Máximo’s Dominican Sancocho With Chicken & Pork

sancocho edited DR

In the Dominican Republic, ”we make sancocho for big parties and especially at Christmas. Our grandmothers and mothers are the experts in making sancocho. From them, we learned to do it,’ says Máximo Taveras Recio, the family sancocho maker.

”We Dominicans are very proud to have sancocho as a flagship dish of nuestra cocina. It is a dish that comes from el campo—and el plato típico de Santo Domingo, par excellence,” Máximo says.

”Sancocho is accompanied with white rice. In other words, the rice is cooked separately. It is served on a separate plate, usually at lunchtime. Every cook has their own way. I make mine with chicken, or pork. Sometimes both. I  like to have fun while I cook. This is how a sancocho is made: drinking and enjoying while cooking.”

A Short History of Sancocho

The first bowl of this stew-soup may have first been served in Canary Islands. It evolved into the viandas-and-carne fest it is today following the Spanish colonization of Latin American and the Caribbean. Dominican sanchoco is connected to the tragedy of slavery. The landowners’ discarded animal parts and vegetable scraps found their way into servants’ soup pots. Enslaved cooks turned their food garbage into a festive, nourishing stew that reminded them of how they ate in Africa. It is delicious.

For more authentic Dominican dishes, check out these recipes by some of our favorite D.R. cooks: Rose’s Dominican chuletas or pork chops with arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas), Belqui’s arepitas de yuca, Belqui’s Dominican rice and beans, Rose’s mangú con los three (actually dos) golpes, and a delicious flancocho made with Dominican chocolate cake!

And for another family’s take on sancocho, try this version with oxtail and chicken by Juviza Rodriguez, a buenísima cocinera of Dominican heritage.

Ready to make Máximo’s family-famous Dominican sancocho ?

Máximo’s Dominican Sancocho With Chicken, Pork & Viandas

Recipe by Máximo Taveras Recio Cuisine: Dominican

8 to 10

Prep time


Cooking time






  • The Meat
  • 5 lbs 5 pork or chicken (one or both), chopped into chunks

  • The Marinade
  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 4 cloves 4 garlic, chopped

  • 1 tsp 1 dried oregano

  • 3 Tbsp 3 fresh culantro, chopped

  • Las Viandas or the Roots & Vegetables
  • 1 to 2 cup 1 to 2 auyama pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks

  • 1 1 cassava or yuca, peeled and cut into chunks

  • 1 cup 1 yellow yautia or malanga, peeled and cut into chunks

  • 1 1 white yautia or taro, peeled cut into chunks

  • 2 2 plantains, green or barely yellow (unripe), peeled and chopped into chunks

  • 2 ears 2 corn, peeled and cut into 2-inch-long chunks

  • The Stew
  • 2 Tbsp 2 olive oil

  • 1 1 leek, chopped

  • 1 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 6 cups 6 water, to cover the meat and root vegetables

  • 1 tsp 1 oregano

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 1 cup 1 fresh culantro, chopped


  • Season the meat—be it pork or chicken or combo of both—with the salt, garlic, oregano and culantro. We recommended seasoning the meat with at least two or three hours ahead of time.
  • In a pan, add the oil and saute the chicken and/or pork on medium heat, until browned on all sides—about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a separate, very large stew pot or caserola, add the chopped leek, onion, garlic, water, culantro, oregano and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • When the water starts to boil, add the root vegetables: the yuca, white taro and yellow taro and pumpkin. Hold back the plantains and corn. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • When the root vegetables are just about fully cooked, add the plantain and corn. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cook on medium heat for about 10 more minutes.
  • Scoop out a cup of the cooked plantains and place in a blender. Blend them to a creamy mash. Return the plantain mash the pot and stir into the stew. This will help thicken your sancocho to the right consistency: creamy but not like porridge.
  • Add the browned pork and/or chicken to the pot. Cook for about 12 to 15 more minutes, letting all the flavors simmer together.
  • Taste as you go and adjust salt, oregano and culantro, to taste, when ready to serve.
  • Dominicanos know this well: Sancocho is always served alongside freshly made white rice and sliced avocado. Invite a lot of friends and family over—and serve! Let the fiesta begin.


  • Notes: The orangey-brown color of sancocho comes from the auyama pumpkin. If you can’t find auyama pumpkin, use acorn squash.
  • If you can’t find culantro in your local market, use cilantro.
 Máximo Taveras Recio enjoying la comida típica of the Dominican Republic.
Sancocho Dominicano
Máximo’s traditional family recipe uses viandas or roots like yuca and yautía, plus plantains and corn.

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