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Dominican Stewed Chicken – Pollo Guisado

Stewed chicken in a large pan just off the stove
Dominican Stewed Chicken (Pollo Guisado)

Woohoo! So happy to share with you this classic Dominican Stewed Chicken recipe which we call Pollo Guisado in Spanish. I shared a similar version of this recipe with all white meat, which is how I cook it most of the time because I have a ton of white meat lovers at my house but I always prefer this one, a combination of dark and white meat using a whole chicken. I love how dark meat absorbs so much flavor from seasonings, also having the choices of drumsticks, wings and thighs, and I love me a good thigh!!!

What makes Dominican Stewed Chicken different?

We use sugar! Yes! Sugar helps give that golden color to the chicken because when you put sugar in hot oil, it caramelizes and the color it gives the chicken is amazing!

This is the way that I grew up cooking Pollo Guisado and honestly one of the most amazingly tasting chicken I have ever had in my life. Its the recipe I cook for all my non-Dominican friends because I know they will be super impressed, so much so, that it is the top requested dish when they are coming to visit. So that goes to tell you something!

Tip for making sure you get the best flavor out of this Pollo Guisado

Refrigeration time is key after seasoning. Minimum of 6 hours but for optimal flavor, do this overnight, heck even 24 hours is good. Trust me on that one!

Sides that go perfect with Pollo Guisado

White Rice
Moro Rice
Black Bean Veggie Rice
Black Bean Cilantro Saffron Rice

Stewed chicken in a pan just off the stove
Dominican Stewed Chicken (Pollo Guisado)

Watch me make it!
Stewed chicken in a large pan just off the stove

Dominican Stewed Chicken (Pollo Guisado)

Classic Dominican Stewed Chicken. Very flavorful, tender and juicy. Served with some white rice and you are good to go!
4.06 from 79 votes
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Course: dinner, How to, Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean, Cuban, Dominican, Latin, Latin Fusion
Keyword: best chicken recipe, best dominican chicken, best latin chicken recipe, caribbean chicken recipe, chicken, dominican braised chicken, dominican chicken, dominican pollo guisado, dominican recipe, dominican recipes, easy chicken recipe, fast chicken recipe, how to braise chicken, how to cook chicken, how to make pollo guisado, latin braised chicken, latin chicken recipe, pollo dominicano, pollo guisado, pollo guisado dominicano, stewed chicken, traditional pollo guisado
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Refrigaration: 12 hours
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 whole chicken or combination of dark and white pieces
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs Goya adobo
  • 1 tsp ground organo
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 packet powdered chicken bouillon I used half a packet
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 green pepper sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper sliced
  • 1/2 large red onion sliced
  • 1/4 cup Mazola corn oil
  • 1 tbs granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbs Goya salad olives or Mazanillo olives, chopped
  • 2 tbs chopped cilantro divided in half


  • Chop up the whole chicken if using a whole one.
  • Remove the skin off the chicken, except for the wings and drumette. Also remove some of the little pieces of fat but not too much of it, we want some to provide some chicken fat to our sauce.
  • Once you have prepped the chicken, place the chicken in a bowl and add water to it.
  • Add lime juice and massage into the chicken for about a minute. Drain the water but do not rinse.
  • Now, let's season the chicken.
  • In that same bowl, add the salt, adobo, adobo, oregano, chicken bullion and soy sauce. Stir well.
  • Refrigerate for 6 hours minimum but overnight is preferred to obtain maximum flavor.
  • Once ready to cook, slice the peppers, onions. Finely chop the cilantro and salad olives.
  • Add the peppers, onions and 1 tbs of the chopped cilantro to the chicken and its marinade. Mix well.
  • In a large skillet or deep pan, add the corn oil over high heat.
  • Immediately add the sugar to the center of the pan.
  • One you notice the sugar is beginning to caramelize, turning a deep brown and smoking, add the first piece of chicken right on top the that sugar and move to the side. Leaving the peppers and onions in the liquid seasoning. Continue the same process with the rest of the pieces until you have them all in.
  • Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. In the meantime, add 1/2 cup water to that seasoning with the peppers and onions in it.
  • Turn the chicken over. It may look like it is burnt but it's just the caramelized sugar doing it's job. That sugar will eventually distribute to the rest of the chicken and give it great color.
  • Add about 3 tbs of the seasoned water to the pan and lower heat to medium low.
  • You will add seasoned water to the chicken every 5 minutes or so for 30 minutes. add more water to the seasoning, if you run low.
  • After 30 minutes, add the peppers, onions, tomato paste and olives. Stir well and let cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure it doesn't dry out too soon. If it does, then it is done. Watch my video for reference.
  • Once chicken is done, sprinkle with the rest of the cilantro and enjoy!
  • Serve with white rice for a more classic Dominican experience.



  1. 5 stars
    I absolutely love your blog and I hope you are getting the traffic to your site that you deserve! Amazing recipes

    1. Thank you for checking out my blog! Traffic is slow lately but there is that thing called the summer slump. Hoping that once fall comes and I share some Thanksgiving recipes, things will perk up again. Fingers crossed!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! My whole entire family is Dominican and I’m the only one who was born & raised almost entirely in the US. My grandma wasn’t very good at teaching (my mom learned entirely by watching her) and then my mom just let my brother step up to cook, so now I’m out of the house and no one’s really shown me how to make actual dominican food ???? It’s websites like this that are complete lifesavers for me, so thank you!!

      1. 5 stars
        This was so delicious even tho mine came out a little salty but I think it’s because I used boneless chicken thighs and I used less meat then you did but other then that my husband ate it all up and I’m not a good cook at all so I even surprised myself

        1. Thank you so much for your comment! Definitely cut down the ingredients if using less chicken but I am happy to hear that your husband still enjoyed the meal!

    1. Hi! If I cover it is if the oil is super hot when I put the chicken in for the first time. I always have the lid close by in case I need it. For the video I had the heat on medium high, more towards high, and I did ok with the splatter. My mom likes to cover hers almost the entire cooking time so I guess it is really a matter of preference. Towards the end I do make sure its uncovered because at that point you are drying the chicken out to sit in it’s oil.

  3. I’ve lived in southern NY 35 years. The neighborhood was mostly Dominican. We ate this food at least twice a week. I’ve since moved to South Carolina. You can not find authentic Dominican food anywhere down here. My wife and I have missed this dish and decided if we can’t find it we’ll make it. I came across your blog and Dominican stewed chicken recipe and decided to give it a try. Soon as I tasted the sauce a big smile came across my face and was instantly brought back home. I looked at my wife and dropped the wooden spoon like a mic drop. This is it! This recipe was perfect and so good! We have made it for all our friends down here and everyone raves about it! Thank you so glad we found this recipe!

    1. The only thing I can tell you right now is that you made me cry with happiness as I read this comment. I have been making this since I was in my early teens. Always honoring who taught me, my mom. Thank you so much for your feedback!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this dish and it was very good. The taste was authentic and the sauce was delicious. I will definitely make this often. Thank you for a great recipe.

    1. Thank you so much for leaving a comment about your experience with is recipe. It is absolutely one of my childhood favorites and tastes just like my grandmother and mom’s recipe. I was well taught. My goal is to always share our culture with others so you just made my day. Thank you!!!

  5. 5 stars
    Made it tonight for dinner, it was incredible. The chicken was tender and so flavorful. I served with white rice. Only. Hanged I made was, Instead of bullion cube I used better then bullion to decrease the sodium and also used another brand of adobo which has no MSG and next time I would omit the salt (my preference). Can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

    1. Hi Jordana! Thank you so much for letting me know you made it and that you enjoyed it! The better than bouillon substitution I have done before! LOL I used it when I ran out of bouillon. Let me know, if you can, how you like my other recipes you try! Happy New year to you!

  6. 5 stars
    I just recently came across your food blog and I absolutely loveee your recipes !! I made this the other night and added some red chili flakes for an extra kick and omg. I’ll be making this recipe for life! It’s so delicious ! And I love your videos! Thank you ????

    1. Thank you for letting me know you made it and that you loved it! It is one of my favorite recipes to make and I so glad you got to enjoy it too! Hugs and Happy New Year!

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