One of the things I loved when I was writing Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Beginners was adapting some of my old favorite recipes for the Instant Pot and pressure cooker. Family recipes were revived to be made quickly on weeknights (instead of just for special occasions). I am bringing one of those recipes to you today – an Estofado de Pollo (AKA Pollo Guisado) for the Instant Pot! Keep reading to get this recipe for Puerto Rican-style chicken stew, and see more of my Instant Pot recipes here (I’ve been sharing several sneak peeks from my cookbook over the last month). If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Beginners includes 75 easy and delicious recipes along with tips for helping pressure cooking newcomers feel more confident using their devices. Learn more and order Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Beginners on Amazon here!
As you may have heard, stews are one of the specialties of pressure cooking. Food is prepared in a fraction of the time, sauces are incredibly rich (as no flavor is lost to escaping steam, as cooking food under pressure is air tight), and even the toughest cuts of meat comes out perfectly tender with this cooking method. The recipe I’m sharing today is a chicken stew. I adapted this recipe for estofado de pollo from one of my mother’s Puerto Rican specialties to be made in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Sometimes called Pollo Estofado or Pollo Guisado, there are many different family recipes for chicken stew across Latin American cultures. My mother’s delicious Puerto Rican chicken stew recipe has a wonderful vinegary taste with a light red sauce. It can be made with bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or thighs (or a combination of both). Whenever my mother or I make this, there is not a morsel of chicken or a drop of sauce left over. I can’t wait for you to try it!
I have the full Instant Pot Estofado de Pollo recipe at the bottom of this post (Jump to Recipe), but first I’ll share some step-by-step instructions and pictures to help you get the most out of this easy Instant Pot Puerto Rican chicken stew recipe the first time you make it.
Want more recipes like this Puerto Rican chicken stew? See these other Puerto Rican recipes:
- Instant Pot Puerto Rican Arroz con Pollo recipe (my family’s recipe – adapted for the pressure cooker!)
- Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas) recipe
- Habichuelas Guisadas, Puerto Rican-Style Beans Recipe
- Air Fryer Tostones (Fried Green Plantain Chips) recipe
- Recipe: How to Make Homemade Puerto Rican Sofrito
- Family recipe: The best Coquito (Puerto Rican Eggnog) recipe
How to make Estofado de Pollo (AKA Pollo Guisado) in the Instant Pot
For this recipe you’ll need an electric pressure cooker like an Instant Pot, or other type of manual stovetop pressure cooker (I’ve got instructions for both types in the pollo estofado recipe instructions). The device I use the most (yes, I have more than one, haha!) is the Instant Pot DUO Plus 6-Quart 9-in-1 pot (affiliate link). This size works great for my family of four.
To start, select the sauté function on the pressure cooker (if using an electric pressure cooker; for stovetop pressure cookers, heat over a burner on medium-high heat). Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in the pot, then add the chicken (you can use bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, thighs, or a combination of both) to the pot and cook for 4 minutes on each side.
Transfer the chicken to a plate after cooking on both sides. Next, add some dry white wine and and white vinegar to the pot, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits (this de-glazing step is important to help you avoid the burn warning during your pressure cooking phase). Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, which will cook the alcohol from the wine while still retaining it’s rich flavor for the stew. Press cancel (for electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot) or turn off the burner (if using a stovetop pressure cooker).
Add an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce to the pot and stir until well mixed.
Add potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces), chopped onion, Spanish-style green olives stuffed with pimentos, chopped garlic, capers, and salt. The recipe calls for six cloves of garlic, because our family loves the garlic.
Stir it all together.
Return the chicken to the pot and spoon some of the sauce over the top of the chicken.
Close and lock the pressure cooker lid, make sure the pressure/steam-release switch is set to sealing, and set the cooking time to 10 minutes at high/normal pressure (if using an electric pressure cooker; for stovetop pressure cookers, heat over a burner on high heat, set a timer for 10 minutes after the pot has reached pressure, then reduce the heat to low). It will take about 11 minutes for the pot to come to pressure before the cooking time begins.
After the pressure cooking time ends, electric pressure cookers will automatically turn off their heat (stovetop pressure cookers must be removed from the heat). Allow the pressure to release from the pot naturally for 5 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure using the manufacturer’s quick-release method.
Open the lid and select the sauté function on the pot again. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then press cancel or turn off the burner.
We like to serve this Instant Pot Estofado de Pollo with rice, but it can be enjoyed on it’s own as well.
For more easy Instant Pot recipes like this pollo guisado, you’ll love my cookbook, Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Beginners! Get your copy now!