RECIPE: Pollo Guisado
Updated: Sep 17, 2018
1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces – skin may be removed. Legs scores. May also use 8 chicken thighs.
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
1 stalk celery
1 small green bell pepper, seeds removed – may also use ½ green and ½ red pepper
3 Seasoning pepper (specialty ingredient)
6 cloves garlic
6 stalks Parsley (stems & leaves)
1 healthy sprig of thyme
Freshly squeezed juice from ½ lemon
¼ cup olive or grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
½ cup chicken stock or water (chicken stock will give a better flavor)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 large waxy potato, peeled and diced into medium-sized cubes
¼ cup capers
¼ cup parsley, very finely chopped
Make the sofrito by pulsing in a food processor until very finely chopped. Use half for marinating the chicken and reserve half for adding to the stew later on. Tip: Sofrito stores well in the fridge in an airtight container and is best used within a week.
Marinate chicken pieces in sofrito, lemon juice, oil, and salt, and pepper for 30 minutes at room temperature and up to overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before frying.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Divide the oil between 2 frying pans and heat over medium heat. Don’t heat the oil too hot or the seasoning will burn.
Scrape excess marinate from the chicken. Lightly season the chicken with salt.
Use both frying pans to brown the chicken. Tip: using 2 pans ensures the chicken won’t be overcrowded and drop the temperature too low, which prevents a good browning. Alternately, you can brown the chicken in batches using 1 pan.
Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes or until browned then flip and brown for another 4-5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a Dutch-oven or an oven-proof pot.
Deglaze the pan(s) with ½ cup stock or water, ensuring to scrape all the frond (browned bits) from the bottom of the pan. Tip: make sure to use a wooden spoon to avoid scratching your pan.
Add the deglazed liquid, the rest of the sofrito, and the can of tomatoes to the chicken.
Cover the pot and braise in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken and set aside. Using a handheld or stand-blender, pureé the braising liquid until smooth.
Return the chicken to the pot and add the diced potatoes. Continue cooking until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Add the capers and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper then garnish with the finely chopped parsley.
Tip: This is a dish that gets more flavorful overnight – just heat thoroughly on low-heat until hot.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Caribbean rice and peas with tomato and cucumber salad. Saffron rice pilaf with grapes, cashews, and spices.