Pollo Guisado Chicken Wings

These flavorful chicken wings are a childhood favorite of Dominican-American chef Nelson German.

German Dominican Chicken Wing
Photo: Eric Wolfinger
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs

This dish from Dominican-American chef Nelson German takes the flavors of the popular Latin American chicken stew and uses them on a gameday classic—chicken wings. "Pollo guisado is one of my all-time favorite dishes that I ask my mom and grandma to cook for me when I visit them. It's one of the first dishes I saw them cooking in the kitchen when I was about 7 years old, and it sparked my curiosity in food and cooking," shares German. "This was a time when only women would cook and keep the guys out of the kitchen, so I could only watch from afar. This is a very old-fashioned way of thinking in the Latin community. Men were not allowed in the kitchen, and I was afraid to be in there.

My mom and grandma didn't know I even had an interest in cooking until I was 17 years-old. I had a lot of inspiration from afar, always watching and learning what they were doing in the kitchen," he adds. "To this day, I remember the aromas of pollo guisado, and I love cooking this dish myself and enjoying it when I visit them."


  • 1 bunch cilantro (leaves and stems)

  • 12 garlic cloves 

  • 1 medium red onion, chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon crushed black pepper

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • ¼ cup canola oil

  • 3 pounds chicken wings (skin on is preferable)

  • 2 small red onions, sliced

  • ½ cup chopped garlic

  • ¼ cup Maggi seasoning (or tamari)

  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 3 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning

  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock

  • ½ cup tomato paste

  • 7 Mezzetta green olives, pitted and chopped

  • 2 oranges, zest and juice only

  • ¼ stick butter


  1. Make the sofrito: Combine the cilantro, garlic cloves, medium onion, bell pepper, salt, black pepper, and olive oil in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Reserve 1 ½ cups of the sofrito for marinating the chicken wings, and set the remaining half cup aside.

  2. Place the chicken wings and sofrito together in a large plastic bag. Marinate for 3 hours or overnight.

  3. Preheat a medium aluminum or stainless steel pan with the canola oil for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat. This will allow the pan to heat up evenly so the chicken won't stick.

  4. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 1 minute, or until golden brown, then turn them over.

  5. Adjust the heat to low and add the small onions and chopped garlic to the pan. Sweat down the onions and garlic until soft, about 10 minutes. Turn up the heat to high and deglaze the pan with Maggi seasoning. Turn chicken twice so it can absorb the Maggi.

  6. Add the cumin, smoked paprika, lemon pepper, and stock. Bring liquid to a boil and add tomato paste and the remaining ½ cup of sofrito. Stir both well until dissolved. Add orange zest and juice, along with the olives.

  7. Adjust the heat to low and cover with a lid. If there is no lid for the pan, use aluminum foil to cover it. Braise chicken for 30 minutes, or until the meat reaches your preferred tenderness.

  8. Plate the chicken on a platter without the sauce. Set aside.

  9. Add butter to the sauce and stir until it's dissolved. Pour the sauce over the chicken wings and serve with rice and fried plantains, if desired.

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