if you have any, are even more flavorful the next day. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
    • Cultural Richness: This dish is a staple in Dominican households and offers an authentic taste of Caribbean cuisine. It’s like a culinary vacation in the comfort of your home.

    Pollo Guisado Dominicano Ingredients

    ingredients for pollo guisado arranged on a white background
    • Chicken – Any stew is best with bone in chicken parts. We used thighs and drumsticks, with skin removed.
    • Onion – Yellow Spanish onion.
    • Bell peppers – I am using three colors, to reflect the colorful island life.
    • Fresh tomatoes – To create the sauce.
    • Tomato paste – To enhance the flavors.
    • Garlic – Plenty.
    • Cilantro – An important Latin herb
    • Green olive – You will find this in most guisados to create that Spanish flavor.
    • Adobo – Their seasoned salt.
    • Oregano – That’s the only spice we are using for this simple stew.
    • Chicken broth – The base for the stew.
    • Lime – For that freshness and tang.
    • Olive oil – To tenderize the meat while marinating.
    • Black pepper – A little extra flavor.
    • Sugar – To caramelize and brown the chicken.

    How to Make Pollo Guisado

    1. Prep the vegetables: First, dice your veggies, garlic, cilantro and halve your olives.

    chopped veggies on a cutting board

    2. Prep the chicken: Keep the chicken pieces large and remove skin. Place in a large bowl and coat with adobo, black pepper and oregano.

    raw chicken pieces with seasoning added

    2. Marinate: Add chopped veggies, garlic, olives, cilantro, lime juice and olive oil and mix everything well. If you have the time, marinate the chicken in all these yummies for a few hours. The more the better, as all the flavors seep into the meat.

    chicken marinating with chopped veggies in a bowl

    4. Brown the chicken: When you are ready to cook, you will start by giving a little color to your chicken using a common Caribbean method. Heat up cooking oil in large stew pot over medium high heat. Then add sugar and stir continuously until it caramelizes, about one minute. Then add in your chicken pieces and cook for 5-6 minutes per side, until they get a nice brown color. This is the secret for that amazing caramelized chicken you get in these stews.

    browned chicken in a pot

    5. Add the veggies: Once that’s done, add the remaining marinade mixture, mix well, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes.

    browned chicken and chopped veggies in a pot

    6. Simmer: Stir in tomato paste and chicken broth and again cover. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until the chicken is cooked fall of the bone, about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.

    chicken, veggies and broth in a pot with a glob of tomato paste

    7. Customize: You can add more chicken broth according to the consistency you like. I like it on the drier side with a nice thick sauce. Once done, you can squeeze in more lime if you want and garnish with more fresh cilantro.

    cooked pollo guisado in a pot

    What to Serve with Pollo Guisado

    Serve this stew with a plateful of your favourite white rice and dig in. You will be amazed by the flavor that is created with such a simple few ingredients.

    If you want to go all out with your Latin night, you can have a side of Black Beans and fry some Tostones.

    Recipe Notes and Tips

    • Marination Time: The longer you marinate the chicken, the more flavorful it becomes. If you can, aim for a few hours or even overnight.
    • Caramelizing Sugar: Keep a close eye during the caramelization of sugar. This step adds a rich color to the dish, but overdoing it can lead to bitterness.
    • Chicken Broth: Opt for a good-quality, low-sodium chicken broth for better control over the saltiness.
    • Meat Check: We like our stewed chicken falling off the bone tender, that’s why we prefer dark meat here. Check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. Chicken safe to eat at 165 degrees, which is the correct temperature to cook breast to, but dark meat is not really tender till about 185 degrees.
    • Stirring Frequency: Make sure to stir occasionally while the dish is cooking to ensure even flavor distribution and to prevent sticking to the pot.
    pollo guisado alongside a scoop of white rice on a blue plate

    Leftovers and Storage

    As any with other stew, pollo guisado gets better and better as the days go by. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It’s a great leftover on a busy weeknight.

    You can also freeze in an airtight container for 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

    Reheat in a covered skillet over medium heat, adding a bit more water or chicken stock if necessary.

    pollo guisado alongside a scoop of white rice on a blue plate

    So my friends, this coming week if you don’t know what to do with that chicken, try my Dominican style Pollo Guisado.

    This will make your life so easy, colorful and flavorful! In no time this is going to be your family favorite too… Buen Provencho!!

    Dominican Pollo Guisado, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    pollo guisado alongside a scoop of white rice on the gypsy plate

    Try these other great Latin Stews:
    Fricase de Pollo
    Carne Guisada
    Habichuelas Guisadas
    Asopao de Camarones
    Chile Verde
    Beef Birria

    featured image for dominican pollo guisado recipe

    Dominican Pollo Guisado (Chicken Stew)

    Yield: 6 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

    Pollo Guisado, a classic comfort food in many Latin countries. This Dominican version uses simple ingredients to create an amazing depth of flavor.


    • 3 lbs bone-in, skinless chicken
    • 1 onion
    • 3 bell peppers
    • 3 medium tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup green olives
    • 6-8 garlic cloves
    • 1/4 cup cilantro
    • 1 Tbsp adobo
    • 1 Tbsp oregano
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
    • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth
    • 1 Tbsp tomato paste


    1. Chop veggies, garlic, cilantro and olives. Remove skin from chicken. Add chicken to large bowl and top with adobo, oregano and pepper. Add chopped ingredients and olive oil. Mix well and marinate (the longer the better).
    2. Heat cooking oil in a large pot over medium high heat.. Add sugar and stir continuously, about one minute, until sugar is caramelized. Add chicken, brown each side 5-6 minutes.
    3. Add remaining marination ingredients. Mix, cover and cook 4-5 minutes.
    4. Add chicken broth and tomato paste. Mix well. Cover and cook 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check your chicken with a fork. Is it falling off the bone? If not, continue cooking until it is.
    5. Serve alongside a heap of white rice.


    1. We prefer dark meat chicken for this recipe. If using breast, you may wish to reduce cooking time to avoid it drying out.
    2. Keep a close eye during the caramelization of sugar. This step adds a rich color to the dish, but overdoing it can lead to bitterness.
    3. This stew refrigerates well in an airtight container for about 4 days. Reheat on stovetop over medium heat, adding a little water or chicken broth if desired.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 6 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 565Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 202mgSodium 427mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 2gSugar 5gProtein 68g

    Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    long pin of dominican pollo guisado

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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