Fricasse de Pollo / by Rattaya Nagorski

Fricasse de Pollo (Cuban Style Chicken Stew), by legendary Cuban cook and author Nitza Villapol, is such a hearty and tasty stew that I was ready to make again. 

Recipe retrieved from Saveur, magazine number 163, the flavor profile rooted from the use of alcaparrado, a mixture of pimiento-stuffed olives and capers. Even though I omitted the olives when I made it, I still used the capers and the stew boasted such full and delicious flavors. From the pull-apart chicken, tangy-ness from the capers, heartiness from potatoes, and sweetness from the raisins, the stew was a great full-flavored meal. 

The dish yielded 4 servings. I served it with bread.

GATHER:

  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
  • 1 3-4lb chicken, quartered (backbone discarded) (I simply bought 4 drumsticks and 4 bone-in chicken thighs)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 large green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced [I omitted, not a big fan, and saved some money]
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1/2 cup jarred alcaparrado or 1/3 cup pimiento-stuffed olives and 2 tbsp capers
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted

MAKE:

  1. Toss lime and orange juices, garlic, chicken, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 1 hour.
  2. Heat oil in an 8-qt saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; pat dry using paper towels and reserve marinade. Working in batches, cook chicken, flipping once, until browned, 8-10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Add bell pepper and onion to pan; cook until soft, 6-8 minutes. Add wine; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, until reduced by half, 5-7 minutes. Return chicken to pan and add reserve marinade, potatoes, alcaparrado, raisins, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup water; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until chicken and potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Stir in peas before serving.