Seco de Pollo – Cilantro Chicken Stew



Seco de Pollo – Cilantro Chicken Stew


A Peruvian recipe for Cilantro lovers as cilantro is the principal source of flavor of this specialty!

“Seco” is another very popular recipe of Peruvian cuisine and has the Arab influences brought by the Spaniards. Seco can be made with beef, goat, chicken other kind of meat. I made it with chicken but if you prepare it with beef or goat you should cook it about 2-3 hours until the meat is tender.

We enjoyed this recipe in Arequipa in a very simple restaurant where we got a huge well smelling and filling portion.  Today this dish is so beloved that you can find it almost overall in Peru.

Today I had lot of fresh cilantro from a Turkish shop, the perfect occasion to prepare this dish!

I prepared some ají amarillo paste myself for this recipe and I canned some portions for the next recipes.

As many other dishes all over Peru this is served with rice even if you have a carb ingredients in the stew itself: the potatoes!

Seco de Pollo – Cilantro Chicken Stew

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Autor: de Pollo – Cilantro Chicken Stew


You need:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 pieces of chicken, without skin
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1cup spinach, chopped (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ají amarillo
  • 6 small potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced or diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a wide skillet fry the chicken pieces in half of the olive oil until well browned. Set aside
  2. Place spinach and cilantro into a blender with the water, process and keep aside.
  3. Heat the skillet again with 2 tablespoons oil and fry onion, garlic and ají Amarillo until onion are translucent.
  4. Pour the blended cilantro mixture and return chicken to the skillet.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes while you prepare the vegetables.
  6. Add potatoes, peas and carrots as well as the chicken broth.
  7. Season with salt, pepper and cumin to taste.
  8. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes with the lid on. Check from time to time you need to add more water.
  9. If the sauce is too liquid uncover the skillet and cook for a few minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  10. Serve with rice and beans.



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