Fricase de Pollo is a Cuban style, stewed chicken dish. The chicken, along with potatoes, peas, olives, capers and spices are slow cooked in a tomato and wine-based sauce until the meat is tender enough to fall apart. It’s typically served with white rice and other sides like fried plantains.
Fricase de Pollo along with many other Cuban dishes containing meat call for mojo marinade. Mojo is tangy citrus and garlic mix used to marinade meats. The marinade not only adds flavor, but its acidity helps tenderize the meat. Mojo marinade can be store bought or easily made at home from sour oranges, garlic, herbs and spices.
Fricase de Pollo or chicken fricassee is not unique to Cuba. On the nearby island of Puerto Rico, people cook a verion of Fricase de Pollo with the most notable difference being the use of adobo seasoning mix. Across Cuba, ingredients in Fricase de Pollo vary. People who do not like olives omit them while some variations include raisins.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Fricasse de pollo originates in French cuisine, perhaps not in ingredients and flavorings but rather the cooking method. Fricase is Spanish for fricassee. The fricassee method of cooking is combination of sauteing and stewing. The meat is first sauteed in fat then liquid is added and the cooking is completed by stewing.
The use of Sazon and Mojo in this dish is entirely Latino-Cuban. Fricase de Pollo is regularly eaten in Cuban households but also on special occasions or when having company.
- Chicken thighs, skinless - 8-10 pieces
- Mojo marinade - 2 Cups
- Olive oil – ¼ cup
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Yellow onion (diced) - 1
- Green bell pepper (diced) - 1
- Garlic cloves (minced) - 4
- Dry white cooking wine – ¾ cup
- Oregano - 1 Tsp
- Tomato sauce - 16 oz can
- Pimiento filled olives – ¼ cup
- Sazon seasoning - 2 packets
- Ground cumin – ½ tsp
- Russet potatoes - 2
- Green peas – ½ cup
- Water- ¼ cup
- Marinate the chicken pieces in mojo overnight or at least 4 hours.
- Once marinated, remove chicken from marinade and pat dry.
- Sprinkle the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot, over high heat.
- Brown the chicken lightly in batches then remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the onions and green pepper to the pan and sauté until translucent.
- Add in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add the wine to the pan and simmer with the veggies for just about 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce, water, cumin, sazon, olives, salt, pepper and chicken back into the pot.
- Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add potatoes, then simmer for another 20 minutes.
- Stir in the peas right before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 646Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 182mgSodium: 3027mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 4gSugar: 11gProtein: 43g