Fricase de Pollo (Chicken Fricassee) | This post was sponsored by Pompeian. All opinions expressed on my site are my own.
Fricase de pollo is a traditional Puerto Rican chicken stew that is braised in wine with potatoes and carrots. It’s the kind of dish that warms your heart and fills your belly.
Over the last week, we’ve been spending a lot of time with my husband’s family, and it made me nostalgic for my favorite childhood dish, fricase de pollo. Or as you might call it, chicken fricassee.
I remember the times I would get so excited walking in to the wonderful smell of fricase de pollo. It’s still one of my favorites today because it’s hearty, comforting, and reminds me of home.
What does fricassee mean?
A fricassee is a cooling technique that is a cross between a sauté and a stew. A fricassee is first sautéed and then liquid is added to braise the meat. Although most modern recipes now thoroughly brown the meat before braising, much of the liquid in the fricassee comes from the meat’s own juices. This makes for a delicious concentrated flavor and thicker consistency.
What is the origin of chicken fricassee?
Though the origin is not certain, many think the word fricassee is a hybrid of the French words frire (to fry) and casser (to break in pieces). It was brought to the Spanish Caribbean islands by the Spanish and the French, and it remains a popular recipe there.
But unlike the traditional French fricassee, this Puerto Rican chicken stew is tomato based and made with red wine, similar to the Cuban version. Yes, please!
What is chicken fricassee?
When you add chicken into the mix, it results in the kind of dish that’s comforting, sticks to your bones, and only gets better the next day. This belongs in your chicken comfort recipe staples like coq au vin, creamy tuscan garlic chicken, roasted chicken, and chicken skillets. It can definitely stand up with your tried and true chicken recipes.
Fricase de Pollo Recipe Ingredients
- 3 lbs chicken pieces
3 teaspoons adobo spice seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper
1/4 cup minced cilantro or culantro
1 cup red wine
1 14 oz can diced tomato
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaf
12 olives stuffed with red peppers
6 petite golden potatoes
3 large carrots
salt to taste
Where traditional chicken fricassee is made with white wine and heavy cream, my recipe is prepared how I grew up eating it. My mom made it with a tomato and red wine sauce, and I am going to stick with her recipe. Why mess with what isn’t broken?
How to make fricase de pollo
First, you make a marinade by combining adobo seasoning, olive oil, and garlic. There will be enough flavor here without adding extra salt and pepper. Make sure the chicken is well coated, cover it, and let those flavors get going in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
When you’re ready to cook, heat a large Dutch oven or another heavy pot with a tablespoon of olive oil. Then add the chicken breasts and chicken thighs (whatever pieces you’re using) and brown chicken skin side down. When evenly browned on all sides, remove chicken to a plate while you get the rest of the dish underway.
To the hot pot, add another tablespoon of olive oil, the onion, bell pepper, and cilantro. Sauté until the vegetables are translucent, about 4 minutes.
Next, pour in your red wine to deglaze the pot, scraping up all the brown bits at the bottom of the pot. Here your flavor will do great things. If you don’t have wine, you can use chicken broth or chicken stock, but the wine adds a lovely sweetness.
Now stir in the diced tomato and tomato paste. You’ll know you’re doing the right thing because your kitchen will smell delicious!
When that’s combined, return chicken to the pot with the bay leaves, olives, carrots, and potatoes. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer and cover.
Let it cook for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked and tender. Finally, keep it simmering (uncovered this time) for 15 minutes so the sauce can get nice and thick.
What to serve with fricase de pollo
Wondering what to serve with fricase de pollo? I recommend a pot of white rice or arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas). A bowl of rice is key because it soaks up all the sauce, guaranteeing you don’t miss a drop of flavor.
If you’re not in the mood for rice, which is just crazy talk, maybe try some arepas de coco (coconut fry bread). And no meal is complete without dessert! One of my favorite Puerto Rican desserts is tembleque (coconut pudding).
Whatever you serve it with, this Puerto Rican chicken stew will be a hit with the family. The chicken turns out so tender it almost falls off the bone, and the sauce is lick-your-plate good! It is savory but it has a tangy sweetness because of the wine, and after the chicken, my favorite has to be the carrots. They are soft and sweet, like little nugget treats.
Oh, and I can’t forget, it makes awesome leftovers since everything sits and marinates in the sauce. It is just heavenly!
more Puerto Rican comfort food done right
- pinchos de pollo
- arroz con pollo
- chuletas a la jardinera (braised pork chops)
- pastelon (plantain lasagna)
Need more Puerto Rican recipes? Check out my full collection of Puerto Rican recipes!
- 3 lbs. chicken pieces bone-in, skinned
- 3 teaspoons adobo spice seasoning
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons garlic, mashed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro or culantro
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 14 oz can diced tomato
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 bay leaf
- 12 olives stuffed with red peppers, halved
- 6 petite golden potatoes, halved
- 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- salt to taste
- Combine chicken, adobo, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and garlic. Toss until well combined, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In a large heavy pot heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, add chicken brown evenly on all sides. Remove from oil and set aside. In the same pot add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, onion, bell pepper, and cilantro, sauté for 4 minutes or until translucent.
- Add red wine to deglaze the pot, scraping up all the brown bits at the bottom of the pot. Stir in diced tomato and tomato paste.
- Return the chicken to the pot with the rest of the ingredients. Raise heat to bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cover.
- Cook for 45 minutes or until chicken is tender. Uncover and simmer for 15 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken.
- Serve over white rice.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 771Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 265mgSodium: 1158mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 7gSugar: 8gProtein: 66g