I have had a lot of requests to do more meat and chicken dishes so today I am going to do a recipe for a delicious pollo guisado. Pollo guisado is essentially just stewed chicken. Many different countries have their own variation of pollo guisado. The primary hallmark of Salvadoran pollo guisado is that the chicken is cooked in a tomato-based broth. Not too many other countries add tomatoes to the their meat broths, but Salvadorans almost always cook chicken or steak in, or with, tomatoes. Another thing that characterizes Salvadoran pollo guisado is the large amount of papas, or potatoes, that are served with the chicken. The papas are added to the pot towards the end of the cooking process and come out with a fantastic "stew-y" flavor.
The recipe I am going to share with you today is a variation of my suegra's recipe for pollo guisado - Thank you for letting me steal all your recipes Pasita! One thing that is unique to her recipe is the addition of mustard to the seasoning of the chicken. My husband doesn't like mustard, but mustard goes so well with this recipe he makes an exception for this dish. The addition of mustard is completely optional, but she and I feel that it adds that extra kick and "zing" to the flavor of the chicken. If you don't want to add mustard to your chicken, just double the salt from one teaspoon to two.
Another secret to making a great pollo guisado is using the right seasoning. I use two different brands of seasoning in addition to salt - Sazon Goya with coriander and annatto, and chicken bouillon flavoring. I think the Sazon Goya packets are absolutely vital to this recipe so if you don't have these little packets in your pantry, I would go out and buy some. I always add carrots and celery to this dish because it's a stewed chicken but today I was out of them, so that is why you won't see any carrots or celery in the pictures at the bottom, even though the ingredients call for them.
This recipe is for a 3lb chicken. If you get a bigger chicken, just increase the amounts of the ingredients proportionally.
- 1/2 small white onion, chopped into large uneven chunks
- 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped into large, uneven chunks
- 2-3 large carrots, sliced into circular rounds
- 1-2 stalks of celery, chopped into rounds
- 4 medium size golden potatoes
Tomato Sauce (Salsa Roja):
- 1 small can of Heinz tomato paste (8 oz can)
- 1 medium sized tomato, cut up loosely
- 1/4 cup chopped white onion
- 1/2 packet of "Sazon Goya con culantro y achiote" (I use the one with low sodium)
- One, 3-lb whole chicken
- Big bowl filled with cold water with 1/4 cup salt and juice of 1 lime
- 3 cups of cold water
- 2 tsp. of cumino (cumin)
- 1 tsp. of chicken bouillon flavoring- "caldo con sabor de pollo" ( I use the Knorr brand)
- 1 whole packet of Sazon Goya with Culantro and Achiote (I use the one with low sodium)
- 1 tsp. of salt (Note: If you are not using mustard, add 2 tsp. of salt)
- yellow mustard
- cooking oil (I use corn)
Place chicken pieces into a big bowl of water with salt and lime juice in it and let sit for 10-30 minutes -the salt and lime juice help to tenderize the meat.
While the chicken softens in the water, you can make the tomato sauce and chop the veggies.
To make the tomato sauce, combine all ingredients listed under tomato sauce and puree them in a blender until pure liquid.
After the time is up, drain the water from the bowl and lightly coat the chicken with yellow mustard on all sides.
Cover the bottom of large cast iron pot with oil and place on stove and turn burner heat to medium.
Add the celery, green pepper, and onion chunks to the oil and let simmer until veggies are tender.
Add in chicken pieces and let cook for about 3 minutes on each side so that the meat turns white in color, no longer pink.
Add the tomato sauce, 3 cups of water, 1 tbsp of salt, 2 tbsp of cumin, 1 packet of sazon, and 1 tbsp. of chicken flavoring.
Turn down burner to medium-low and cover the pot.
Let chicken cook for about 45 minutes, occasionally stirring and turning the chicken over.
After about 45 minutes, add the potatoes and carrots and let cook about another 15 minutes until - they are tender to taste.
Turn off burner and move pot to another burner that is not hot. The chicken and veggies will continue to cook for a while.
Serve chicken and veggies with rice, tortillas, hot sauce, and lime.
Here are a few pictures of the cooking process below: