Chicken a la Criolla (Crock Pot or Instant Pot)

Chicken a la Criolla, a simple yet flavorful Latin dish made with stewed boneless skinless chicken thighs bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices. Slow cooker or Instant Pot directions provided.

Chicken a la Criolla, a simple yet flavorful Latin dish made with stewed boneless skinless chicken thighs bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices.Chicken a la Criolla

Criolla (literally creole) is a Spanish word widely used to describe Caribbean or Hispanic cuisine. This is one tasty and inexpensive meal for 10 Smart Points. A few other chicken Crock Pot recipes I love are Pollo in Potacchio (Braised Chicken with Tomatoes and Rosemary), Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine, and Easy braised Chicken Drumsticks in Tomatillo Sauce.

Chicken a la Criolla, a simple yet flavorful Latin dish made with stewed boneless skinless chicken thighs bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices.

As promised, I played around with my crock pot last night making this easy yet flavorful dish which requires no pre-cooking on the stove. In most cases, I think it’s always best to brown the chicken, onions and garlic in a skillet before adding it to a slow cooker because it adds a depth of flavor you just don’t get when you skip that step. That being said, for this dish I didn’t think it was necessary because it has so many aromatics, herbs and spices that flavor is not lacking.

Because slow cookers tend to mute the flavors from the long cooking times on low heat, you should always taste it at the end and adjust the spices and salt if needed. Also, adding extra fresh herbs at the end is always a must in my opinion.

And since so many are asking, although I have and love my Instant Pot, I still love my slow cooker! I have the 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker (affil link). I love it because you can adjust the time you want it to cook, and it automatically turns to warm when it’s done. It also has a probe for meat that automatically shuts off when done. I hated my old crock pot, it burnt everything and my food had a weird taste. This slow cooker is so great, I actually own several!

This dish was loved by all in my house, including my two year old. Enjoy!!

Chicken a la Criolla, a simple yet flavorful Latin dish made with stewed boneless skinless chicken thighs bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices.
Crock Pot Chicken a la Criolla – In this simple yet flavorful dish, boneless skinless chicken thighs are stewed in the slow cooker with bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices. Served over rice.

Chicken a la Criolla, a simple yet flavorful Latin dish made with stewed boneless skinless chicken thighs bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices.

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Crock Pot Chicken a la Criolla

Chicken a la Criolla, a simple yet flavorful Latin dish made with stewed boneless skinless chicken thighs bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices. Slow cooker or Instant Pot directions provided.

Ingredients:

  • 10 (2 lbs) skinless boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped or sliced
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp alcaparrado or pitted spanish olives
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • salt to taste
  • 1-2 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (plus 2 tbsp more for serving)

Directions:

Slow Cooker

  1. Place chicken, onion, garlic, pepper and tomatoes in the crock pot. Season with salt, cumin and oregano. Mix well so everything is seasoned.
  2. Add tomato sauce, alcaparrado (or olives) along with 1 tbsp of the brine, 1/2 cup water, bay leaf and cilantro.
  3. Mix well and set crock pot to HIGH 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
  4. When done, taste for salt and seasoning and adjust spices as needed.
  5. Add 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro and serve over rice.

Instant Pot

  1. Place chicken, onion, garlic, pepper and tomatoes in the instant pot. Season with salt, cumin and oregano. Mix well so everything is seasoned.
  2. Add tomato sauce, alcaparrado (or olives) along with 1 tbsp of the brine, 1/2 cup water, bay leaf and cilantro.
  3. Mix well and cook high pressure 20 minutes, natural release.
  4. When done, taste for salt and seasoning and adjust spices as needed.
  5. Add 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro and serve over rice.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 5 servings, Serving Size: 2 thighs + sauce

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Freestyle Points: 5
  • Points +: 5
  • Calories: 211 calories
  • Total Fat: 6.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.3g
  • Cholesterol: 144mg
  • Sodium: 447mg
  • Carbohydrates: 9.9g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Sugar: 2.1g
  • Protein: 28.8g
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