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The Ultimate Fricasé de Pollo (Cuban Chicken Stew)

This is the ultimate Fricasé de Pollo (Cuban chicken fricassee) recipe! Marinated drumsticks are simmered until tender in an irresistible combination of olives, potatoes, and Cuban flavors!

Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup, stew
Cuisine Cuban
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 2 hours


For the chicken marinade:

  • 2.5 lbs chicken drumsticks
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup sour orange juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)

For the Fricasé de Pollo

  • 1 medium-large onion (about 2 cups after dicing)
  • 1 red bell pepper (about 1.5 cups after dicing)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup vino seco
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 can no-salt-added-tomato-sauce
  • 1/2 lb yukon gold potatoes, skins removed
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tbsp balsalmic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pimento stuffed manzanilla olives
  • splash of olive brine (optional)


To marinate the chicken:

  1. If they have them, remove the skins from the drumsticks.

  2. In a large, non-metallic bowl, stir together all marinade ingredients. Submerge the drumsticks in the marinade as much as possible. Cover, and place in the fridge overnight (or at least for 3 hours). Rotate occasionally.

To make the Fricasé de Pollo:

  1. Dice onion and bell pepper. Mince garlic cloves.

  2. Chop skinless yukon gold potatoes into bite sized pieces, about 3/4 inches in size. Set aside.

  3. In a large pot, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes until browned on that side. Turn, and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Don't throw away the marinade!

  4. Remove the chicken from the pot and place on a plate. Turn down the heat if necessary. Add onion to the pot and stir occasionally, cooking for a minute or two until beginning to turn translucent.

  5. Add bell pepper and garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring often.

  6. Add vino seco, chicken stock, tomato sauce and leftover marinade into the pot. Stir in oregano, cumin, pepper, and bay leaf. Put the chicken back in and add the potatoes.

  7. Simmer, partially covered, for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  8. After 40 minutes, add balsalmic vinegar and olives. Remove lid and simmer for another 20 minutes.

  9. Remove from heat. You may either slip all of the tender meat fromt eh bones and stir into the stew, or serve each person an intact drumstick with some of the broth/olive/potato mixture. Serve over white rice if desired.