Dominican-Style Chicken Fricassee
I was born in New York City, daughter to Dominican parents. Our dinners mainly consisted of white rice, pinto beans, and some kind of meat with a green salad. Very simple, but very flavorful. It’s a meal known as “La Bandera” (the flag).
The rice was perfectly fluffy and salty. The meat was juicy and tender. The beans were a delicious sauce that brought it all together. I didn’t eat salad much growing up. I probably should have. I’m sure the coolness of the tomato and the lettuce works really well with the rest of the meal.
Chicken fricassee, also known as pollo guisado is the perfect recipe that hits all of these highlights. It’s flavorful, forgiving for the average cook, and softens tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions just enough. Pollo guisado is generally done on the stove top and simmered until the chicken becomes fall off the bone tender. As soon as it was ready, you’d call your other half, kids, and the neighbor kids over for a nice meal and enjoy the deliciousness.
This recipe requires a little prep work, but you can skip searing the chicken to cut back on time when you need to get dinner on the table ASAP. Depending on how many batches of chicken you need to saute, you could save 6 minutes or more. When I made this recipe, I used nearly 4 pounds of chicken quarters which had to be seared one by one. Including the 25 minutes or so it took to do that, plus 10 minutes building pressure, 20 minutes at high pressure, and 15 minute natural pressure release, dinner was served in 1 hour and 10 minutes. Had I skipped searing, dinner would have been ready in 45 minutes.
Pollo guisado pairs nicely with my habichuelas guisadas, Jasmine rice, and a green salad. Read on for the recipe!
- 6 Quart Instant Pot (I have a Duo 7-in-1)
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium mixing bowl
- Cutting board
- Plate to hold the browned chicken
- Wooden spoon
- Tongs (to transfer the chicken)
- 2-gallon zip top bags
- 2 pounds of skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces (I used chicken quarters)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons Adobo seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 small white onion sliced into strips
- 4 plum tomatoes cut into quarters
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced and seeded
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced and seeded
- 1/4 cup pitted olives cut into halves with its juice (optional)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 lime
- Cilantro leaves chopped for garnish
- Mix the seasonings and set aside. (Note: the Adobo seasoning has plenty of salt, so no need for any in this recipe!)
- Add the onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, olives with their juice, and garlic to a 2-gallon zip top bag. Set aside.
- Prepare the chicken. I wash my chicken, but you don’t have to. Just be sure to pat it dry.
- Add the chicken to the vegetable mix, include the seasoning and two tablespoons of olive oil and close the bag.
- Thoroughly massage the bag to incorporate the chicken, vegetables, olive oil, and seasonings. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Decon all areas within ten feet of the raw chicken. Salmonella is no joke.
- Set your Instant Pot to the sauté mode and press the adjust button to medium heat. When the screen reads “HOT,” add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. (You may have to take the pot out and swirl the oil around due to the slightly curved bottom of the pot.) Add the sugar and cook until caramelized – about two minutes. Watch to make sure the sugar doesn’t burn!
- After a minute, brown the chicken on each side for about three minutes. (Reserve the marinade.) After browning, place the chicken on another plate.
- Pour two tablespoons of water plus some of the marinade juice. Using a wooden spoon, deglaze the pot, scraping up the browned bits to incorporate into the liquid.
- Pour the remainder of the marinade into inner lining of the Instant Pot. Add the chicken on top, ensuring it’s in an even layer.
- Juice the like and pour it all over.
- Lock the lid in place. Set the knob to sealing. Press the poultry button and set to 13 minutes at high pressure, if one layer, 20 minutes if you had to overlap meaty pieces.
- After the Instant Pot completes the cooking cycle, let the pressure come down naturally for about 15 minutes then release any remaining pressure after that.
- Carefully remove the lid (make sure you keep away from the steam escaping!) and set aside.
- If you want, carefully remove the chicken and switch to saute mode to thicken the sauce.
- Serve chicken over rice with a small bowl of stewed beans on the side. I personally like the beans on the same plate, so I can get that perfect bite easily and every time!
- Enjoy the savory flavors!
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Buen provecho! – Sami B.
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