Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fricase de Pollo Cubano - Cuban Chicken Fricassee

I am not a history buff by any stretch of the imagination, I leave that to my daughter. However, I've been told and have read that this dish has French origins because of a Haitian migration to Cuba during the 1800s. And so, today we have Fricase de Pollo Cubano or Cuban Chicken Fricassee. In this recipe, you'll find chicken that has marinaded in spices and sour orange juice and then simmered in a rich tomato based sauce with potatoes, olives and raisins. Hungry yet? Read on or better yet get cooking!

Fricase de Pollo Cubano

Serves 4 

2-4 sour oranges, enough to make 1 cup. See sour orange recipe substitute here.
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon of salt
black ground pepper to taste

8 pieces of chicken or 1 whole chicken cut up into eight pieces.
1/4 cup olive oil
3 red medium potatoes, peeled cut into chunks
2 medium or 1 large yellow onion

1 large green bell pepper
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup vino seco* or dry white wine
8 oz tomato sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 laurel leaf
All of the reserved marinade
1/4 cup green olives
1/4 cup raisins

Put all the marinade ingredients into a glass bowl or plastic zip bag/container. Add all the chicken pieces. Marinate 4 hours or better yet overnight!

In a large, heavy stainless steel or cast iron dutch oven heat up the olive oil over moderate heat. Working in batches, brown your chicken on all sides evenly. Reserve the marinade. Set side chicken once it's all browned. Stir in onions, bell peppers and garlic. Cook 5-8 minutes. Add potatoes and allow them to slightly browned. Next mix in the tomato paste, making sure to distribute throughout the vegetables/potatoes.  Increase heat to medium high and once you see the bottom of the pan begin to brown (not burn!) add in the chicken, stir and add in the wine, this will help release all those little yummy brown flavor bombs from the bottom of the pan. Use your spoon or spatula to scrap the bottom of the pan if necessary. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a full boil for one minute and then reduce to a simmer.  Cook for 30-45 minutes.  Sauce should be thick by the time the chicken is cooked and will continue thickening on its own as it rests.

Serve with fluffy white rice, bread and wine. Enjoy!

*Recipe Notes:
Vino Seco is a cooking wine and therefore not a drinkable wine, which goes against culinary "principals" but it works in this and in most Cuban recipes. If you'd rather use dry white wine, go for it.


  1. Yum!
    I prefer to use real white wine myself...I have actually never used Vino Seco,

    1. It's the traditional method, you should try it sometime if only to taste the difference.

  2. I just saw this post. Love this stuff.

    1. Let me know if you make it and if you like it. Thanks for stopping by!