Pollo a la Coca Cola features juicy chicken simmered in a sweet and savory Coke soda sauce, creating a mouthwatering blend of flavors that will get you hooked at the first bite!
It’s not uncommon to have a cold Coca-Cola with your chicken, but what if you cooked the chicken with coca cola? I know it may seem strange, but don’t knock it until you try it!
The recipe consists of cooking chicken in Coke soda. You will seal the chicken first to give it some crispiness, and then cook it in a delectable sauce made with the drink, onions, and seasonings.
The result is a dish with the perfect combination of savory, sweet, and slightly spicy flavors. Absolutely irresistible!
What is Needed
Though chicken and Coca-Cola are the stars of the dish, there are other ingredients involved. Let’s break down the list of ingredients so you know exactly what to expect from this dish.
- Chicken legs and thighs: I use chicken legs and thighs for this dish because the flavor of dark meat is more intense. Additionally, the skin will crisp up nicely and bring more flavor to the dish while keeping the meat super soft and tender.
- Coca-Cola: You can use the popular brand Coke or substitute it with your favorite cola soda.
- Yellow onion: It will add texture and a delicious caramelized taste to this dish.
- Tomato paste: This adds acidity to the dish, making it a little tangy and balancing the flavors.
- Maggi Sauce: This ingredient provides saltiness, umami, and a little sweetness. Soy sauce is also a good alternative.
- Stock: You can use chicken stock or vegetable stock.
- Butter & olive oil: For searing the chicken, you can use only oil if you prefer.
- Seasonings: I used granulated garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Chipotle powder: This is an optional ingredient, but it will add heat and smokiness to the recipe. You can substitute it with paprika or chili powder.
How to Make Pollo a la Coca Cola
Season chicken with salt, pepper, garlic, and chipotle powder. Heat oil and butter in a pan and sear the chicken on all sides until lightly browned (about 10 minutes).
Remove chicken from the pan and place on a plate. Cover and set aside.
Add onions to the pan and cook stirring often until onions start to caramelize.
Add tomato paste and a few splash of Maggi Sauce. Then pour in Coke and mix to combine.
Pour the chicken stock scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Return chicken to the pan and bring to a simmer.
Cover the pan and cook for 45 minutes over medium heat turning the chicken halfway through cooking.
Uncover the pan and adjust the seasonings to taste. Keep cooking until the Coca-Cola sauce is nicely thick and caramelized.
Turn off the heat and serve. Pollo a la coca cola goes well with many different side dishes. It’s very flavorful, so you don’t need to go overboard.
For example, steamed or Mexican white rice is a classic and it’s a great option to serve this dish. Or you can opt for tortillas, noodles, or crusty bread to soak all the delicious sauce!
- Opt for regular Coca-Cola (not diet or flavored varieties) to get that authentic sweetness and caramelization in the sauce.
- Allow the coca cola chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving to let the flavors settle.
What to do With Leftovers
The great thing about leftovers is that you can turn them into a new dish. If you have leftover pollo a la coca cola and want to experiment a little, you can separate the meat from the bones, shred it, and use it for various dishes. Such as:
- Chicken Tacos. You’ll only need soft tortillas, guacamole, or pico de gallo, and a little lime for some simple but delicious tacos.
- Burritos. Alternatively, you can roll up a burrito with the shredded chicken, rice, guacamole salsa, and this mango pico de gallo.
- Quesadilla. If you have tortillas and cheese, you can make an easy and quick chicken quesadilla.
- Taco Bowl: No tortilla? No problem. Just grab a bowl, make a bed of rice, and add some toppings, including the shredded leftover chicken.
- Salad: If you’re in the mood for something fresh, you can whip up a salad with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, corn, or whatever else is in your fridge and add the leftover chicken.
How to Store & Reheat
Before you store the chicken, make sure it reaches room temperature. You don’t want to leave it sitting at room temperature for over two hours. Then you can store the chicken in an airtight container.
If you keep it in the fridge, pollo a la coca cola will last up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze it and it will last up to 2-3 months.
More Chicken Recipes
Pollo a la Coca Cola
- 6 medium chicken thighs or legs (skin and bone-in)
- 1 can Coca-Cola (330ml —a little less than 1 ½ cups)
- 1 medium yellow onion (sliced)
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons Maggi Sauce (or soy sauce)
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock
- 1 Tablespoon chipotle powder (or paprika)
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Season chicken with salt, pepper, garlic, and chipotle powder.
- Heat oil and butter in a pan and sear the chicken on all sides until lightly browned (about 10 minutes).
- Remove chicken from the pan and place on a plate. Cover and set aside.
- Add onions to the pan and cook stirring often until onions start to caramelize.
- Add tomato paste and Maggi Sauce. Then pour in the Coca Cola and mix to combine.
- Pour the chicken stock scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Return chicken to the pan and bring to a simmer.
- Cover the pan and cook for 45 minutes over medium heat turning the chicken halfway through cooking.
- Uncover the pan and adjust the seasonings to taste. Keep cooking until the Coca-Cola sauce is nicely thick and caramelized.
- You can replace Coca Cola with your favorite cola soda.
- Leftover can lasts up to 3-4 days in the fridge, or up to 2-3 months in the freezer.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.