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 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.

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.

Variations:

  • 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

More Chicken Stew Recipes You’ll Love:

Pollo Guisado (Latin Chicken Stew with Olives)
Print WW Personal Points
4.98 from 42 votes
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Pollo Guisado or Latin Chicken Stew

344 Cals 49 Protein 7 Carbs 12 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Colombian, Latin
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!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
    scallions
  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

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

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98 comments

  1. Amazing!  Everyone loved it and we licked the sauce out of the pot. 

  2. This recipe blew me away! The building of the flavors with the cilantro and scallions was new for me, but totally delicious. My husband said it went to the top of his list of favorite dinners I’ve cooked.

  3. This was extremely good and easy to make. I swapped the green olive/tomato sauce ratio with a 6oz can of pitted green olives plus brine and a 28oz container of pomi stewed tomatoes. I finished it with lime zest and juice. I can’t wait to try it again after it’s marinated a night in the fridge. 

  4. NO ADOBO – NO SAZON – NO CILANTRO available? GO for it! Still amazing recipe!

    It really breaks my heart sometimes…in Germany we have to search for cilantro and for the adobo/sazon…..I did not have the energy to blend it my self. Still….we bathed in it!

    I tricked a bit with 4 drops of “Maggi” (if any european reads this^^), a splash of soy sauce, more cumino, garlic powder, chives(!), , doubled garlic cloves, lots of green olives….it was a feast! next time i will try with adobo and cilantro….but whenever you dont have it: never mind! Thanks for this recipe :*

  5. I bookmarked this awhile ago because it looked so good, Finally made it tonight since I had all the ingredients, the only thing I changed was adding quartered russet potatoes. DELICIOUS! I made the full recipe for my husband and I with the assumption that I’d have plenty left over for another meal – its an hour after dinner and my husband is in the kitchen eating it straight out of the pot.

  6. 5 star approved by my Puerto Rican husband. We make this at least once a month!!

  7. Amazing recipe. I make it every week. The flavors are so delicious. So happy I tried it.

  8. Beyond excellent and so flavorful!! My husband has begged me to make it twice in the past month! Thanks Gina! 

  9. I am not an experienced cook, and this recipe did challenge my limited kitchen skills, but the family loved it! I will make this again.

  10. SO GOOD. This has quickly become my favorite weeknight meal. So easy to prepare and SO flavorful. My family is obsessed. 

  11. Used 2 lbs of chicken breast and leeks in place of scallions because that’s what I had on hand and doubled everything else. Served over ST Latin Yellow Rice. AMAZING!!!

  12. I’m a personal chef and my clients keep raving about this stew! 

  13. This was delicious. I never cook with chicken legs, so glad I branched out and tried this. Husband also loved it. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Wow this was way better than I was even expecting! I figured it would be a nice stew, but it was so much better than just “a nice stew”. I think this just became a new family favorite. Everyone had seconds and the kids even asked for thirds. I used the Sazon but followed her recipe to make my own blend. I added 2 yellow potatoes & served over rice. The flavor was really incredible. Im adding this to my recipe rotation and expect to be making this one often. 

  15. This recipe is so delicious! The grocery store near us didn’t have either the adobo salt or the sazon so I just made my own adobo and used the linked recipe for the sazon. The sauce is so good- I think I may double it next time. I also love that it’s easy to make! I will definitely be making this recipe again. We served it over rice this time but I think I will try it over spaghetti squash next time I make it. 

  16. Delicious!  My husband and I loved it!

  17. So worth the effort!  This is richly layered in flavors!  Best chicken dish I have made ever!  I agree with others, I literally want to bathe in the sauce!  It’s THAT delicious!

  18. Gina- OMG. I haven’t commented in years but I had to leave a comment for this one. This was AMAZING. My husband and are both literally drinking the sauce right now. 

  19. This was so flavorful and easy to make!  I didn’t include saffron but will next time. 

  20. This was awesome! We didn’t have cumin, so we substituted with Jamaican Curry Powder and OMG it was great! It did end up being a little too salty, so next time we may cut back on the brine a bit, but the flavors reminded us of being in the Caribbean. So good!

  21. Omg So simple SOOO  delicious. Will def increase green olives next time and – funny- I don’t even like them.  I followed recipe exactly as written other than using a bit more adobo and added one small chopped leek with scallions. Served with rice and chopped spicy green olives. 

  22. this dish is amazing
    the sauce reduces so it is sweet but also a little spicy from the seasoning. I was pretty much licking the sauce from my plate after i ate the chicken

  23. This was one of two new…and different…recipes I tried this week. Hubby approved of both. I added the leftover beans/corn from the SPICE RUBBED GRILLED SALMON WITH BLACK BEANS AND CORN and it was a good add. We also served it over brown rice. I’m not very adventurous with recipes, so thanks for having easy ones I can follow!

  24. One more point of clarification please:  I don’t have the adobo seasoning so I plan of using my homemade sazon for the first step when you suggest seasoning the chicken.  Is there something special about the adobo seasoning?  Should I wait and try to procure it first before trying out the recipe?

  25. I plan on making my own Sazon Mixture as you described — but in the chicken recipe you say to add 1 packet of sazon — what is the right quantity if I make my own?

    Thank you

  26. This was soooo good. I left out the olives (not a fan) and salted to my taste. Doubled up on the can of stewed tomatoes & prob less chkn broth. This will def be in regular rotation in my kitchen. Thanks Gina!

  27. How much Sazon do you use if you make the spice blend yourself? 

  28. If using your homemade salad, how much is equal to a packet?

  29. I absolutely love this recipe!!! I had some drumsticks and bone in thighs that I didn’t quite know what to do with and this fit the bill perfectly! I love the spices and I also threw in a very little chipotle with adobo for a little added flavor. This recipe also made me appreciate green olives which I thought I’d never say! I made this a few times this past week and it got the thumbs up from friends as well!!! Very quick and easy to throw together, but tastes like you cooked it all day. Thank you so much for sharing this!!!

  30. Oh my GOSH! Made this last night, and it was AMAZING!! It’s not often you find a recipe that is both easy to make AND delicious! This had SO much flavor. Everyone raved! My husband saw that I was cooking with drumsticks and thighs and turned up his nose until he tasted it. The meat fell off the bone! I generously seasoned chicken with Adobo instead of ½ tsp and doubled the garlic. I will make this again and again!! Thank you!

  31. Would you please tell me the best way to add yucca to this dish? I’m trying to make this for my Puerto Rican BFF who is doing WW with me and is an excellent cook. I can’t let her down!

  32. So disappointed in this recipe. So unbelievably salty we can’t even eat it.

  33. Made this with haddock. Didn’t realize I bought spicy olive but the spice was just right. The sauce is amazing.

  34. Amazing!!!

  35. This is just as delicious as everyone said! Thank you!

  36. Gina, Your recipes are always spot on. Your site always inspires me and my family is always happy when I cook one of your meals. Thank you for sharing your ideas and talents!

  37. Can you make this in the slow cooker? What would the directions be? 

  38. Hi! A heads up.  There’s a pretty big difference between a bouillon cube and a tablespoon of better than bouillon. I’d like to know which one is correct? A teaspoon of better than bouillon is the appropriate amount for 8 ounces of water. It’s the same with a cube of a bullion, 8 ounces of water. A tablespoon of better than bouillon would be the amount for 3 cups of water. Am I seeing something incorrectly? 

  39. How should I prep frozen yucca and when should I add it? Same in the IP? Planning on stove top but like having options. Thanks so much, Gina. I use your recipes almost every night of the week!

  40. This was delicious, I kept raving about it all night. Having healthier alternatives to my Latin cooking roots is really nice to have.

  41. This was simply one of theeee best meals I have ever made! Followed recipe exactly (even making the Sazón per your instructions!). Thank you, Gina, for the care and attention you put into your recipes! I especially appreciate the included ww personal points info. Great flavor, easy to follow directions for a superb weeknight dinner. Will be making it again as well as sharing it with other ww members!

  42. I just made this recipe and just WOW! It will become a weekly rotation for sure. Gina, you always comes through! Thank you for making recipes!

  43. Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner! My husband and I LOVED This dish. Used the Instant Pot! But, I used the Saute feature and scorched the onions & garlic (needed a tad more oil?) and had to start over. I’m also not sure why it’s not marked as GF. I don’t see anything with gluten? Thanks for this one, it’s a keeper!

  44. This is absolutely delicious! I used shallots instead of scallions because that’s what I had. Definitely will make it again. 

  45. Broth was delicious!!!!  Will definitely make it again. 

  46. This was THE BEST meal I’ve ever cooked off ST. I cook almost exclusively from this site and Gina’s books. This was hands down the best meal ever. SO GOOD.
    I didn’t have cilantro and used onion instead of scallion – but oh my gosh my entire fam ate it all. There were no leftovers . Thank you Gina!

  47. This was fabulous!! A nice change of flavors from ordinary chicken dishes. I used Goya chicken bullion. It states right on the packet, 1 packet equals 1 cube. I was afraid given all of the seasonings that this might be salty but it wasn’t. It was perfect following the instructions exactly as they are. I served with a half cup of small shell pasta. Wonderful. Lots of left over sauce which I will serve over rice with another meal. I used well trimmed skin on chicken thighs. Does anyone know how that impacts the calories?

  48. What type of adobo seasoning salt do you use?   I can only find adobo seasoning salt free.  Could I just use some adobo sauce? Thanks!

  49. Super delicious and easy. Plan on serving at next book club get together. Thank you!

  50. Loved this recipe!  Don’t usually purchase boned chicken (I hate having to pick at my food) but did for this. It was outstanding. Made it in my Instantpot. Exactly 20 minutes with a 10 minute natural release. 

  51. I made this tonight and it was wonderful. I added potatoes and served over jasmine rice. Such a comforting a flavorful meal!

  52. Excellent chicken dish, very flavorful and filling over Spanish rice

  53. OMG this recipe was so AMAZING! I don’t know what I was expecting but this blew away any that I had.
    I’ve been doing keto for the past 6 months or so so I haven’t done many skinny taste recipes because they’re so hard to find (or I’m tired of having the same kind of things over and over) but this will be a definite staple in my house! My dad compared it to my Mexican grandmother’s cooking! (That is a VERY high honor)

  54. I made this tonight exactly as instructed and it was delicious! Next time I will add potatoes to the stew.  Very warm and hearty, great for a winter night.  The meat is so soft and tender it just falls off the bone.  This is something I will definitely be making again.  Thanks Gina!

  55. It should be one teaspoon of Better than Bouillon (or one cube), not a tablespoon. 

  56. For the Instant Pot directions – do you literally dump everything in the pot and cook for 20 minutes, or do you repeat the stop-top directions up to step 6 and THEN turn the IP onto high pressure for 20 minutes?

  57. Looks delish! Quick question tho’ recipe says 1 bullion cube or 1 Tablespoon Better Than Bullion. Should that be 1 teaspoon ? 

  58. Hi Gina. I love all your recipes! If I wanted to use bone in chicken breast, how long do you suggest for cooking time?

    • One more question:  you recommend first seasoning the chicken with adobo seasoning salt — and in addressing some of the comments readers have had you said you could substitute the adobo seasoning salt with the sazon.  However — your recipe for homemade sazon has some salt in it, along with a lot of other ingredients…. I guess I just don’t know what adobo seasoning salt is — and if it’s preferable to just using the sazon twice in the recipe!  Many thanks for clarifying this — I can’t wait to try the recipe.
      Lisa

  59. Could I use bone in chicken breast? Would 3lbs be right?

  60. Hi! Greetings from Honduras. I love your recipes! The other day I made pollo guisado for my husband, but this recipe looks so much more delicious. The one change I made, I seared the chicken parts first, the removed them and added them back after mixing the sauce, so they cooked in the sauce. Will try this recipe next time!

  61. Doesn’t WW have points any more? I haven’t gone to meetings since the pandemic started, but I follow the points system. How many blue points is this?

  62. Hi Gina! I love all of your recipes. If I wanted to make this in the slow cooker how long would I cook it for?

    • I prefer it on the stove, flavor is better but if you must 6 to 8 hrs low

      • Since my slow cooker has a removable nonstick insert, it allows me to braise or saute on the stove first. That seems like a reasonable compromise.
        Can’t wait to try this!

  63. Thank you for the recipe, I’m looking forward to making this tomorrow. My question: Do you have an amount in ounces or tsp./tbsp. for the Sazon packet? I have a jar of Sazon seasoning and am not sure how much to add. Thanks so much!

  64. Can I use boneless chicken breast?!?