This delicious Peruvian chicken stir-fry or pollo saltado is one of my favorites recipes for a busy weeknight dinner. It’s easy and you can even sneak a couple of veggies to make it a complete meal.
So, this humble pollo salteado has made its way up to this post because of how easy and flavorful it is.
It’s the perfect combination of South American flavor and Japanese techniques (like stir-fry). In case you don’t know, for many years, Peru was the home for tons of Japanese. That immigration wave brought one of the most incredible cuisines in the entire world…not even exaggerating!
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How to make the pollo saltado sauce?
The most important part of this recipe is to nail the sauce. It’s a rich sour and salty sauce.
It’s made with soy sauce, white wine (or chicken broth) and red wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar).
The sauce is created with these three ingredients plus the flavors of the onion, tomatoes, garlic and bell pepper in the stir-fry. The tomatoes will soften and release liquid— and the flavor— into the sauce, making it more rick and slightly red.
To make the most of this sauce, I like to serve this chicken stir-fry with white rice or french fries and soak it in the sauce. BEST combination ever!
How to make Peruvian chicken stir-fry?
This recipe is made using a wok — as most stir-fry — but you don’t have to have a wok to make a good stir-fry. In fact, I don’t own a wok and I make stir-fries almost every week.
You just need a big nonstick pan that can withstand high temperatures.
Woks usually distribute the heat uneven: super hot in the bottom and medium heat in the sides. This allows the ingredients some resting time while you stir the wok.
So, to replicate this, I start cooking in high and when I have some part of the veggies or chicken turning brown I lower the temperature to medium so it can cook without burning it.
Also, to ensure a proper searing, dry the chicken with a paper towel before seasoning and cooking it. This will give the chicken a nice golden crust.
The first thing is to season the chicken with salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder. Then cook it in high heat — with a bit of oil —until it is seared but not completely cooked. Remove it from the pan.
Then, add all the veggies cut into julienne (red bell pepper, onion, and tomatoes) and minced garlic. Stir constantly to avoid burning the vegetables at the bottom.
Add all the ingredients for the sauce and keep stirring. Let the sauce reduce and thickens a bit.
Incorporate the seared chicken and simmer for 10 minutes to let the chicken cook completely and all the flavors integrate.
Serve and devour!
Can you freeze it?
Yes, you can save it in your freezer for up to 2 months.
If you are planning to eat it in the next few days, you can store it in your fridge for up to 5 days with no problem. The sauce will keep the chicken moist after you reheat it in the microwave.
This recipe is great to take to work because of how well it withstands reheating.
- 500 gr chicken breast
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- ½ tbsp cumin
- ½ cup white wine or chicken broth
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar you can use white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the onion, bell pepper, and tomato into julienne. Don’t cut the tomatoes too thin.
Dry the chicken breast and cut it into strips. Season with salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder.
In a big pan, heat the olive oil and toss the chicken. Let it sear and remove it from the pan.
Add all the veggies and the minced garlic. Cook it for a couple of minutes until the onions soften.
Add the white wine and boil it for a couple of minutes to help the alcohol to evaporate. Pour the soy sauce and the red wine vinegar. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Toss the chicken back into the sauce and stir. Let it simmer for 10 minutes and serve.