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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.



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Meagan M.

If I don’t have potatoes to add, do I still need to pressure cook the chicken for 14 more mins?


Hmmm good question. I think I would set it for 14 mins and then do a natural release for 10. That should cook the thighs through enough.

Meagan M.

I know fricasse with no papa’s… soo sad! Next time, next time. Thanks for the tip 😉

Meagan M.

By the way… Update: You were right! It came out delicious! My Cuban husband and mother-in-law gave it a two thumbs up of approval, even without the potatoes lol I am currently making this again but I bought “papa’s” this time. Also, putting a bit less liquid so it comes out a bit thicker. Thanks again! Game changer!


Oh I’m so glad you and your family liked it! That’s so awesome. Be careful if you add less liquid because it can cause you to get a burn notice. If you do just add a bit more water and restart. When you add the potatoes they soak up the water too so it makes less sauce.


Can you cook the rice (in a separate container) in the instant pot at the same time?


I have a rice cooker that my grandmother gave me years ago so I use that anytime I make rice. However, if you can get a trivet above the chicken and potatoes and get the timing right, I don’t see why not. I’ve never tried pip rice before. If you do please let me know how it goes. ❤

Meagan M.

I’m curious to know if this would work as well, let us know what you end up doing. I make my white rice separately in a rice cooker but I have thrown all of it on the IP before as well to make Arroz Con Pollo a la chorrera which is Uhhh-mazing with some fried plantains! Yum!

Michelle H. Garcia

Hi Lana! My maiden name is also Horruitiner! Very uncommon! We must be related, LOL!


Oh my goodness, we must be related! Look me up on Facebook. That’s so crazy.


This came out wonderful. Muchas gracias por la receta!

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