Easy Dominican Braised Chicken: A Flavorful Delight

Indulge in a tantalizing twist to your weekday meal rotation with this easy Dominican Braised Chicken recipe. Bursting with flavors, this dish is a staple in Caribbean and Latin American countries. Pollo Guisado, as it is known, consists of bone-in chicken, expertly browned and then simmered in a luscious tomato sauce infused with aromatic spices. Each household has its own unique recipe, making this dish a true culinary delight.

close up of brown chicken in a gray pot on a gray surface

Mise En Place: Setting the Stage for Culinary Excellence

Before diving into the cooking process, it’s essential to gather all the necessary equipment and ingredients for this easy Dominican Braised Chicken.


  • Bowl with a lid or ziplock bag for marinating
  • Cutting board and chef knife
  • Large pot with a lid
  • Stirring spoon

raw chicken in a glass bowl with green seasoning on top, resting on a brown cutting board with vegetables surrounding it


  • Chicken: You can save costs by purchasing a whole bird and cutting it into 12 pieces yourself. Alternatively, supermarkets and butcher shops sell pre-cut chickens.
  • Sofrito: A versatile seasoning and marinade that forms the foundation of flavor. Find the recipe here.
  • Limes: Provide flavor and help tenderize the chicken.
  • Kosher Salt: Seasons the chicken and aids in tenderizing.
  • Cumin: An aromatic spice with earthy and warm undertones, complemented by a hint of citrus.
  • Vegetable Oil: Facilitates browning of the chicken.
  • Sugar: Indicates when the oil is ready for the chicken and contributes to achieving a desirable caramel color.
  • Tomato Sauce: Forms the base of the stew, adding depth and richness.
  • Spanish Olives: Enhance the dish with a unique burst of salinity.
  • Chicken Bouillon Cube: Amplifies the chicken flavor and seasons the stew.
  • Soy Sauce: Adds an extra layer of savory flavor.
  • Stock or Water: Opt for stock to elevate the taste profile of the dish.
  • Onion: Optional but recommended for a delightful crunch and subtle sweetness.
Further reading:  The Irresistible Lemon Artichoke Chicken Skillet

Let’s Make Easy Dominican Braised Chicken!

The first step in preparing any Dominican chicken dish is to “wash” the chicken in lime juice. This not only imparts flavor but also tenderizes the meat. While some sources discourage washing chicken, this step remains a traditional and optional practice. However, please exercise caution when handling raw poultry and ensure thorough cleaning and sanitization of the area afterwards.

Once the chicken has been bathed in lime juice, season it with the sofrito, cumin, salt, and lime. Allow the chicken to marinate in this flavorful concoction for at least four hours, or preferably overnight (but no longer than two days). When you’re ready to cook, remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes in advance to ensure even cooking.

Now you’re ready to proceed. Add oil and sugar to a pot over medium-high heat. The sugar serves as an indicator, turning dark brown when the oil is ready for the chicken. Exercise caution as the sugar can burn quickly. Add the chicken to the pot, avoiding stirring for the first five minutes. Stir occasionally to brown the chicken and evaporate the liquid in the pot. Once the chicken is browned, add the remaining ingredients, excluding the onion. Allow the easy Dominican chicken to cook in the flavorful sauce, adding the onion towards the end and cooking until it reaches a slightly tender texture. Serve alongside white rice and perhaps a salad. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, rejoice—the flavors will intensify, making for a delightful work lunch.

close up of brown chicken in a gray pot on a gray surface and a bowl of white rice next to it
close up of brown chicken in a gray pot on a gray surface

Not Making It Today? Prep It!

To simplify your preparation for future cooking sessions, take advantage of a few opportunities to prep ahead.

  • Sofrito: Create a batch in advance, as it stores well in the fridge for 3-4 weeks or in the freezer for 6 months.
  • Limes: Wash and dry them as soon as you purchase them. Use a mixture of 3 parts water and 1 part distilled white vinegar for thorough cleaning.
  • Chicken: Cut the chicken into 12 pieces, wash, season, and marinate. Transfer to a ziplock bag, label it with the name and date, and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Tomato Sauce: Open a can of tomato sauce and transfer the contents to an 8 or 16 oz storage container with a lid. Label it and store it in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Further reading:  What Goes Well With Chicken and Rice: The Perfect Side Dishes


Q: Can I use boneless chicken for this recipe?
A: While bone-in chicken is traditionally used in Dominican Braised Chicken, you can adapt the recipe and use boneless chicken if desired. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Q: Can I substitute fresh tomatoes for tomato sauce?
A: Tomato sauce provides a concentrated flavor and consistency that complements the dish. However, if you prefer using fresh tomatoes, you can blend them into a puree and adjust the quantity to achieve the desired consistency.

Q: What can I serve with Easy Dominican Braised Chicken?
A: This dish pairs beautifully with white rice, plantains, or a fresh salad. Feel free to explore and find your favorite accompaniments.

Q: Can I make a vegetarian version of this dish?
A: Absolutely! Simply substitute the chicken with your preferred vegetables, such as mushrooms, tofu, or cauliflower, and adjust the cooking time accordingly.


Easy Dominican Braised Chicken, or Pollo Guisado, is a flavorful and satisfying dish that will transport your taste buds to the Caribbean. With the guidance provided, you can confidently embark on this culinary adventure, creating a dish that will become a new favorite in your household. So, gather your ingredients, embrace the aroma, and savor the delectable flavors of this easy Dominican Braised Chicken. Visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ for more mouthwatering recipes and culinary inspiration.