Pollo al Chilindrón: A Spanish Chicken Perfection

Pollo al Chilindrón: A Spanish Chicken Perfection

In the world of culinary delights, few dishes can rival the rich tapestry of flavors and history that is Pollo al Chilindrón. This Spanish masterpiece combines succulent chicken with a medley of bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and the unmistakable allure of Spanish ham. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook looking for new dinner ideas, this dish is a must-try. In this article, we’ll explore the origins of Pollo al Chilindrón, and its delightful variations, and offer you a tantalizing recipe to recreate this Spanish classic in your kitchen.

A Taste of History

The roots of Pollo al Chilindrón can be traced back to the rugged and picturesque region of Aragón in northeastern Spain. This dish, like many traditional recipes, has humble beginnings. It was originally prepared by shepherds in the Pyrenees mountains, using ingredients readily available in their pastoral environment. Over the years, it evolved into a beloved Spanish culinary treasure.

The name “Chilindrón” itself has an intriguing history. Some believe it is derived from the Spanish word “chilindrín,” which refers to someone who is always hungry or in search of a meal. Others suggest it may have Moorish origins, as the Moors significantly influenced Spanish cuisine during their rule. Regardless of its etymology, Pollo al Chilindrón has become synonymous with comfort food and hospitality.

Pollo al Chilindrón: Variations Galore

One of the enchanting aspects of this chicken dish is its adaptability. While the core ingredients remain consistent, regional variations and personal preferences have given rise to numerous interpretations of this dish.

In Aragón, where it all began, lamb or rabbit may replace chicken, reflecting the availability of meats in the area. In Navarra, they add a delightful touch of piquillo peppers, known for their sweet and smoky flavor. Some versions incorporate a splash of wine or brandy for an extra layer of complexity.

For those seeking a vegetarian twist, you can easily omit the meat and create a hearty vegetable-based Chilindrón that’s equally satisfying. The key lies in the interplay of tomatoes, peppers, and onions, which forms the heart and soul of the dish.

Pollo al Chilindrón: Tips and Tricks for Perfection

Before we delve into a mouthwatering Pollo al Chilindrón recipe, let’s explore a few essential tips and tricks to ensure your culinary success:

  1. Quality Ingredients: Start with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Choose ripe, flavorful tomatoes and vibrant bell peppers for the best results.
  2. Spanish Ham: While authentic Pollo al Chilindrón calls for Spanish ham like Serrano or Iberico, you can substitute it with prosciutto or another cured ham if needed.
  3. Sear the Chicken: Browning the chicken before simmering it in the sauce enhances its flavor and creates a rich, savory base.
  4. Patience is a Virtue: Allow the dish to simmer slowly, letting the flavors meld together over time. This patient approach will reward you with a dish bursting with depth and complexity.

Savoring the Spanish Tradition

Pollo al Chilindrón is more than just a meal; it’s a journey through the culinary heritage of Spain. Its aromatic flavors, vibrant colors, and heartwarming history make it a dish worth celebrating. So, the next time you’re in search of chicken dinner ideas or simply looking to explore new chicken breast recipes for dinner, consider taking a detour to Spain with this delightful and creative dish. Your taste buds will thank you for the adventure!

Pollo al chilindrón

Pollo al Chilindrón: A Spanish Chicken Perfection

Explore the vibrant world of Pollo al Chilindrón, a Spanish classic that tantalizes taste buds with its savory blend of chicken and peppers. Discover the recipe and history behind this mouthwatering dish.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4


  • 4 Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or chicken pieces
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Onion thinly sliced
  • 1 Red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 Green bell pepper sliced
  • 2 Cloves of garlic minced
  • ¼ cup Spanish ham ( Serrano or Iberico) diced
  • 1 Can of crushed tomatoes (14 ounces)
  • ½ cup Dey white wine
  • ½ tsp Sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp Smoked paprika (optional, for extra flavor)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley chopped, for garnish


  • Season the chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and paprika on both sides.
  • In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and brown them on both sides until they have a golden color. This will take about 5-7 minutes per side. Once browned, remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
  • In the same pan, add the diced Spanish ham and cook for 2-3 minutes until it starts to release its flavor.
  • Add the sliced onion, bell peppers, and minced garlic to the pan. Sauté them for about 5 minutes until they become soft and slightly caramelized.
  • Pour in the white wine and allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits
  • Return the chicken pieces to the pan and pour in the crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let the chicken simmer in the tomato sauce for about 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Stir occasionally.
  • Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, and the sauce has thickened, remove the pan from the heat.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley before serving.


Pollo al Chilindrón is often served with rice or crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.
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