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Pollo Frito Receta – Mexican Pan Fried Chicken with Tomatoes

This tomato based stew is popular in Mexico, as well as in the Philippines, and the original recipe was brought over by the Spanish. “Frito” is Spanish for fried and the chicken in the following recipe is pan fried with tomato sauce and bell peppers. It is similar to “pollo guisado” which is another Spanish fried chicken dish containing olives, and not too dissimilar to Italy’s chicken cacciatore.

The following dish uses a simple tomato sauce rather than the traditional sofrito, which is a mixture of slow cooked, diced onion, tomato, and garlic, making it easier to follow for new cooks and quicker to prepare. You can make the ¼ cup of breadcrumbs by adding a slice of bread to a mini food processor and processing it. If you do not have a food processor, just tear the slice of bread up finely with your fingers or use readymade breadcrumbs.

This recipe keeps the flavors quite simple, and the combination of chicken, chilies, bell peppers, onion and tomatoes might sound very simple but Mexicans love dishes like this because they are so rich in fresh produce. Many traditional Mexican recipes are focused on using fresh ingredients and keeping the seasonings simple. This dish makes a great dinner for the family.

At first glance, and indeed first bite, this might seem like more of a Mediterranean dish than a Mexican one but take a closer look at the dish and take into account the bell peppers and green chili peppers which feature in many savory Mexican recipes. Something of a fusion dish, this recipe is a wonderful one to choose if you want to do something with chicken legs instead of simply frying them like you normally do. This dish is colorful, aromatic and full of south of the border appeal, as well as the Mediterranean notes which make it clear this recipe began life in Spain before being spiced up by Mexican cooks and presented alongside Mexican rice or any other south of the border side dishes you are in the mood for.

Simple Mexican Chicken Stew Recipe
Summary: Chicken legs are cooked with potatoes, bell pepper, chilies, garlic and more, for a fresh and fragrant result. Originally Spanish the dish is slightly modified for the Mexican palate.
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 6 chicken legs
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 3 chopped cloves garlic
  • ½ diced green bell pepper
  • 1 diced red bell pepper
  • ½ diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 peeled, quartered potatoes
  • 3 chopped green chilies
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Wash the chicken and pat it dry.
  2. Season it with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet, then sear the chicken until it is golden brown all over.
  4. Set the chicken inside and add the onion and garlic to the pan, sautéing it until tender.
  5. Add the water and tomato sauce and bring the mixture to a boil.
  6. Add the chicken back into the pan, as well as the green chilies and potatoes.
  7. Season with salt and black pepper.
  8. You can use a little fish sauce, if you have it, instead of the salt and pepper.
  9. Cover the skillet and bring the chicken mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat and cook it for 5 minutes.
  10. Uncover the skillet and add the bell peppers, then let everything cook until the vegetables and chicken are tender.
  11. Add the breadcrumbs and stir, to thicken the sauce.
  12. Cook for 1 minute more, and then serve with rice or even mashed potato if you fancy something different.

Photo Description:

You can use chicken breasts or chicken pieces instead of the chicken legs in this recipe if you like but chicken legs are especially juicy and succulent. You can see from the photo how the bell pepper adds color to this delicious looking recipe. This is really easy to make and using a store-bought tomato sauce speeds up the preparation time of this easy Mexican stew recipe without sacrificing any flavor. If you enjoy cooking with chicken and you also like Mexican flavors, you will love this pollo frito recipe. It contains potatoes but you can serve it with rice or even mashed potato if you fancy something different.

3 Responses to Pollo Frito Receta – Mexican Pan Fried Chicken with Tomatoes

  • This looked so good so I’m making it right now….hummmm potatoes need to be boiled first before putting in because they are still hard and the taste is a little bland. I did add some cumin and oregano so it spiced the taste up.. Think it is going to be yummy when it gets done

  • Ok i didn’t give this a high enough rating…turned out yummy after the adjustments…will make this again

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to I have endeavored to gather as many delicious South of the border recipes here for you, including Mexican-inspired as well as traditional Mexican, and also some Tex-Mex and Mexican fusion dishes. Food is very important to our family's lives and Mexican food is certainly a favorite around here.

We have everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, drinks, entrées, and much more. You will find everything from mild dishes to super-spicy ones, simple recipes based on fresh ingredients up to more complex ones suitable for a dinner party.

Home cooks just starting out with Mexican cooking tend to be surprised how much of the emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs and spices. Forget the typical ideas about Mexican food being all beans, cheese and beef (that applies a little more to Tex-Mex), take inspiration from authentic Mexican dishes based on fresh ingredients, and inject all your passion into cooking South of the border food, for perfect results every time.

Thanks for visiting,