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Instant Pot

Cuban-Style Braised Chicken

4-6 Servings

FAST: 50 minutes
Slow: 4½ to 5½ hours 30 minutes

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This hearty braise is our Instant Pot take on the classic Cuban comfort food called fricasé de pollo. Dark meat chicken and potatoes are cooked in a tomato sauce flavored with garlic, capers and pimento-stuffed olives. Raisins add pops of sweetness to contrast the savory, briny ingredients. White wine is typical in fricasé de pollo, but we skipped it in favor of a little lime juice, added at the very end to lift and lighten the flavors. Serve with a side of rice—or better yet, rice and beans—and a simple salad to round out the meal.




Don’t forget to remove the skin from the chicken thighs. The skin doesn’t have an opportunity to crisp so is not pleasant to eat. Discarding it prior to cooking also helps prevent the braising liquid from becoming greasy. If using the slow cooker function, don’t put raw potatoes into the pot; be sure to parcook them in the microwave as directed, otherwise the acid in the sauce will prevent the potatoes from becoming tender.

FAST: 50 minutes
Slow: 4½ to 5½ hours

30 minutes



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Tamara V.

This was very delicious! Just a bit too many potatoes was the general consensus, though, Next time I plan on cutting down the amount a bit.

Connie L.

Very good recipe. I used my old fashion crock pot and a sauté pan on the stove. So now I’m interested in this one pot wonder. Maybe you can cut down on my research. Which “instant pot” do you use? Do all brands have the same functions? What features do I need to look for?

Lynn C.

Hi Connie -

The recipes for our Fast & Slow cookbook were developed using a 6-quart Instant Pot. We only have experience with this brand so we can't speak directly to the features of others, but we believe that all have pretty similar features. For most of our recipes we use the manual settings to have more control over our cooking so we imagine you will have more features than you'll ever need on most electric pressure cookers!

The Milk Street Team

Sylvia B.

I don’t think this has enough liquid for the instant pot. I had to add quite a lot of water because it said « BURN ».

Richard K.

I agree! Got the BURN message 7 minutes into building pressure while trying to make this tonight.

Denise C.

My instant pot also said BURN. There wasn't enough liquid in the recipe.

Kelly G.

I also got the BURN message and had to add more liquid (I added veg broth & white wine) and pressure cook for 10 more mins because the chicken & potatoes weren't cooked through. First time I've had a "Fast & Slow" recipe fail - I've made quite a few of them and they've all come out perfectly except this one.

Patrick and Elizabeth O.

I also got the burn message... have had to restart the pressure cooking process 5 times now lol!

Erin Shower S.

Folllowing your directions to the letter, I made this, in my 8qt instant pot Duo (second use). At about 8.5 minutes in to the cooking, I got a food burn error. And a scorched instant pot insert. OTOH, it's delicious. I suspect the problem is my Instant Pot, and will be returning this one. Did this happen to anyone else?

Clifford V.

Why isn't there a link to how to do it with just a dutch oven? Not everyone has or wants an instan pot. Thanks

Andrew S.

I made this in an old school stovetop pressure cooker, and it came out great! I added a couple of bone-in chicken breasts, and they came out fine, not even overcooked.

Erik H.

I had to add 1.5 cups of additional liquid in order to get the Instant Pot to pressure. Milk Street might want to review this recipe as it seems others have had similar issues.

Lynn C.

Hi All -

Due to some instances of "burn" messages, we did some additional testing on this recipe. Although we didn't have any issues in any of our testing (and re-testing), the recipe team had a couple of suggestions on what could help: 1.) Make sure to stir the onions frequently while they are cooking. If the onions are not stirred enough while sautéing, the fond will build up and could cause a burn warning; and 2.) Stir the mixture when the tomatoes are added to stir up any browned bits that may have stuck to the bottom during the cooking of the onions and the raisin-caper mixture. We hope that, by following these suggestions, this recipe will be successful for everyone!

The Milk Street Team

Aaron B.

Wow. Clearly you didn’t even try this recipe in your pressure cooker or else you would know that it would burn without enough liquid. Everyone statements here echo my experience. Very disappointing I expect more from a professional cooking magazine.

Lynn C.

Hi Aaron -

As mentioned in our comment above, in our initial testing process we tested this recipe in our Instant Pot multiple times without issue. But, since others were having issues, we went back and tested again to try to troubleshoot what could be the issue for others. In that testing process we found that the suggestions above might help yield better results.

The Milk Street Team

Russell B.

I really wish you would include a version that doesn’t require my buying still-another-thing (an Insta-Pot). If the whole dang raison d’etre is to make cooking accessible, then don’t require me to buy more stuff: give me a version for a traditional slow-cooker, stove-top/oven Dutch oven, or both please.

Jennifer B.

I agree with all of the above, I made this in a slow cooker and it was less than mediocre. Sorry milk street, this recipe is not a winner.

Sharon G.

Very tasty combination of ingredients. The alcaparrado covers the sweet, salty, savory notes that I love. I made this twice. The first time I followed MS’s directions for pressure cooking exactly as written. It was good, but I think the lack of skin and browning of the chicken was an important element to omit. The second time I made it, I researched the traditional dish, and discovered that not only did they make it with skin on, they also added orange juice, sliced roasted red bell peppers and green peas to the mix. My second attempt was much better using these additions. I opted not to pressure cook this batch. I browned the chicken, added the ingredients and braised in a Dutch Oven for 45 minutes (much shorter time than hours in a slow cooker) and the end result was outstanding. My guests went crazy over it, and the plates left the table completely clean. I will make this again, but feel the more traditional method yields a more favorable result.

Vi L.

This is the first recipe I've tried from this website (I just started a new subscription) and I can't wait to try more. Delicious! Made this in my Instant Pot, used bl/sl chicken thighs. The whole family enjoyed it. I will definitely make this dish again. I didn't have any problems with burning in my IP. There's so much liquid when the food is cooking. Don't skip the last step and make sure you reduce the liquid in the IP to make a very flavorful sauce. The next time I make this I'll use less potatoes and more chicken. This is one of those recipes that you can adjust the seasonings to your taste - I doubled the cumin and capers. The potatoes absorb a lot of the salt in the sauce, so feel free to salt more heavily than you would normally do.