Stovetop Diplomat

Fricasé de Pollo (Cuban chicken fricassee)

Fricasé de Pollo (Cuban chicken fricassee)


Fricasé de pollo (or chicken fricassee) is a Cuban dish featuring chicken, tomatoes, green olives, and Yukon gold potatoes stewed together into excellence. This is an easy weeknight version of the recipe that comes together in a matter of minutes!

Like many of my Cuban recipes, this one came straight from Joey’s (that’s mister Diplomat!) family cookbook. We’ve changed very little- primarily adding measurements and specifics- except for the addition of potatoes. These aren’t strictly necessary but they are an ingredient in many Cuban fricassee recipes and I think they fill out the recipe very nicely.

This recipe is perfect for busy nights or anytime you’re looking for comfort food that’s easy and quick. It’s made primarily of pantry staples and that’s awesome. But don’t let the simplicity of the ingredients fool you- this recipe is absolutely greater than the sum of its parts.

Speaking of the ingredients, there are two on the list that may look unfamiliar. The first is adobo con pimienta, which is a spice blend found in many Cuban and other Spanish recipes. There are many brands that make their own version of adobo con pimienta. It’s available in most major grocery stores here in Colorado, either with the spices or in the Spanish section. One of the most common brands is Goya. You can find more information about that here.

The second is vino seco. This is a dry golden cooking wine that is also a staple of Cuban cuisine. Depending on where you are in the country it can be very difficult to find. I highly recommend using it for that extra splash of Cuban perfection, but if you just can’t find it you can substitute white wine. You can find more information about vino seco here.

Fricasé de pollo can be served as is, like a soup or stew, but it’s commonly (and I believe best) served over white rice. You can serve each person an intact drumstick and some sauce/olives/potatoes (as shown below); or you can slip the extremely tender meat from the drumstick bones beforehand and stir into the stew before serving over rice. People being served intact drumsticks will still want to shred their meat into the stew instead of attempting to eat it whole. Bear in mind that this is more of a stew than a chicken dish! Serving people whole drumsticks is a great way to evenly portion out servings for a group, but personally I prefer to shred all of the chicken beforehand and stir it in. That said, the world is your oyster! Do your thing.


This recipe calls for an old school pressure cooker. Pressure cookers are  one of those kitchen items that most Cuban families just “have” and a lot of recipes are built around them. (At one point, I had an electric pressure cooker. It broke after about two months. My regular pressure cooker, however, may outlast human civilization. Joey had it long before we even met. No moving parts, no electronic components, nothing that can break.)

All of that to say, I don’t have an Instant Pot like everyone else does. I can’t necessarily tell you how to convert this recipe for an Instant Pot because I’ve never used one. But as for advice, I can say that you should allow it to be under pressure for the approximate time of 20 minutes and to do a natural pressure release, not a manual one. That’s about as specific as I can get.

Do yourself a favor and get this authentic and delicious Cuban chicken fricassee recipe going on your stove.


5 from 1 vote

Fricasé de pollo (Cuban chicken fricassee

Fricasé de pollo (or chicken fricassee) is a Cuban dish featuring chicken, tomatoes, green olives, and Yukon gold potatoes stewed together into excellence. This is an easy weeknight version of the recipe that comes together in a matter of minutes!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Keyword authentic, best way to cook, comfort food, cuban chicken recipe, restaurant style
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes


  • 2 lbs chicken drumsticks
  • 1/2 lb yukon gold potatoes (about 2 small or 1 large)
  • 1 8-oz can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vino seco
  • 1 tsp adobo con pimienta
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 1 6 oz jar manzanilla olives + 1/4 cup of their brine
  • Cooked rice, for serving


  1. Remove skins from chicken drumsticks. Cut yukon gold potatoes into 1" pieces.

  2. Place all of the ingredients into the pressure cooker. Be sure to only include 1/4 cup of the olive brine.

  3. Bring contents to a boil and then secure the pressure cooker lid on top. Wait unil you hear the pot become pressurized, with the valve gently rocking, to begin the timer. Cook under pressure for 20 minutes (or until the juices on your drumsticks run clear).

  4. Remove from heat and let the pressure release naturally. Don't open the valve and let the pressure come pouring out. This will take about 5 minutes.

  5. Serve over cooked rice. You may either serve each person a drumstick with some sauce/olives/potatoes (and have each person shred the chicken off the bone themselves), or slip all of the meat off the bones beforehand and mix it into the stew.

Currently Listening: Oliver Koletzki- We Are All Lost

4 comments on “Fricasé de Pollo (Cuban chicken fricassee)

  1. 5 stars
    Super easy to make! And it tasted pretty good. I had to sub the tomato sauce and I didn’t follow the exact seasoning amount to, just eyeballed it, it was still good.

  2. michael redbourn

    I mean this in a nice way.

    Potatoes cooked in the stovetop pressure cooker would start to fall apart after 8 minutes and the chicken would also be cooked by that time.

    So I can hardly imagine what they would look like after 20 minutes.

    Even in a low-pressure electric pressure cooker, the chicken would be done in about 12 minutes.


    • stovetopdiplomat

      Hi! Thank you for your feedback! I realize I should have been more clear with my wording (and I will give it a quick edit now for clarity).

      The goal of the higher cook time is to achieve ultra tender, fall-off-the bone chicken. Most often when served, you just slide all of the chicken off and shred it into the stew. I took pictures of the intact drumsticks because I thought it looked nice, and is indeed an easy way to portion out the meat if you’re feeding a few people. But even in those pictures you can see it’s barely clinging to the bone – and if you were served this, you yourself would simply shred it into your bowl instead of eating it as an intact drumstick. Because of the high cooking time, I DO suggest cutting your potatoes a little extra large! You want them to be totally soft, but I agree, potatoes that are too small will just be mush.

      Thank you for your note and happy cooking! Please let me know if you have more questions!

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