Pollo Gritador (Screamer Chicken)

by Erica Dinho on June 1, 2011

Pollo Gritador

Pollo Gritador literally translates to Screamer Chicken and is a traditional Colombian dish from the Huila region of the country. This dish is first marinaded with garlic and cumin and after cooked in a delicious tomato sauce and aguardiente, which is a strong traditional Colombian alcoholic drink made from anise and sugar cane. The marinating time and then the sauce ensure an incredibly juicy and full of flavor bird.

Enjoy it!

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(4 servings)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 chicken pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 shot of aguardiente


  1. Marinate chicken: Place the chicken in a  large bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, salt, pepper and cumin. Toss chicken within marinade until coated. Cover, put in the fridge and marinate for at least 1 hour.
  2. n a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable oil. Working in batches, brown the chicken on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  3. educe the heat to medium-low and add the remaining garlic cloves, onions, tomatoes, red pepper, scallions to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally. Return the chicken to the pan. Cover and simmer until the chicken is very tender, about 45 minutes.
  4. dd the aguardiente shot and cook for 10 minutes more.
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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Belinda @zomppa June 1, 2011 at 1:23 PM

The name alone warrants a try – the photo only confirms it!


2 Juliana June 1, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Erica, your chicken dish looks delicious with the spices in it…and I love it when served on rice so the sauce is all absorbed…so tasty. Beautiful picture! Hope you are having a wonderful week :-)


3 Lyndsey June 1, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Another interesting Columbian dish…this sounds so good…loads of flavor. I have to see if I can get my hands on some aguardiente…I guess that is the “screamer” in the chicken. :D


4 nammi June 2, 2011 at 3:42 AM

wow, looks delicious, would love to try that recipe:) maybe without the shot of alcohol :)


5 Kim June 2, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Erica- Your chicken looks amazing! I’ve have always wanted to get my hands on the sugar cane alcohol that you mentioned. I know it has to have an amazing taste to it. Don’t know if they sell it here in KY, but I will keep an eye out for it. Love the color on this!


6 Sarah Naveen June 2, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Thats sounds awesome Erica..looks so yummy!!!


7 Faith June 2, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Love the name of this dish, it really caught my eye! Sounds delicious with all those spices!


8 Pilar June 3, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Hi, If you do not find Aguardiente, you might be able to substitute its anise flavor either with some chopped fennel or a 1/4 teaspoon of anise seeds (rub them first to help them release their flavor).


9 Erica June 3, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Pilar- Thank you!


10 Christine @ Fresh June 5, 2011 at 11:25 PM

This looks absolutely delicious! The sauce looks versatile and probably absorbs wonderfully in the rice.


11 Chris June 12, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Bookmarked this one. I love the idea of “screamer chicken”!

And thanks to Pilar for answering the question I had!


12 Gian Banchero July 20, 2011 at 8:19 PM

I’m rather confused as to the red pepper, do you mean a red Bell pepper or HOT red peppers? I’m somewhat hoping it’s the last being I like heat. Also, I make a Sicilian liquor called zammu’ which is very similar to anisette, could that be used in place of the Aguardiente??? Thank you for the recipe!!!


13 Erica July 21, 2011 at 7:49 AM

Gian- Red bell pepper…You can try it with zammu…..It will be different, but l would love to know about that variation.


14 Katy May 23, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Thanks for the recipe, you list cilantro on the ingredients but not on the actual cooking recipe. When do you put the cilantro in?


15 Erica May 24, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Katy-Final step.


16 DowntownFoodie April 14, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Absolutely delicious!! I only had Appleton Jamaican dark rum, so I used it. It’s very different from a white rum, of course, but I figured the dark spicy flavor would be closer to aguardiente than a basic Bacardi. The dish was super flavorful, and my fiance absolutely loved it!! We had it with arepas de queso. I have no idea if that is a common accompaniment for this sort of dish, but it was wonderful!


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