Easy Chicken Stew - Olla Tapada


Olla Tapada is an easy and versatile chicken recipe.

Would you like an easy recipe where you just place everything in a pot and you don’t have to worry about stirring, toasting, grinding, blending, or watching the meal for hours? Then this recipe for Olla Tapada is for you! “Olla Tapada” means “covered pot”, and this dish is usually made in a large, deep clay pot.

Last year, I saw several posts all over social media about a “no-recipe” chicken dish, and when I saw what it was I thought about this meal right away, since it is the same process: place the chicken, veggies, herbs, and wine in the pot and simmer until done.

This "Olla Tapada" recipe is more common in the states of Veracruz, Oaxaca, and Chiapas, where the typical vegetables used are carrots, potatoes, and chayotes, but I have found that cooks in Chiapas have many variations of this dish that can use green peas, red peppers, plantains, oregano, saffron, and even Achiote paste. All this is cooked with wine and vinegar; some use Sherry wine, too. If you don’t want to use wine or vinegar, you can use chicken broth as a substitute.

And now, for those of you that have asked about where I get my cazuelas (my clay pots): you can find them at Ancient Cookware. They sell gorgeous, beautifully made, lead-free products. Go check them out!



  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 Chicken pieces (legs and thighs)
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • 4 medium size carrots, peeled and cut into 1½ in. cubes
  • 1 large chayote, peeled and cut into large cubes
  • 6 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ medium size white onion, sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 10-stuffed olives, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons of capers, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • ½ stick of Mexican Cinnamon
  • 1½ cup of white wine


  • 1 Semi-ripe plantain, cut into 2-in. pieces (do not remove the peel)
  • 1 large potato, cut into large cubes

Olla Tapada an easy and versatile chicken recipe.


  • Please read the top part of this post where I mention some other variations of this delicious meal.  Each of those options slightly changes the flavor of the dish, but all of them are really awesome!

Olla Tapada an easy and versatile chicken recipe
If your stove is an electric one, don't forget to use a heat diffuser when cooking with Clay Pots.

1. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
2. Add the olive oil to the bottom of the clay pot, making sure it is spread all over. This will help to keep the chicken from sticking to the bottom.
3. Place 3 pieces of chicken and half of the carrots, chayotes, tomatoes, onion and garlic over the bottom of the pot to form the first layer. 
Olla Tapada an easy and versatile chicken recipe

4. Next, add the other 3 pieces of chicken and the rest of the ingredients, including the cup of wine. You do not need to stir it or do anything else.
5. Place the lid on and turn the heat to medium. Once it starts boiling, immediately reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
6. Let it cook for about 45 to 50 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Halfway through the cooking to time, check to see if it needs more liquid, although usually it won’t need it since all the chicken, tomatoes, and the rest of the veggies will release their own liquid. In case it does need it, however, you can add warm water or chicken broth, just a few tablespoons at a time.

Olla Tapada an easy and versatile chicken recipe

Once cooked, serve with rice and warm corn tortillas, although a nice warm crusty bread will also be really good for soaking up all those flavorful juices. Enjoy!

Buen Provecho!
Mely Martinez

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  1. Hi Mely, I made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious! Thank you for the recipe!!!

    1. Hello!

      So glad to know you like it! Did you make any changes to the recipe? Like using other vegetables or type of wine.

  2. Thank you for the recipe, I used other vegetables but the end results were delicious! My family love it! Gracias!


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