Pollo en Salmorejo is a succulent chicken dish from the Canary Islands that will transport you to the Mediterranean.

The cuisine of the Canary Islands has a great contrast with the traditional peninsular Spanish cuisine, because of the use of its own ingredients and the influence of dishes brought here by immigrants from some regions of South America. In addition, there are elements from the African continent.

A mix of cultures and influences, Canarian gastronomy is appreciated for the simplicity of its preparations and the quality of the local product. Canary Island cuisine is distinguished by the use of spices and condiments very common in a large number of dishes.

Chicken in Canarian Marinade (Pollo en Salmorejo) article

In the Canary Islands, the most common preparation of this dish is actually with rabbit or conejo. However, it’s also prepared with chicken (pollo), which is what we’re using today. The dish has a strong and spicy flavor that is perfect when paired with some papas arrugadas (wrinkly potatoes) and good wine from the north in Tenerife, the largest and most populous of the Canary Islands. If you’re someone who has problems with spicy food and avoids eating them at night, you might want to save this for lunch!

And, in case you were wondering, the salmorejo in this dish is not the one that is prepared in Andalusia. This is a meat marinade very typical in Canarian cuisine. Whereas in Andalusia, salmorejo refers to a cold tomato soup similar to gazpacho.

I hope you enjoy this easy pollo en salmorejo recipe. This dish itself is easy to prepare. The main difficulty lies in chopping the chicken or rabbit, but you can ask your butcher to do that for you.


  • If you only have red wine on hand, you can definitely use it instead of white wine. This is just the traditional method.
  • For the herbs, feel free to use fresh thyme and oregano instead of dried.


What is pollo en salmorejo?

Pollo en salmorejo means “chicken in marinade” and can also be made with rabbit, which is a signature dish of the Canary islands. The meat is marinated for several hours before being fried and slow-cooked in the marinade. The marinade is usually a combination of dry white wine, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, bell peppers, and thyme.

How do you serve pollo en salmorejo?

Traditionally, the main dish is served alongside papas arrugadas (Canarian wrinkled potatoes, which are often served with mojo verde). For something simpler, try our spiced oven-fried potatoes. However, it’s also not uncommon to serve it alongside rice, fresh bread, or homemade french fries.

How do you store pollo en salmorejo?

I find that this dish ages well and it’s one of those dishes whose flavor improves the day after. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days and reheat either on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Pollo en Salmorejo

Chicken in Canarian Marinade (Pollo en Salmorejo)

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Marinating Time: 8 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 4


  • 1 dried chile pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (4½-pound) roaster chicken or rabbit, cut into medium sized pieces
  • Fresh parsley sprigs, optional


  • Pour boiling water over the dried pepper just to cover it and let it soak for 15 minutes while you prepare the marinade.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, bay leaf, salt, thyme, oregano, paprika, oil, red wine vinegar, and wine. Drain the dried pepper and stir in the pieces. Add the chicken and stir to coat it with the marinade.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate the chicken for at least 8 hours. Overnight is best so the meat fully absorbs the flavor.
  • Using tongs, remove the chicken from the marinade, reserving the marinade.
  • In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Fry the chicken for 10-12 minutes, until it’s golden brown on all sides.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken and add water, if necessary, until the meat is covered. Cook the meat over low heat for 30 minutes, until a food thermometer reaches 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the meat. Garnish the chicken with the parsley, if using.
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One Comment

  1. Luis April 5, 2023 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    The Andalusian salmorejo is a cold puree soup. It’s made with tomatoes, loaf bread, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. It’s eaten with chopped hard-boiled egg and diced serrano ham.

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