Chicken in a Pecan and Ancho Chile Sauce
Rate this recipe
- 3 dried ancho chiles stemmed and seeded
- 1/2 white onion
- 1 unpeeled garlic clove
- 4 cups homemade chicken broth or store bought
- 1 cup shelled pecans
- 6 to 8 pitted prunes about 1/4 cup tightly packed
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 4- to 5- pound chicken cut up, breasts split and cut in half (10 pieces)
- Heat a comal or small skillet over medium heat, and toast the stemmed, seeded ancho chiles until the skin changes color and the chiles begin to release fumes, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the onion and garlic clove to the comal or skillet. Toast, flipping the onion and garlic clove from side to side, until charred on the outside and softened inside, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, set aside and when cool enough to handle, peel the garlic clove. Alternatively, char the onion and garlic under the broiler. Preheat the broiler with the rack arranged at the highest setting and cover a small sheet pan with foil. Broil the garlic for 5 to 8 minutes, turning halfway through, and the onion for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add the pecans, prunes and toasted ancho chiles. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the chiles and prunes have rehydrated and plumped, and the pecans have softened. Set aside and let cool. Transfer to a blender, add the charred onion and garlic, and puree. If your blender is small, do this in batches.
- Season the chicken with the salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large casserole or wide, heavy lidded skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, brown the chicken pieces, in batches, skin side down first then skin side up, until nicely colored, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a bowl or plate as each batch is done.
- Reduce heat to low, and using the lid of the casserole or pan as a shield for splatters, pour in the pureed pecan sauce. It should bubble and splutter dramatically. Stir well, scraping all the bits up from the bottom of the pan, and return the chicken pieces to the pan. Cover, turn down the heat to medium low, and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan from time to time, until the chicken is completely cooked through and the sauce is thick and delicious. Taste and adjust seasoning.
130comments inChicken in a Pecan and Ancho Chile Sauce
This was so delicious that I can’t wait to make it again. It went very nicely with your roasted tomatoes w Cumin and
Oregano rice recipe to sop up the sauce.
Thank you for introducing me to this unique dish! Now I have to search through your archives for more fantastic dishes!
So happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe Jim. If you want to check out more “mole” dishes like this, here is this collection of recipes for you 😉 https://patijinich.com/collection/moles-from-all-around-mexico/
I’m vegetarian but still enjoy watching your show. The sauce sounds so good. I am going to give it a try with tofu and see how it comes out.
I think that is such a great idea! Let me know how you like it 😉
Thank you Pati -this is the first recipe I made after watching your show here in Australia. I wish I could make all of them but unfortunately we do not have bunch of the chillies you use 🙁 (luckily ancho ones are in abundance). My question to you is – is the sauce meant to be a bit bitter? or have I done something to the chillies to make it so?
Is not supposed to be bitter, more like sweet and sour with the prunes 🙂 Maybe you over roasted your anchos a bit?
I think so too, I may refrain from roasting them next time. When the sauce settled it was not bitter ! it was yummy – thank you again!
We love this! Made it the second time last night. I leave out the dates just to cut the carbs a bit and it tastes amazing. Thanks so much.
BTW: your web site is VERY well done. One of the best I’ve seen.
Thanks so much Eddie!
Drew and Heather
Hi Pati! We cooked this dish and served with caldo de queso and your tangerine chile gran palomas. The pecan and ancho chile sauce is totally unique and delicious. We knew it was going to be good but we were blown away! The caldo de queso too is comforting and delightful. We did add some salt and pepper to the soup and replaced the 1/2 white onion in the chicken recipe with four green onions like you use in the episode. Living in Tucson, AZ we get to enjoy some of the very best that Mexican cuisine has to offer and this dish ranks with the finest! Thank you!
Drew and Heather, thanks so much for this amazing review, yay!!!! Makes me so happy to hear you guys made a full meal with my recipes and enjoyed them. Un abrazo!
Is this chiken spicy or too hot for some one that does not eat hot staff?
Ancho peppers are actually very mild, and in combination with the pecans, this sauce is more sweet than spicy. I hope you’ll give it a chance Imelda 😉
robert ( PD food and wine)
Pati: I watched the show when you made this dish on a ranch! I couldn’t resist making it at home, found it DELICIOUS; and have made it several times since. Your new recipe of the Mushroom, Asparagus enchilada with pine nut Mole sound like a fitting dish to bring to my next Pot Luck gathering. I have learned many great ideas, techniques and recipes since discovering you on my local Create TV channel. Best wishes.
So glad you found me Robert! Thanks so much for trying out my recipes 🙂
So many fabulous and enticing recipes. Another trip to the grocery store. Thanks, Pati!
All the best to you and your family.
Same to you and yours Richard, un abrazo!
Made this gem yesterday! Kinda reminded me of a super simplified mole sauce. Very delicious! I’ve never been disappointed in any of your recipes. Thank you Pati for allowing all of us at home to join you in your taste-filled adventures around Mexico! Sitting down & enjoying your recipes makes me feel like I get a little slice of all that amazing-ness right from home:)
Thanks so much, this is very kind of you; glad you enjoyed this recipe 😉
Is this recipe in one of your cookbooks?
Yes Tom, it is in the new one Treasures of the Mexican Table 🙂
Just made this recipe. It was delicious! Thank you for the recipe!
So glad to read this, thanks to you!
Thank you Pati. I made this last night and it was perfect for a cold night dinner.
The earthiness of the pecans and ancho along with the sweetness of the prunes was amazing. We also made Sami’s smashed potatoes which we have made countless times. Love you and your food Pati.
Keep it going!
Thanks so much Peter, glad you like my recipes, un abrazo!
My wife and I LOVE this dish!!! We have made this multiple times for friends and family. Was this recipe ever in one of your cookbooks, just curious? Thank you so much!!
Hola Eric! So glad you liked this recipe, it is included in my latest book “Treasures of the Mexican Table”. Un abrazo!
Hi Patti i just did the chicken in pecan and ancho chile sauce tonight, very nice my wife will have some tomorrow. I added some veg at the last minute , we’ll definitely be doing this one again its a keeper thanks rob
Glad you liked it Rob, hope your wife did as well 🙂
This is a fabulous recipe! It’s only me so I use 4 chicken thighs and end up with extra sauce that I freeze for another time. So good!! I’m sending the ingredients and recipe to my niece and her family for a Christmas gift. Food and love for Christmas!!
Awesome, great idea for a gift Barb 🙂
My wife made this with dried figs. We didn’t have any prunes. It turned out really good. 5 Stars
Yummy! So glad you liked it Aaron, hugs to both of you 😉
Pati fabulous as always I’ve been making your recipes and you never fail to deliver. You have the most amazingly handsome family. Congratulations on all of your blessings.
You are incredibly sweet Iris, thanks so much!
Pati, this dish was a big hit at our table! We served the chicken with asparagus and white rice. My wife posted a picture on social media while it was cooking and family started knocking on or door! Thanks again for sharing and all of your passion you put into your cooking!
Jerry, yay! So happy you guys enjoyed the full meal, congrats to the cook!
Paty estoy buscando una receta que vi de pollo con salsa de nuez, cuando la oí la hice, salió riquísima te sacaste un 💯, pero ahora que se la quería compartir a mi hermana creo que me falto escribir en la receta el tomate, la verdad que no recuerdo si lleva o no, y no la encuentro en esta lista de recetas; de antemano gracias 😊
Aqui te va la receta en espanol del pollo en salsa de ancho y nuez Sofia, no lleva tomates, ojala que tu hermana la disfrute! https://patijinich.com/es/pollo-con-salsa-de-nuez-y-chile-ancho/
I’m going to substitute some figs or raisins for the prunes as I don’t have any on hand, and cut up a whole chicken to make this for dinner tonight. We have lots of pecan trees so in addition to using the nuts, we also use the wood to smoke chicken or pork on the grill. Very tasty!
Yummy Meg, sounds like a plan to me, I hope you enjoyed your dinner 😉
I made this dinner tonight.
Would love to upload a foto but there doesn’t seem to be a way to do that. I did five cloves of garlic rather one because we love garlic at our house. Also had to sub in dates for the prunes. Since dates are quite sweet, I did a quarter of the amount- just 4 dates (pitted) or barely 1/3 cup. I measured everything else exactly. The sauce is an interesting flavor of sweet at first then spicy with a light hint of smoke at the back end. Next time I make this, I think I’ll reduce the 4 cups broth to two. As it is I only added half the pureed sauce to simmer with the chicken and even after reduction through the 40 minute simmer time it was still a LOT of sauce. Plus I have nearly two cups sitting in my blender. Paired it with cilantro rice and sauteed zucchini. I find I needed to salt the chicken and the zucchini very well for a well-rounded sauce. Overall, pretty good recipe and a nice change from typical spicy or cheesy Mexican recipes and a good recipe for those who dislike tomatoes.
Thanks so much for the review Christina and for sharing with us your subs and menu, glad you liked the flavors 😉
Hola me gustaría esta receta de pecan y ancho chile salsa en español .Gracias
Por supuesto que si, con gusto, aqui va, ojala que disfrutes esta receta 😉 https://patijinich.com/es/pollo-con-salsa-de-nuez-y-chile-ancho/
Adriana Rodríguez Cantú.
Hola Paty. Vivo en Tijuana, me encanta su programa y sus recetas a través del bello México. Cómo podría adquirir uno de sus libros en español?
Hola Adriana, al dia de hoy los libros solo estan en ingles, pero espero que un dia no muy lejano los podamos publicar en Espanol. Un abrazo!
Watched this “show” and am overwhelmed. So want to try this recipe. The first time I ever had Chicken Mole was when my dad made a recipe out of Gourmet Magazine. Um, that was sometime around 1970 and in my neighbourhood another “weird” dinner at our table. Then again, there were many high school friends who got to learn there was more to eating than “white bread”. Imagine duck with cherry sauce on Sunday in midwest suburbia! Looking forward to trying this soooo much. Thank you. Food is so important. The more we know about food, the more we know about ourselves. Hugs!
Thanks so much for your kind words, so glad you are planning to give this recipe a try!
I’m excited to make the recipe. I saw the episode and I thought the chicken had roasted tomatoes. I can’t the video on line. Did it have tomatoes?
No tomatoes in this recipe Debra, it is all about the anchos, pecans and prunes, enjoy!
I really like her cooking program on PBS. My husband and I watch her faithfully. Thanks you
Thanks so much to you and your husband Connie 😉 A new season from Jalisco will premiere early in the fall, yay!
I just watched an episode today, Saturday, 04/24/21, which sounded like chintapene (?). It was reddish & you chopped up & added to the sauce.
Was that chiltepin chile Heather? Here is the recipe for that salsa for you 😉 https://patijinich.com/apple-chiltepin-salsita/
Today I fix my family this recipe but I didn’t have prunes I used dates instead and chicken thighs . Work out yummy. Love your recipes love to make them mine too. Thanks for the inspiration Your the best!❤️💕🥰
Awesome sub Linda! So glad you and the family enjoyed this recipe with your own twist 🙂
Pati, I love this dish! I have made it several times & serve it with Mexican white rice & a salad. I was wondering what wine you recommend to pair with this dish?
P.S. I have both your cookbooks & love your TV show!
Hey Susan, so glad you love this recipe as much as I do! To be honest with you, I would pair this dish with a good Mexican beer instead! Enjoy 😉
After watching this episode, the chicken looked so good that I wanted to try it. So after gathering all the ingredients,
I made it for my family for Sunday dinner and they loved it. The recipe was not hard to follow, and the chicken was tender and flavorful, with so much sauce left over that the my son thought it would taste good on eggs for breakfast. This chicken recipe really was a good as it looks on TV. Glad I made it, because I will definitely make this recipe again.
Thanks so much for the review Shelly, so happy the family enjoy this recipe and what a wonderful idea to add the left over sauce to eggs, yum!!!
On the show, you used scallions, not an onion as written in this recipe. Does it matter?
Hey Adele, when we filmed the show we were lucky enough to have fresh scallions from the farm so I wanted to take advantage of that, the sauce came out delicious, but a white onion works perfect too. Just don’t forget the charring, it is what brings out the sweet in the ingredients. Enjoy!
Kathy Bolmer Talamantez
My husband’s side of the family is Mexican, and I learned many recipes from his grandmother who passed away at 101 years old! I have spent a fair amount of time in Puebla and Mexico City, and love the myriad of flavors. Unfortunately, I cannot eat cilantro, but found that it was rarely present the further south I visited. I have your books and watch your shows, traveling with you and experimenting with your recipes.. We love fish, chicken, turkey and everything spicy! Where would you suggest we visit next?
Thanks so much for reaching out Kathy, love to know that you have been enjoying the books and the show, yay! Have you guys been in Oaxaca? It is a must, do not miss it 😉
Hi, I am looking for a chicken recipe I saw on the show Saturday the 27th of March. I miss the beginning of the show so I don’t know the name of it. You served it with asparagus & a pecan sauce.
Is the Chicken in a pecan sauce w/ancho sauce it?
It looked really good & I would like to try it.
It doesn’t look the same in the photo here but I am not sure.
Please let me know the name of it & where to get the recipe.
email is: email@example.com
You got it right here Connie, this is the recipe and I prepared it on the episode “Cooking for my Crew in Sonora” from season 9. Enjoy!!
Senora Jinich, este platillo estaba tan delicioso. The taste of the sauce mixed with my white rice caused me to close my eyes, sit a bit, and just savor it. It was the Goldilocks of sauces, not too sweet, not too spicy, just right. Thank you for all you do. I am American of Mexican descent on both sides, and cooking authentic Mexican dishes honors all those who came before us. Mil gracias.
Mil gracias a ti Diana, thanks so much for sharing your experience with this dish, loved the way you described it. Un abrazo!
I am so excited that I found you!! We love Americanized Mexican but I have been wanting to eat and cook traditional Mexican food. Your pecan, Chile chicken will be our very first !!!
So glad you are giving it a try Dawn, yay!!! Let me know how you guys like the chicken 🙂
This recipe is delicious! I had to force myself to stop eating!
I used –
3 cloves of garlics
1/2 cup of prunes
Sprinkled toasted sesame seeds on top
So glad you liked this recipe Kathy, my crew loved it when I made it for them in Sonora, enjoy!
Jeanne Ann Walter—-Denver
I made this chicken dish last Sunday for a couple in our “COVID-19 bubble,” using eight bone-in thighs. The only change made was to add extra Ancho Chile powder and cumin. The guys each had two plates and there were raves all around. Wish folks would understand that ALL Mexican food doesn’t have to be hot and spicy! Served it with recommended rice and sautéed green and yellow squash with plenty of cumin and Ancho Chile powder.
I have a collection of recipes from your shows that will show up in my kitchen soon! Love the format you use, showing cooks in locations, then dishes made in American kitchens! SO approachable!
Jeanne! Thanks so much for sharing about your friends, so glad they loved this chicken! Gracias for tuning in and for the kind words, un abrazo 😉
I saw this Recipe yesterday on PBS. LOOKS GOD AND YUMMY. I WOULD LIKE TO TRY IT. Cant use Pecans. Can i substitute something else? Is the CHILIES HOT? PLS LET ME KNOW. THKS.
Hi Gloria, thanks so much for reaching out 😉 Although this recipe is meant for pecans, you could go ahead and try almonds. The chiles are not hot, anchos and guajillos are truly more sweet that spicy. Also, here is another recipe for chicken in a mole sauce that does not use pecans and you might like, enjoy! https://patijinich.com/coloradito-chicken-recipe/
the chicken and bacon and ancho chili sauce Is a beautiful looking dish. I am anxious to try it. I love watching your TV show and wish you all the success.
Thanks for a wonderful program.
Thanks to you for tuning in and for giving a try to my recipes Shashi, un abrazo!
I want to ask three questions.
1 could this recipe be considered a mole? I’ve been watching season 6 mole episodes (thank goodness fit Amazon Prime.)
2 are the recipes from the tv show in your cookbooks? I’ve been making so many I think it’s time I bought your books. 😁
3 are season 1 and 2 available to watch anywhere? I’d like to watch them.
Thank you. As noted in a previous comment, I like this r3cipe very much.
Hello Stewart, thanks for reaching out. Here my answers to your questions:
1. Yes, this sauce could be considered a mole.
2. Not all of them, especially of the last seasons as the Cookbooks came before. BTW, I have a new book coming out in the fall! If you are interested you could pre order it here: https://www.amazon.com/Pati-Jinich-Treasures-Mexican-Table/dp/0358086760/
3. Not available at the time
So glad you loved this recipe, un abrazo!
Pati are you using an entire bunch of garlic??
Just one garlic clove Mike 😉
I really enjoyed this recipe. I used 8 bone in chicken thighs and it was delicious. Very earthy. I’m slightly embarrassed to tell you I used a chefy trick and removed the skin after browning and fried it separately until crispy, like chicharron. Then I garnished the chicken with it. It was great.
Thanks for your show and recipes. I especially liked season 9.
Awesome idea Stewart, thanks for sharing!
Made it tonight for myself and while finishing the simmering, called a dear friend who’s having a tough time right now. She came over and we shared and talked enjoying this dish, it was sooo yummy and wonderful and nourishing for us both. Como siempre, no hay palabras Pati. Pasamos la cenita viéndote en La Paz! Jiji ❤️🇲🇽🙏🏼
Que lindo! Me encanta que hayas invitado a tu amiga y que las dos hayan disfrutado este pollo. Les mando un abrazo 😉
My second Pati recipe try. Turned out well, plus generated a lot of interest from my Facebook friends.
My Mother’s family lived in Phoenix, so Sonoran influence is strong.
Yay Donald! Thanks for giving a chance to my recipes and for sharing them with your friends, gracias!
Used the leftover sauce like a rancheros sauce – cooked an egg in it and served over warm tostada shells with a little lime creme – two fabulous meals – one recipe!
Wow, awesome idea Melanie! Thanks for sharing 😉
I just made this and it is amazing. I thought it would be spicy because my hands were burning from de-seeding the chiles but it wasn’t. It was just perfect, like all the rest of your delicious recipes. Gracias Pati for all your hard work creating these amazing recipes.
So glad you liked it Angelica and that you were brave enough to go through with the chiles, bravo!
My seven year old daughter, Hattie, watches your show on a weekly basis, but this was the recipe that inspired her to cook Sunday dinner. It turned out amazing! She was so proud to have a recipe she worked on turn out so well.
Aw! Give my love to Hattie please, so proud of her!
We made this last night and it was so good. There are many pecan trees where I live and I am so happy that I have cups and cups of pecan to make this recipe with chicken, lamb and I see you recommend cod as a possible fish variant. We love your show and learned about this recipe from the episode in Sonora.
So glad you liked this recipe Lettie! So jealous you have all those pecan trees around, good for you. Thanks for tuning in, un abrazo!
Hi Pati: You are always so happy preparing great dishes and encouraging us positively toward success at our homes. This sauce is a delicious, flavorful and unexpected treat that any party guests would rave about. I would consider including it at BRUNCH to accompany some nice hot crispy waffles.
Si! Great idea Roberto, so glad you liked it 😉
Pati, I just recently started watching your show and me and my husband love it!!
I’m getting ready to make this recipe for the second time! It’s delish!!
Yay Alicia! So glad you guys found me 🙂
You added aomethiythat sounds like “chesapine” but we don’t know what that is. I googled it but since I don’t know how it’s spelled, nothing came even clear to the word. And it’s not included in your recipe.
You might be looking for Chiltepin Chile Rosalie, I like to add it to many of my recipes 😉
Pati, my great grandmother lived in Juarez , chihuahua, and would make this dish. I loved seeing it in your program today and I can’t wait to make it this weekend. Thank you for the wonderful memories.
So happy this recipe brought back sweet memories, enjoy it!
If I just used chicken breast do you think the flavor would come out the same ? How many pounds should I use??? Thank you !!!
You can go ahead and use just breast if that is what you like Sofia, 4 pounds work for this recipe. Enjoy!
Do you think this dish could be made without the chicken? We only eat some seafood. Have you tried it with shrimp or just served over veggies and rice?
Never tried it with shrimp but I am sure it will work, also on top of some snapper or cod. You can serve it on top of rice as well, maybe add potatoes, carrots or mushrooms 😉
Just wow…I am drooling for this at midnight while watching. I love watching your shows not only for the food but for your glowing/happy spirit; you truly enjoy what you are doing. Thank you for sharing your gift.
Thanks to you Jodi, for tuning in and for the kind words 😉
Robert L Macias
I just made this… Sauce is delicious. I thought I saw on TV where you added cumin, chipolte, & alspice… But it came out great with just the basics. Thanx Pati, BTW, I can’t believe it’s almost 14 years now for PMT (Pat’s Mexican Table), looking forward to many more.
So glad you liked this Robert and thanks so much for being a loyal fan of the show, un abrazo!
So easy and delicious. This has become an instant family favourite! Thank you for sharing!
Thanks to you for giving it a chance Shaun, so glad you and your family enjoyed it!
Hi Pati, I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe. I made it today for my family and it turned out perfectly! And it’s great for the cold weather we have in Kentucky right now. I usually cook Persian food for my husband because he is from Iran. But I saw you make this on tv and I had to try it. The Persian people make a stew that is similar called fesanjun. So good.
Hi Lisa, thanks so much for your feedback, so glad the family liked it! It is not the first time I hear this is a bit like Persian Fesanjun, yummy, I will have to try it soon 😉
Hola Pati!!! Quería preguntarte si es la misma receta que hiciste en un viaje que tuviste a Sonora?
Si Pita, es la que prepare en el episodio 909: Cooking for my Crew in Sonora 🙂
I made this tonight and it was so good. This is going into my recipe notebook!!
Awesome! Thanks so much Irene 😉
What do you serve this with Pati?
Hola Yvonne! I served it with white rice and with these asparagus, I hope you like them! https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/asparagus-with-chiltepin/
I’m totally making this for dinner tonight Pati! Once I saw prunes and pecans on the list I was in.
I hope you liked it Steve 😉
I made this tonight after seeing your show last weekend. It was delicious. My kids ate it right up, even the picky one! I subbed raisins for prunes since I forgot to buy them at the store, but will definitely make it again and use prunes. Just the right amount of spice! The sauce was just amazing over rice.
SO glad all the family enjoyed this chicken recipe Tara, it is truly yummy. Hope you guys keep cooking together and having fun!
Wow this recipe was amazing! Ufff! I used what I had at home and substituted the chiles anchos for chiles California because that’s what was in my pantry and also substituted the whole chicken for chicken thighs that I diced. Thank you so much Pati for sharing your knowledge and this wonderful recipe. It’s truly made a difference during this time of staying at home.
So glad my recipes bring some comfort to you Yasmin, so glad you enjoyed this chicken and were able to sub ingredients for those in your pantry, great job!
You are so joyful and I enjoy watching you cook so much. I can’t wait to try this lovely recipe