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Pollo Guisado (Latin Chicken Stew with Olives)

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Pollo Guisado or Latin Chicken Stew is a hearty braised chicken stew popular in Caribbean, Central and South American cuisines, with loads of flavor and so easy to make!

Pollo Guisado (Latin Chicken Stew with Olives)
Pollo Guisado (Latin Chicken Stew with Olives)

This pollo guisado recipe my favorite comfort food dish, especially when the weather is cold. This is my go-to chicken stew recipe that is huge on flavor and my family loves it. I probably make this as often as I make picadillo, and if you’ve been following for a while, then you know how much we love picadillo! I have many variations of this recipe, like my Instant Pot Latin Chicken Stew with Corn and Sofrito Chicken Stew. Another chicken stew we love is this Paprika Chicken Stew.

Pollo Guisado (Latin Chicken Stew with Olives)

What is pollo guisado?

Pollo guisado (pronounced po-yo gee-sah-d0) translates to “chicken stew” in English. This stew has several variations as it is very popular in many countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The recipes slightly vary by country and even from house to house. Since I am half Colombian and my husband is half Puerto Rican, this recipe is inspired by both countries. Sometimes I add potatoes, or corn or omit the olives. A beef version of this would be carne guisada.

Pollo Guisado Ingredients

Here are the ingredients I use in my pollo guisado recipe:

  • Chicken – I use bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks – don’t use boneless. The bone adds so much flavor to the stew but I removed the skin to make it a bit healthier, and to be honest you don’t miss it. If you prefer white meat, bone-in chicken breast works fine.
  • Spanish Olives and the olive brine give this dish lots of flavor. If you don’t like olives you can omit and add more salt, to taste.
  • Seasoning – Adobo and Sazon are typically used in Puerto Rico and add so much flavor to this stew. Cumin and bay leaf are also added for flavor. If using sazon, look for Sazon with Achiote, or make your own sazon from scratch.
  • Chicken bouillon adds great flavor, if you prefer to omit add salt to taste.
  • Aromatics and Herbs – Scallions, Garlic, Cilantro

How to Serve Pollo Guisado

Eat this Latin chicken stew over rice to soak up all the delicious broth, or top it with avocado and a quick cabbage slaw on the side.

Freezer Tips:

To freeze any leftovers, transfer to an air-tight freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm on the stove, in the pressure cooker, or microwave.


  • Chicken: You can use all drumsticks or all thighs if you don’t want to use both.
  • Vegetables: Add corn, yucca or potatoes.

Latin chicken stew with olives

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Pollo Guisado or Latin Chicken Stew

4.99 from 81 votes
Pollo Guisado or Latin Chicken Stew is a hearty braised chicken stew popular in Caribbean, Central and South American cuisines, with loads of flavor and so easy to make!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Colombian, Latin
Pollo Guisado (Latin Chicken Stew with Olives)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 2 pieces chicken, 1/3 cup sauce


  • 4 skinless chicken drumsticks, on the bone, 14 oz total
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs, on the bone, trimmed, 20 ounces
  • 1/2 teaspoon adobo seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 medium scallions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus 2 tbsp for garnish
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 packet sazon seasoning, optional
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives, plus 2 tablespoons brine
  • 1 tablespoon Chicken Better Than Bouillon, or 1 cube
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Season chicken with adobo seasoning salt.
  • In a large deep skillet,  pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat saute the scallions in olive oil until soft, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and 1/4 cup cilantro cook until soft, 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Nestle the chicken in the pot and let brown 5 minutes, turning halfway.
    how to make chicken stew
  • Add tomato sauce, Sazon if using, 1 cup water, olive, olive brine, Bouillon, cumin and stir. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil.
    Pollo Guisado or Latin Chicken Stew
  • Cover and cook 50 minutes over medium-low heat, until the chicken is tender.
  • Uncover the pot, increase the heat to high and cook to thicken the sauce, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaves, adjust salt if needed and add the remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro.

To make this in the Instant Pot

  • Cook on high pressure 20 minutes.
  • Natural release, discard bay leaves and top with remaining cilantro.

Last Step:

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Serving: 2 pieces chicken, 1/3 cup sauce, Calories: 344 kcal, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Protein: 49 g, Fat: 12 g, Saturated Fat: 2.5 g, Cholesterol: 221 mg, Sodium: 1100 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g