Seco de Pollo
#Adobo #recipes #Sazón #sofrito

Seco de Pollo

This Ecuadorian classic is a stew of chicken, beer, naranjilla, tomatoes, aromatics, and savory spices that tastes just like childhood.

Jun 08, 2023

By: Abigail Gomez |

On the weekends growing up, my dad always made home-cooked Ecuadorian meals while blasting salsa music and drinking a beer – he always had to cook with music! He would always tell me, “Watch me cook so you can learn!” Meanwhile, he never measured anything and often took different steps each time he cooked the same dish – I know so many of you can relate to this! I remember my dad taking me to poultry markets in Sunset Park, Brooklyn to buy live chicken every weekend. I would beg to stay in the car because I hated going inside but, hours later I would happily demolish the seco de pollo that he made with his market fare. Seco de pollo (or Gallina) is an Ecuadorian chicken stew that is slowly cooked in a sauce of beer, naranjilla, onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and spices – and this recipe features my added touch of Loisa’s Sazón, Adobo and Sofrito.

My dad is from Manabi, Ecuador. Growing up, he was the main cook in the home. He learned to cook just by watching my abuelita, then he taught my mother how to cook when they met. ‘Til this day, she still makes his Ecuadorian dishes. Sadly, my father passed away in 2015 when I was 20 years old, due to a fatal heart attack. His passing urged me to want to change my eating habits. Within a couple of years, I found Loisa to replace the adobo and sazón products I grew up with, and I have not gone back since! Cooking his meals and sharing my cultural Ecuadorian dishes means so much to me. And, while my versions of my father’s recipes have my own touch to them, they still always taste like childhood. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do. ¡Buen provecho!

seco de pollo, ecuadorian chicken stew, arroz amarillo, yellow rice, avocado, cilantro, sazon, adobo, sofrito, loisa

Tips for the Recipe

  • Achiote oil is mainly used to give the stew that vibrant red color. If you don’t have achiote oil, you can make your own by simmering whole annatto seeds in oil, or you can just use a neutral cooking oil.
  • When you add the sauce, you want to make sure it covers the chicken completely. It will thicken as it cooks. 
  • I recommend using a light and mild flavored beer. If you find your sauce to be a bit bitter from the beer, you can add a little more freshly squeezed orange or lulo juice to neutralize the taste.