Pollo Gritador (Screamer Chicken)

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!



(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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  1. says

    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 :-)

  2. says

    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. 😀

  3. says

    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!

  4. Pilar says

    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).

  5. Gian Banchero says

    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!!!

    • Erica says

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

  6. Katy says

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

  7. says

    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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