Chicken Costa Rica

Chicken Costa Rica-Caribbean style

A typical dish from Costa Rica – part 2

How did you like last week’s rice and beans dish?

Today we have the chicken recipe to go with it.

Two things are special about it: the sugar and the Lizano sauce.

The sugar is added mainly to give the chicken a nice color. A Costa Rican laughingly explained to me that they don’t like the meat white.

Chicken Costa Rica-Caribbean style

Often the meat is colored with anatto (also called achote). Then it becomes bright red.

The sugar also caramelizes and gives a slightly sweet taste.

Lizano sauce, on the other hand, is used in Costa Rica for almost everything. Just like soy sauce in Asia or ketch-up in America. It consists of vegetables, onions, chilies, and spices. It is savory, but not very hot.

If you don’t have Lizano sauce available, you can use soy sauce.


Pollo alla costaricana-caraibica

Chicken Costa Rica-Caribbean style

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Centralamerica, Costa Rica
Servings 4 people


  • 1 chicken cut into pieces about 1 kg
  • 1 lime juice only
  • 1 pepper bell
  • 10 cm celery
  • 1 onion
  • About 1/2 handful of coriander leaves
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 tbsp Lizano sauce or soy sauce
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 dl coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste


  • Mix chicken pieces with lime juice, let stand for a short time, then drain off the juice.
  • Wash pepper bell and celery and cut into pieces of about 0.5 cm in size
  • Peel and chop onion
  • Chop coriander leaves
  • Add thyme, Lizano sauce, salt and pepper to the vegetables and mix well.
    Pollo alla costaricana-caraibica
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
  • Add sugar and let it caramelize until it is very dark brown (almost black).
  • Add chicken pieces and fry well on all sides
    Pollo costaricana-caraibica in pentola
  • Add vegetables, coconut milk and tomato paste and simmer for about 30 minutes.
    Pollo alla costaricana-caraibica
  • Add more coconut milk if needed


Serve with salad and fried plantains.
Keyword caribbean chicken, chicken

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