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Seco de Pollo

Serves 4-6 Prep 10 min Cook ~40 min Ready ~50 min

It's hard to pick a favorite Ecuadorian meal, but Seco or as my abuelita calls it, “Sequito” is my personal favorite! In my family we always made this dish with chicken or pork. Traditionally, this dish is also made with goat (chivo).

Seco is typically served with rice, avocado, fried sweet plantains or yuca to complete the perfect bite.


  • 1 large tomato

  • 1 white onion

  • 1 bell pepper

  • 3 garlic cloves (2 garlic cloves for the chicken,1 for the rice)

  • 3-4 tablespoons of achiote oil

  • 1 beer (preferably a light beer)

  • 1 bunch of cilantro (no stems)

  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste

  • 6 - 8 chicken thighs

  • Abuelitas aliño

  • 2 cups of long or short grain rice

  • salt & pepper to taste



  1. First, make the refrito: Finely chop 1 onion, 1 tomato, 1 bell pepper and 2 garlic gloves. Add the onions with 2 tablespoons of achiote oil to a deep pot on medium heat first; then, a few minutes later add the bell pepper, & lastly add in the tomato and garlic.

  2. Once the refrito is thoroughly cooked, add a cup of water along with 2 tablespoons of Abuelitas’s aliño (cumin/garlic salt mix) and 1 more tablespoon of achiote oil. Mix until achiote and seasoning is fully dissolved.

  3. Prep the chicken thighs by trimming off the excess fat. Season with Abuelitas’s aliño and add to the pot.

  4. Cook the chicken for a few minutes on each side (enough to brown). Then cover and let cook on medium heat for about 10 more mins.

  5. Then, add in 1 beer, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and 1 bunch of cilantro. Stir until combined.

  6. Cover the pot and let simmer on medium-low heat for 30 mins or longer. Stir occasionally.

  7. Add salt and pepper to taste (if needed).


  1. In medium size pot, add 2 cups of rice with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of achiote oil. Stir thoroughly.

  3. Once achiote is mixed in, add a whole peeled garlic clove, cover and cook on low heat for 20 mins. Turn off heat and let sit for 10 mins before serving.

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