This recipe is one of my favorite family dishes. It’s comforting, flavorful, filling, inexpensive, and the leftovers are even better. The Cuban way to eat this is served over white rice. Now, you might be put off with the idea of having 2 starches on a plate. I’ve had non-Cuban friends who were perplexed with the idea of eating rice AND potatoes. All I can say is, try it. It’s delicious. However, you can eat it as a meal in itself without the rice.
When I was researching other “stew” recipes with potatoes, I noticed that most recipes call for adding the potatoes at the same time as the meat. But I found that it made the potatoes too mushy. The great thing about this dish is having the potatoes have some texture to it and keep it’s shape. You don’t want them to cook like mashed potatoes. I found that the best way to get this result was to cook the chicken half way then add the potatoes and finish cooking. This way the chicken wasn’t overcooked and shredded and the potatoes were still firm and held their shape.
Instant Pot Cuban Chicken and Potato Stew (Fricase de Pollo)
Recipe by Lana Horruitiner Perez
6-8 Chicken Thighs, bone-in/skin on (I have cooked this with semi-frozen thighs and it works great as well)
1 lb Golden or any boiling Potatoes (about 5 medium size potatoes)
1 Yellow Onion, diced
1/2 Green Pepper, diced
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
3 Tbl Olive Oil
16 oz Tomato Sauce (I prefer to use 2, 8 oz cans of Goya Tomato Sauce)
1/4 cup White Wine (if you don;t have white wine, you can use 1/8 cup white wine vinegar)
2 cups Water, and 2 Tbl
1 Packet Sazon con Asafran (If you can’t find this, it’s ok, just use 1 Tbl of the spice mixture I posted in the black beans recipe. Asafran is what Cuban’s use to get the yellow color in food like Yellow Rice and Chicken. You can use Saffron or just omit it.)
1 Tbl Adobo (or substitute for 1 Tbl of the spice mix I detail int he black bean recipe)
1 Packet Cubito de Pollo (this is Goya chicken bouillon. You can substitute chicken broth for this, just don’t add the 2 cups water)
1 jar Sliced Pimentos
-Add 2 Tbl of Olive Oil to Instant Pot and press “SAUTE”. When the oil gets hot add 3 pieces of the chicken thighs, skin side down and cook until brown, about 7 mins. Turn the chicken over and brown on the other side for about 4 mins. The skin will stick to the bottom of the pot. That’s OK. It’s purely for flavor. Once browned (you are not cooking the chicken all the way, just trying to brown it a little), remove the chicken and add the next 3 pieces of chicken and repeat. I like to use a frying screen to place over the pot to keep the oil from splattering.
-Once the last pieces of chicken are browned on both sides, remove all the chicken and add 1 Tbl Olive Oil, Onions, Green Peppers, pinch of salt, and 2 Tbl of water. Stir it around and start to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. It’s OK if it doesn’t all come off at this point. Cook the Onions and Green Peppers until they get some brown color and are soft. This will take about 2 to 4 minutes.
-Add the garlic, stir, and cook for another 30 seconds. You might need to press the “SAUTE” button on your Instant Pot again. Mine turns off after 30 mins.
-Add the Tomato Sauce, Water, White Wine, Adobo, Sazon, and Cubito de Pollo.
-At this point start to scrape the rest of the browned chicken off the bottom of the pot. It should come off pretty easily now. Add the chicken.
-Lock the Instant Pot lid into place and make sure the valve is set to Sealed. Pressure cook on High for 14 minutes. If at anytime you get the dreaded BURN notice….don’t panic. Just do a QR. Open the pot and add a 1/2 cup more water and scrape the pot bottom. Then put the lid and finish cooking the rest of the way.
-While the chicken is cooking prepare the potatoes. Peel and cut them in half then quarter each half. This should give you large 1 inch pieces. Place the potatoes in water so they don’t turn brown while the chicken is cooking.
-Once the chicken is done cooking, Quick Release the pressure and add the potatoes (not the water) and the jar of Pimentos. Stir. Place the Lid back on again, turn the valve to SEALED, and set the Instant Pot to high Pressure for another 14 minutes. When done, Quick Release the pressure.
-Use a ladle to skim any grease/fat off the top. Serve over white rice.