Pollo Guisado Otherwise Known As Braised Chicken
We are celebrating the Christmas holidays in the Dominican Republic in a town called Cabarete. It’s Christmas Eve and we treated ourselves by hiring local Chef Catalino along with his wife to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner so we can enjoy the island and still be home for a traditional viewing of White Christmas tonight.
Maddie picked waffles for breakfast served with fresh fruit. She wanted the carbs for the beach horseback ride she and I took right after breakfast. Mom and Maddie’s sister Nell headed out to do a big hike up to some waterfalls on another part of the island.
For lunch and the focus of this post, Chef Catalino prepared a traditional meal of Pollo Guisado (braised chicken) with rice and beans. He also served Insalada Caprese as a side. I watched Chef Catalino and his wife prep and prepare the pollo guisado. He explained to me how important this dish is to the Dominicans, what goes into it and the steps taken to prepare it.
Pollo Guisado Recipe
- 1 chicken cut into 8 pieces
- 1 lemon cut into half
- 2 green bell peppers
- 1 small red onion finely chopped into fine strips or eighths
- 4 plum tomatoes cut into quarters
- 2 tablespoons of canola oil
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon of garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- A teaspoon of dried oregano
- A small bunch of fresh coriander leaves
- Salt & Pepper taste
- Start by washing the chicken pieces with water and then rub the lemon halves all over the chicken. Make sure to rub all the pieces. Reserve for later.
- Preheat a large pot or fry pan over medium heat and add the oil to the middle of the pan but don’t spread it around. Add the sugar to the oil and wait until the sugar starts to brown. Now add the chicken pieces and brown in the sugar and oil.
- When the chicken is browned, a few tablespoons of water to the pot, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. If the liquids cook off too quickly, add more a tablespoon at a time.
- Add the chopped vegetables, season with a little salt, cover and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through. Again, if necessary add water a tablespoon at a time.
- Add the tomato paste along with a half cup of water and simmer over low heat until you have a nice sauce.
- Taste and adjust seasonings with a little salt and pepper. Chef CCC served the chicken with white rice and beans. I need to get his recipe for his beans. They were delicious too.
- Maddie must have been hungry from her horseback ride, she ate two helpings while we watched the ocean crash on the beach. It was memorable lunch.