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Fricase de Pollo (Chicken Fricassee)

Fricase de Pollo (Chicken Fricassee)

Fricase de pollo (chicken fricassee) is a traditional Cuban dish. Made with chicken, stewed in a flavorful tomato sauce and finished with potatoes and olives, it’s the ultimate comfort food.

Cooked fricase de pollo served in a large skillet.

 

Plus, it’s easy to make, affordable and hearty, perfect for hungry appetites and lean budgets. This is one of my family’s favorite meals. I hope your family enjoys it too!

 

What does fricassee (fricase) mean?

Fricassee is a cooking method, where meat is cut up into pieces, braised and served with the sauce it was cooked in. Chicken is a popular meat used to fricassee, but any meat, including seafood can be made fricassee style.

 

What is fricase de pollo?

It’s a braised chicken dish. This is a Cuban version of chicken fricassee. It starts with browning the chicken, then we make a sofrito as the base for a flavorful tomato sauce. The chicken continues to cook in the tomato sauce until it is fall-off-the-bone tender and the whole thing is finished with salty olives and potatoes.

 

Should I use dark meat or white meat chicken?

It’s best to make fricase de pollo with dark meat chicken. Preferably bone-in and skin on. Dark meat is less likely to dry out with the cooking time, plus the bone and skin add a ton of flavor.

 

What to serve with fricase de pollo

Typically, fricase de pollo is served with white rice. I know what you’re thinking: potatoes and white rice? It’s a Cuban thing! If you’d rather skip the rice, this stewed chicken is very good on its own, just include a piece of crusty bread or some crackers so that delicious sauce doesn’t go to waste.

 

Variations

  • If you don’t use wine or don’t have any on hand, deglaze the pan with chicken broth instead.
  • If you prefer to use chicken breast in this recipe, use bone-in so they don’t dry out too much.

 

If you’d like to try more deliciously-different recipes, try one of these:

 

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Ingredients

  • 8 pieces Chicken (about 2 pounds) use legs, thighs, or a combination
  • 1½ teaspoon Salt, divided (1 teaspoon to season the chicken and ½ teaspoon for the sauce)
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 small Onion, finely diced
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • ½ cup White Wine
  • 16 ounces Canned Tomato Sauce
  • ¾ cup Water
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 12-16 ounces Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch pieces (about 2 medium potatoes) we used russet potatoes
  • ½ cup Pitted Spanish Olives

The prepped ingredients for the recipe separated in glass bowls and displayed on a wood cutting board.

 

Prep Work

The prep work on this dish isn’t too labor intensive. But, things do move pretty quickly in the beginning. It’s best to have everything ready to go before you start. I like to use glass nesting bowls to keep all my prepped ingredients organized.

  • Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with the 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Prepare a seasoning mix for the sauce. Anytime we’re going to add several spices to a sauce at the same time I like to make a seasoning mix. That way you’re not standing over a hot skillet or pot measuring out ingredients. Add ½ teaspoon salt, oregano, cumin and black pepper to a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Dice the onions. Do a small dice, we want them to all but dissolve in the sauce.
  • Next, mince the garlic.
  • Measure out the tomato paste, white wine, tomato sauce, water and olives.

If you prefer, you can peel and cut the potatoes later. There will be a 15 minute window before they go in the fricassee. I rather get them ready with the other prep work. That way I can clear away the cutting board and get it washed up.

 

Peel the potatoes and cut them into roughly 1-2 inch pieces. Keep the peeled and cut potatoes in a bowl covered with cold water if not using right away. This keeps them from browning too quickly. Just remember to drain the water before adding them to the pan.

 

Brown the chicken

We’re going to brown the chicken a little bit before we start the sauce. This will add a ton of flavor since the sauce will be started in the drippings.

 

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet (or a large, wide pot) over medium heat. Use a pan that has a tight fitting lid and is large enough that the chicken fits without overlapping. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, turn the chicken and cook another 5 minutes.

Eight chicken legs browning in a large skillet.

 

Remove the skillet from the heat so that the oil and bits on the bottom don’t start to smoke. Use tongs to remove the chicken and place on a pan or plate and keep warm. Cover the chicken loosely with a piece of aluminum foil, and/or place the pan in the microwave. It will stay warm away from drafts.

 

At this point, the chicken will not be cooked through. Don’t worry, it will finish cooking in the sauce.

 

Start the sauce

Place the skillet back over medium heat. The oil should still be hot, but if it’s not give it a minute or so over the heat.

 

Add the onions. Cook them for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Next, add the garlic, tomato paste, ½ teaspoon salt, oregano, cumin and black pepper. Cook for 1 minute while stirring constantly.

 

Carefully add the wine, to the skillet. Stir, while gently scrapping any the bits off the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon or spatula.

White wine added to onions, garlic and tomato paste in a large skillet.

 

Cook for 1-2 minutes until most of the liquid has cooked out.

 

Add the tomato sauce, water and the bay leaf to the skillet and stir. I like to add a little bit of the water to the empty can of tomato sauce to get every drop out.

 

Use tongs to add the chicken back to the skillet, include any juices collected on the plate. Arrange them in the sauce without overlapping.

Metal tongs placing a chicken leg into a skillet with tomato sauce.

 

When the sauce comes back to a simmer, lower the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Cook the chicken fricassee for 15 minutes. Keep the sauce at a simmer. If the liquid is boiling too vigorously lower the heat a bit. This is very important; we can’t let the sauce cook away. We need enough to cook the potatoes and for serving.

 

Give the skillet a quick shake every once in a while, to make sure the chicken isn’t sticking to bottom. Stir the sauce about halfway through the cooking time.

 

Finish the chicken fricassee

Uncover the skillet, give the chicken and sauce a quick stir. Add the potatoes and the olives. Oh, and if some of that olive brine happens to make its way into pan, it’s kind of a good thing! Give everything a good stir to combine. Arrange the ingredients so they’re not mounded and everything has its own space.

Chicken, tomato sauce, potatoes and olives in a large skillet.

 

Raise the heat to medium and bring the sauce to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium low and make sure the sauce is simmering, but not boiling too vigorously. Cover the chicken fricassee and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Give the skillet a quick shake every once in a while.

 

The potatoes should be fork tender and the chicken at least 165°F. Use an instant read thermometer to take the internal temperature of a couple of the larger pieces to be safe. You should take the temperature at the thickest part of the largest piece, making sure not to touch the bone.

 

Now, I don’t like to stir the chicken fricassee at this point. The potatoes are tender and will break apart. Just give the pan a few shakes (with the lid on) everything will move around and the sauce will coat the chicken and potatoes. If you want to stir the sauce, use a rubber spatula and move the potatoes around gently.

Close up image of the finished chicken fricassee.

 

Use tongs to remove the bay leaf and discard. Serve the fricassee on a bed of white rice, if desired and enjoy.

 

Cooked fricase de pollo served in a large skillet.
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Fricase de Pollo (Chicken Fricassee)

Fricase de pollo (chicken fricassee) is a traditional Cuban dish. Made with chicken, stewed in a flavorful tomato sauce and finished with potatoes and olives, it’s the ultimate comfort food.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cuban
Keyword: chicken stew, Cuban chicken stew, fricase de pollo
Servings: 4
Calories: 733kcal
Author: Elizabeth

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces Chicken about 2 pounds use legs, thighs, or a combination
  • teaspoon Salt divided (1 teaspoon to season the chicken and ½ teaspoon for the sauce)
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 small Onion finely diced
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • ½ cup White Wine
  • 16 ounces Canned Tomato Sauce
  • ¾ cup Water
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 12-16 ounces Potatoes peeled and cut into 1-2 inch pieces (about 2 medium potatoes) we used russet potatoes
  • ½ cup Pitted Spanish Olives

Instructions

  • Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with the 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet (or a large, wide pot) over medium heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, turn the chicken and cook another 5 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and remove the chicken from the skillet. Place it on a pan or plate and keep warm. Cover the chicken loosely with a piece of aluminum foil, and/or place the pan in the microwave. It will stay warm away from drafts.
  • Place the skillet back over medium heat. The oil should still be hot, but if it’s not give it a minute or so over the heat.
  • Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the garlic, tomato paste, ½ teaspoon salt, oregano, cumin and black pepper to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute while stirring constantly.
  • Carefully add the wine, to the skillet. Stir, while gently scrapping all the bits off the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook for 1-2 minutes until most of the liquid has cooked out.
  • Add the tomato sauce, water and the bay leaf and stir.
  • Add the chicken to the sauce, including any juices collected on the plate. Arrange them in the sauce so that they are not overlapping.
  • When the sauce comes back to a simmer, lower the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Cook the chicken fricassee for 15 minutes, keeping the sauce at a simmer.
  • Give the skillet a quick shake every once in a while, to make sure the chicken isn’t sticking to bottom. Stir the sauce about halfway through the cooking time.
  • Uncover the skillet, give the chicken and sauce a stir. Add the potatoes and the olives. Give everything a good stir to combine. Arrange the ingredients so they’re not mounded.
  • Raise the heat to medium and bring the sauce to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium low. Keep at a simmer. Cover the chicken fricassee and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Give the skillet a quick shake every once in a while.
  • The potatoes should be fork tender and the chicken at least 165°F.
  • Use tongs to remove the bay leaf and discard. Serve the fricassee on a bed of white rice, if desired.

Video

Notes

Keep the peeled and cut potatoes in a bowl covered with cold water if not using right away. This keeps them from browning too quickly. Just remember to drain the water before adding them to the pan.
Use a pan that has a tight fitting lid and is large enough that the chicken fits without overlapping.

Nutrition

Calories: 733kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 170mg | Sodium: 1932mg | Potassium: 1392mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 936IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 5mg
The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.


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