Chicken & Poultry

Chicken in a Pecan and Ancho Chile Sauce

Chicken in a Pecan and Ancho Chile Sauce
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4.5 from 6 votes

Chicken in a Pecan and Ancho Chile Sauce

Chicken in a Pecan and Ancho Chile Sauce recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 9, Episode 9 "Cooking for my Crew in Sonora"
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: ancho chiles, chicken, Mexico, nuez, Pecan, Pollo, prunes, sauce
Servings: 4 to 5 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Pollo con Salsa de Nuez y Chile Ancho

Chicken, Hominy and Pinto Bean Stew

Chicken Hominy and Pinto Bean Stew
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4.84 from 6 votes

Chicken, Hominy and Pinto Bean Stew

Chicken, Hominy and Pinto Bean Stew recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 9, Episode 8 "Super Sonoran"
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Course: Soup, stew
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: anaheim chiles, chicken, frijoles de la olla, gallina, gallina pinta, hominy, Mexico, pati’s mexican table, pinto beans, pozole, Sonora, soup, stew
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound dried hominy soaked in water to cover for 8 to 24 hours, or 4 cups cooked (2 15-ounce cans )
  • 1 head of garlic with peel on, halved horizontally (if cooking hominy only)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt if cooking hominy
  • 1/2 recipe frijoles de olla using pinto beans (3 cups cooked beans), or 2 15-ounce cans

For the chicken:

  • 1 4- to 5- pound whole chicken cut up into 8 to 10 serving pieces
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 fresh Anaheim chile stemmed, seeded, cut in quarters
  • 10 stems fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt

For the Anaheim seasoning sauce:

  • 1 fresh Anaheim chile
  • 1/4 white onion halved
  • 2 garlic cloves unpeeled
  • 10 sprigs cilantro

For garnish:

  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and top part of stems
  • Crushed chiletpin chiles may substitute finely chopped chiles de arbol, ground chile piquin or red pepper flakes
  • 2 limes quartered

Instructions

  • Strain soaked hominy and rinse. Place in a large pot, add water to cover by at least 4 to 5 inches, and add the halved head of garlic. Set over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to medium heat, skim off foam, cover partially and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until the hominy “blooms” or opens up. Once the kernels are very soft and you see them opening on the top like a flower, add salt, stir, turn off the heat, and set aside and let cool. Do not continue to cook or the hominy will fall apart. If making the frijoles de olla, you may do so while the hominy cooks. If using canned hominy and beans, you may skip this step.

To cook the chicken:

  • Do this while the hominy and beans are cooking. Place the cut up chicken in a large soup pot or casserole. Cover generously with water by at least 2 to 3 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, skim off foam and add the halved onion, 4 peeled garlic cloves, the quartered fresh Anaheim chile, 10 stems of cilantro and 2 teaspoons salt. Cover partially and simmer for 1 hour, until the chicken is falling away from the bone. Remove from heat, transfer the chicken pieces to a bowl and let cool until you can handle them. Strain the broth, set aside 1 cup, and return the rest to the soup pot.
  • Discard the onion, garlic, Anaheim and cilantro. Remove the skin from the chicken and discard. Remove meat from the bones, tear it into small pieces, and return it to the strained broth.

To make seasoning sauce:

  • Preheat the broiler with the rack adjusted at the highest setting. Cover a baking sheet with foil and top with the fresh Anaheim chile, the onion quarter, and the 2 unpeeled garlic cloves. Broil for about 10 to 12 minutes, flipping the vegetables over halfway through, until completely charred on the outside and soft on the inside. The garlic will be done before the other ingredients, usually halfway through, and should be removed from the baking sheet when you see that it is charred and softened. Alternatively, you can roast the vegetables on a comal over medium heat, flipping them over every 4 to 5 minutes, until charred.
  • Place the chile in a plastic bag and let it sweat for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the skin, stem and seeds from the chile and peel the garlic. Cut the chile into pieces and place it in a blender along with the charred onion, the peeled roasted garlic cloves and 10 sprigs of fresh cilantro. Add the cup of strained chicken broth that you set aside, and puree until completely smooth. Pour back into the soup pot or casserole with the chicken and remaining broth.
  • Remove the onion from the pinto beans and stir the beans into the soup pot, along with 1 cup of their broth (or more, to taste). If using canned beans, rinse and add to the soup pot. Discard the halved head of garlic you added to the hominy and add the cooked hominy along with 1 cup of its liquid (or more to taste) to the soup pot. If using canned hominy, drain, rinse, and add to the pot.
  • Return the pot to medium heat, bring to a simmer and simmer, partially covered, for 15 to 20 minutes. You will know it’s ready when the seasoning sauce pools on the surface into tiny dark green puddles that are a darker green than the rest of the soup. Taste and adjust salt.
  • Serve and let everyone garnish with chopped white onion, cilantro, chiltepin chiles and a squeeze of fresh lime.

Notes

Gallina Pinta

Sonoran Hot Dogs

Sonoran Hot Dog
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4.5 from 6 votes

Sonoran Hot Dogs

Sonoran Hot Dogs, courtesy of Daniel Contreras of El Güero Canelo Restaurant, from Pati's Mexican Table, Episode 13, "How Do You Say Tucson?"
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Antojos, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: Arizona, bacon, Hot Dog, Mexican, Sonoran, Tucson, Turkey Hot Dog
Servings: 4 hot dogs
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 4 turkey hot dogs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 4 güero chiles or banana peppers
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • 1 cup cooked pinto beans warmed up

Toppings:

  • Chopped raw white onion
  • Chopped tomato
  • Jalapeño hot sauce or salsa of your choice
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise

Instructions

  • On a cutting board, roll one slice of bacon around each hot dog. Place the tip of the hot dog over one end of the bacon slice, then roll the hot dog around and around on the diagonal so that the bacon wraps around it and covers it entirely. If you get to the end of the hot dog and there is still some bacon left, roll back in the other direction until the whole strip of bacon is rolled around the hot dog.






  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon-wrapped hot dogs and cook, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until crisped and browned on all sides. Remove from the skillet and set aside.



  • In the same skillet, heat the vegetable oil and add the 1 cup chopped white onion. Sauté the onion until it softens and becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Scrape into a small bowl and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, char the güero chiles on a hot comal or skillet set over medium heat for 3
    to 6 minutes. Turn it once or twice, until its skin has lightly charred. Remove from heat.

To assemble:

  • Place one bacon-wrapped hot dog in a bun, then spoon on a generous tablespoon of warm pinto beans and about a tablespoon of the cooked onion. Top with some chopped raw onion, chopped tomato, hot sauce or salsa, mustard, and mayonnaise. Repeat with the remaining hot dogs and serve each one with a charred güero chile on the side.

Notes

Courtesy Daniel Contreras, El Güero Canelo Restaurant

Milanesa Torta with Matador Guacamole and Melty Cheese

Milanesa Torta with Matador Guacamole and Melty Cheese
Print Recipe
4.6 from 5 votes

Milanesa Torta with Matador Guacamole and Melty Cheese

Milanesa Torta with Matador Guacamole and Melty Cheese recipe from Pati’s Mexican Table Season 8, Episode 5 "A Taste of Mazatlán"
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: bolillo, chicken, chiltepín chiles, cotija cheese, fried, fried chicken, guacamole, mayonnaise, Oaxaca cheese, pati’s mexican table, Sandwich, telera, Torta
Servings: 4 tortas
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • A splash of milk
  • 2 cups crushed butter crackers
  • 8 to 10 dried chiltepín chiles crushed (or substitute 3 to 4 chiles de árbol)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cups grated Oaxaca cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
  • 4 bolillo or telera rolls split in half with insides scooped out
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 batch Matador Guacamole
  • 1/4 cup soy and lime mixture from the Matador Guacamole

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1/2-inch of vegetable oil and heat until very hot but not smoking, for at least 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Make a breading station using three shallow dishes: place the flour in one, whisk the eggs with a splash of milk in another, and mix the cracker crumbs with salt, pepper and the crushed chiles in the third one. One by one, dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, then pass through the egg mixture, and then coat well with the cracker crumbs mixture, pressing it onto the chicken as you do. Place them on a baking sheet and continue with the remaining chicken.
  • Fry the chicken breasts in the heated oil one or two at a time, making sure the pan is not over crowded, for about 3 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate or rack and repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
  • In another bowl, mix the mayonnaise with Oaxaca and Cotija cheeses.
  • To build the torta, place the split bread rolls on a baking sheet. Spread the cheese and mayonnaise mixture on the split sides of the rolls. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and melted, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Toss the arugula with 1/4 cup of the soy and lime mixture from the Matador Guacamole. Top the bottom half rolls, with the cheese already melted on them, with the chicken, Matador Guacamole, and the dressed arugula. Cover with the top half of the rolls.

Notes

Torta de Milanesa con Guacamole de Chiles Toreados y Chicharron de Queso

Garlic and Cumin Rubbed Chicken

Garlic and Cumin Rubbed Chicken
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3.58 from 7 votes

Garlic and Cumin Rubbed Chicken

Garlic and Cumin Rubbed Chicken from Pati's Mexican Table, Season 7, Episode 5 "Mexican Wine Country"
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, cumin, garlic, pati's mexican table
Servings: 4 to 5 Servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 4 ancho chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried chipotle chiles stemmed and seeded, moritas
  • 15 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt or more to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus more for greasing the baking sheet
  • 1 3-4 pound chicken cut up into 10 serving pieces (breasts cuthalf)
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Instructions

  • Place the ancho and chipotle chiles in a saucepan, cover with water and set over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Simmer at medium heat for 10 minutes, until the chiles are completely rehydrated.
  • Place the rehydrated chiles into the jar of a blender, along with 1/2 cup of their simmering liquid, the garlic, cumin seeds, salt and olive oil. Puree until completely smooth. Scrape into a bowl and let it cool.
  • Place the chicken in a container and cover completely with the garlic and cumin marinade. You can marinate it covered in the refrigerator up to two days. But you may also roast it right away without marinating ahead of time.
  • If you marinated the chicken ahead of time, remove it from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Generously grease a baking pan with oil. Place the chicken on the pan skin side down and sprinkle with a little salt. Put it in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Carefully remove it from the oven, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees, flip over the chicken pieces and spoon any of the marinade on the bottom of the pan over the chicken pieces. Pour the chicken broth onto the bottom of the pan and return to the oven. Roast for 45 to 50 more minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear – and there are barely any juices when pierced with a knife.

Notes

Pollo Ajocomino

Sanborns’ Swiss Chicken Enchiladas

Sanborns’ Swiss Chicken Enchiladas
Print Recipe
4.34 from 6 votes

Sanborns’ Swiss Chicken Enchiladas

Sanborns’ Swiss Chicken Enchiladas, from Pati’s Mexican Table Season 7, Episode 12 "Photographic Food Memories"
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, corn tortillas, Enchilada, Oaxaca cheese, pati's mexican table, Recipe, serrano chiles, tomatillos
Servings: 6 Servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos husked, scrubbed and rinsed, and quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped white onion
  • 1 to 2 serrano chiles stemmed, seeding optional
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and upper part of stems
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon canola or safflower oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth, or vegetable broth, or water homemade or store-bought
  • 1 cup Mexican style cream, Latin-style cream or heavy cream
  • 12 Corn tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 3 cups Oaxaca or Muenster cheese, grated

Instructions

  • In a blender, combine the tomatillos, garlic, onion, chiles (start with 1 and add another if desired), cilantro, salt and water. Puree until completely smooth.
  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the pureed tomatillo mixture, being careful as it will sear and splutter. Cover partially with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and darkens, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the broth, cover partially, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream. Set aside.
  • Prepare the tortillas for enchiladas by either heating them on a comal or passing them through hot oil.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pour about 1 cup of the cooked salsa verde into a 9”x13” baking dish. One by one, place a tortilla on a plate or cutting board and arrange about ¼ cup shredded cooked chicken down the middle. Roll up into a soft chubby enchilada and place seam down in the baking dish. Continue with the rest of the tortillas.
  • Pour the remaining cooked salsa verde over the enchiladas and sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese has completely melted and begun to lightly brown.

Notes

Enchiladas de Pollo Suizas Sanborns

Spicy Mexican Southern Fried Chicken

Spicy Mexican Southern Fried Chicken
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Spicy Mexican Southern Fried Chicken

Spicy Mexican Southern Fried Chicken, from Pati’s Mexican Table Season 7, Episode 13 "Mex’d Up American Regional Favorites"
Prep Time4 hrs 10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time4 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: chicken, chiles de arbol, fried chicken, Guajillo, habanero, honey, pati's mexican table, Recipe
Servings: 4 to 5 Servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 4 chiles de arbol, stemmed
  • 4 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 3-4 pound chicken cut into 10 pieces
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sauce from chipotles in adobo
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt plus more to season the chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper plus more to season the chicken
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup canned sliced habanero chiles

Instructions

  • Heat a comal or cast iron skillet over medium high. Toast the chile de arbol and the guajillo until both sides are slightly charred. Remove from heat and let cool. Once the chiles have cooled, add them to a spice or coffee grinder and finely grind.
  • Add chicken pieces to a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon of the ground chile mixture (reserve the rest). Pour the buttermilk and sauce from chipotles in adobo over the chicken and mix gently to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 48 hours. The longer the chicken marinates, the more the flavors will soak in.
  • When you are ready to cook the chicken, fill a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan a little less than halfway full with oil and preheat until the temperature reaches 365 degrees Fahrenheit on a fry thermometer (or test the oil by dropping in a small piece of chicken, it should actively bubble around it).
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking sheet with a rack.
  • Add the remaining chile mixture to a large bowl, along with the flour, paprika, salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Remove the chicken one piece at a time from the buttermilk - shaking off any excess buttermilk - and put it into the bowl with the flour mix, rotating it to coat.
  • Once all the chicken is in the bowl and fully coated with the flour mix, one at a time, place 2 to 3 pieces into the hot oil, depending on the size of your pan. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and fry for 3 more minutes, or until it is a dark golden brown. Transfer to the sheet pan with a rack and place into the oven. Let the oil return to 365 degrees Fahrenheit and repeat the process with remaining chicken pieces.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. They should all be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If the chicken is not fully cooked, leave it in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • When chicken is ready to serve, heat the honey in a saucepan or in the microwave. Add habaneros with a little of their liquid and stir together. Place the fried chicken on a serving platter and drizzle the habanero honey over the chicken. Serve immediately with extra habanero honey sauce on the side.

Notes

Pollo Frito a la Mex

Almendrado with Chicken

Print Recipe
2.86 from 7 votes

Almendrado with Chicken

Almendrado with Chicken recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 6, Episode 7 "The Art of Mole"
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: almonds, canela, capers, chicken, cinnamon, olives, pati's mexican table, Pickled Jalapeños, raisins
Servings: 4 to 5 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large white onion cut into pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic unpeeled
  • 2 pounds (about 7 or 8) roma tomatoes
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1 1-inch stick ceylon cinnamon or canela
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 3-pound chicken cut into serving pieces (wings removed for later use and breasts cut in half)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 2 cups chicken broth divided
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup black raisins
  • 1/2 cup manzanilla olives stuffed with pimiento sliced
  • 1/4 cup capers chopped
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeño rajas or slices

Instructions

  • Place onion, garlic and tomatoes under the broiler, or on an already heated skillet, griddle or comal set over medium heat. Roast or char for about 10 minutes, flipping in between, until ingredients are completely charred, cooked and mushy. Set aside and peel the garlic cloves when cool enough to handle.
  • In a small skillet set over medium heat, toast the cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon stick for a couple minutes, moving and flipping them around to toast evenly. Set aside. Toast the oregano for 10 to 15 seconds and remove from the heat.
  • In the jar of a blender, place the charred onion, peeled garlic and charred tomatoes, along with the tops from the whole cloves (discard the stems), the peppercorns, cinnamon and oregano. Puree until completely smooth.
  • Heat the oil in a large casserole set over medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Season the chicken with the salt and brown the chicken pieces for 2 to 3 minutes per side. You may need to do this in batches in order to not to crowd the casserole. Once you have removed all the chicken, immediately pour the tomato sauce into the hot oil and cover, as it will splatter. Reduce heat to medium.
  • Add a cup of chicken broth to the blender and puree for a few seconds to get all the remaining thick sauce out of the blender, pour into the simmering sauce and cover again. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Incorporate the remaining cup of chicken broth, almonds, raisins, olives and capers. Add the browned chicken pieces, cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 20 more minutes.
  • Remove the lid and add the pickled jalapeño slices. Increase heat to medium and cook for another 10 minutes, allowing all the flavors to blend and the sauce to thicken. Serve with rice.

Notes

Almendrado con Pollo

Tres Quesos Chicken Pasta

Print Recipe
4.29 from 7 votes

Tres Quesos Chicken Pasta

Tres Quesos Chicken Pasta recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 6, Episode 12 "Cheesy"
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: ancho chiles, cheese, chicken, cotija cheese, Muenster cheese, Oaxaca cheese, pasta, pati's mexican table, queso anejo
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt plus more for salting the water
  • To taste freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup cubed Oaxaca cheese
  • 1 cup cubed asadero or muenster cheese
  • Fresh cilantro chopped, for serving
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso añejo or cotija for garnish

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.
  • In a medium bowl combine the garlic, chili powder, oregano, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add chicken to the bowl and toss until chicken is coated in the rub.
  • Once the water is boiling, cook the spaghetti until al dente, or according to package instructions. Strain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  • In a large casserole set over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the oil. Once it melts, add the chicken and cook until all sides are browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the flour and continue to brown for another 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the milk and cream, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to remove browned bits. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water – or more if desired. Let the liquids come to a simmer and reduce until they begin to thicken.
  • Add the Oaxaca and muenster cheese, saving the cojita for the topping. Once the cheese is slightly melted, take off the heat and stir in pasta. Stir until the pasta is completely coated and the cheese is melted. Serve hot. Garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro and cotija cheese.

Notes

Pasta de Pollo con Tres Quesos

Coloradito Chicken and a New Season

Oaxaca is a place I have been to countless times, but always leave wanting to go back.  No wonder I was eager to bring the crew, so they could experience all that I kept telling them about. And mostly, so they could help me capture it to bring to you.

My series director, Dan, must have been dizzy from me telling him how things are “different” in Oaxaca so many times. There is something in the air, and there is something in the way the light hits Oaxaca. It makes everything you think is familiar gain a completely different dimension. Maybe that is why Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s main cradles of art.

The blue in the sky seems a deeper shade of blue. The green in the plants, mountains and herbs looks more intense and has more saturated hues of green. When you wake up in the morning and open a window, the air smells fresher and feels more crisp. The sun shines brighter. And the word “diverse” has never had a better match.

Oaxaca is one of the – or the – most ethnically and culturally diverse places in all of Mexico. It has eight defined and distinctively different regions and 18 ethnic communities – each with their own culture, cuisine, language and pre-Hispanic forms of self governance and organization for life and society.

To put it simply, as my dad would say, Oaxaca is another world.

One of the common sayings related to Oaxaca is “the land of 7 moles.” But, the irony is that there are many more moles than that. There are dozens and dozens of them. Each mole has so many different versions, depending on the cook, the family or the town.

Here, I am sharing a Coloradito Mole with Chicken. I tested it many times at home to get the exact taste I experienced in the city of Oaxaca. So many times that Sami, my middle son, would joke “coloradito, mami, coloradito?” every time he walked in the kitchen and saw a large pot simmering.

Silky, delightfully sweet, savory, tangy, and with a light spice, it is a small window into the beautiful complex layers that Oaxaca has all around.

Try it at home and join me for the new season that is about to premiere! Check your local listings here.

pati jinich coloradito chicken
Print Recipe
4 from 6 votes

Coloradito Chicken

Here I am sharing a Coloradito Mole with Chicken. I tested it many times at home to get the exact taste I experienced in the city of Oaxaca. Silky, delightfully sweet, savory, tangy, and with a light spice, it is a small window into the beautiful complex layers that Oaxaca has all around.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Ancho, chayote, chicken, Chiles, Coloradito, green beans, Guajillo, Mole, Oaxaca, Pollo, Tomato
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe plantain
  • 6 ancho chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 5 guajillo chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 1 pound (or 3 to 4) ripe Roma tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic unpeeled
  • 1 1/2-inch thick slice of white onion
  • 1 1-inch-long stick ceylon cinnamon or canela (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ceylon cinnamon)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon grated piloncillo or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt divided
  • 1 3-pound chicken cut into 8 serving pieces (wings removed for later use and breasts cut in half)
  • Vegetable oil for cooking the chicken
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 3-ounce bar of Mexican chocolate broken into pieces
  • 1 pound chayote squash peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
  • 1 pound green beans trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Tortillas or rice to serve

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Place the plantain in a baking dish lined with aluminum foil and make a couple of 1/2-inch slits on its skin. Bake until completely cooked through, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, when cool enough to handle, peel and slice. Set aside.
  • Heat a comal, griddle or skillet over medium heat. Once hot, toast the ancho and guajillo chiles for about 30 to 45 seconds per side, until fragrant and lightly toasted. Place chiles in a saucepan along with the whole tomatoes, cover with water and set over medium-high heat. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the chiles are rehydrated and plumped up, and the tomatoes are cooked and mushy.
  • On the same comal, griddle or skillet, char the unpeeled garlic cloves and the onion slice, until completely charred and softened, about 8 to 10 minutes, flipping a couple of times in between. Set aside to cool. Peel the garlic when cool enough to handle.
  • On a small skillet set over medium heat, toast the cinnamon stick for a minute or two until fragrant, flipping once. Next, toast the cloves and peppercorns for a minute, moving them around the entire time. Toast the almonds for a couple of minutes, until lightly browned, as well as sesame seeds. Lastly, toast the oregano for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • As each ingredient is finished being toasted, place it in the jar of the blender: the cinnamon, garlic, onion, cloves, peppercorns, almonds, sesame seeds, and oregano. Add the rehydrated chiles, cooked tomatoes and 1 cup of their cooking broth, and the plantain to the blender, as well. Incorporate the raisins, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt, and puree at least for a couple minutes until completely smooth. If your blender is on the smaller side, puree it in batches.
  • Set a large casserole over medium-high heat and heat enough oil to have about 1/8-inch of depth. Season the chicken with the remaining teaspoon of salt. Once the oil is hot, brown the chicken pieces in batches, making sure to not crowd the casserole. Cook until they have created a crust on the skin and are easy to flip, about 3 minutes per side. Place the finished pieces in a large bowl.
  • Once you are done browning the chicken, reduce the heat to medium-low. Carefully, and using the casserole’s lid as a shield (there will be splatters), pour the mole sauce into the oil. Stir and cover with the lid, leaving it slightly open, and cook for about 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally (still protecting yourself with the lid), until the sauce is very thick and seasoned. Add the chicken broth, chocolate pieces, and the browned chicken pieces, and cook for another 20 minutes. Add the chayote squash and green beans, give it a good stir, and cook until vegetables are cooked yet tender, another 10 minutes.
  • Serve with tortillas and/or rice.

Notes

Mole Coloradito con Pollo

Coloradito Chicken

pati jinich coloradito chicken
Print Recipe
4.29 from 7 votes

Coloradito Chicken

Coloradito Chicken recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 6, Episode 6 “Women of Oaxaca”
Prep Time50 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: almonds, ancho chiles, canela, chayote, chicken, Chocolate, guajillo chiles, mexican chocolate, Mole, pati's mexican table, piloncillo, Plantains, raisins, sesame seeds
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe plantain
  • 6 ancho chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 5 guajillo chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 1 pound (or 3 to 4) ripe Roma tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic unpeeled
  • 1 1/2-inch thick slice of white onion
  • 1 1-inch-long stick ceylon cinnamon or canela (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ceylon cinnamon)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon grated piloncillo or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt divided
  • 1 3-pound chicken cut into 8 serving pieces (wings removed for later use and breasts cut in half)
  • Vegetable oil for cooking the chicken
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 3-ounce bar of Mexican chocolate broken into pieces
  • 1 pound chayote squash peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
  • 1 pound green beans trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Tortillas or rice to serve

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the plantain in a baking dish lined with aluminum foil and make a couple of 1/2-inch slits on its skin. Bake until completely cooked through, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, when cool enough to handle, peel and slice. Set aside.
  • Heat a comal, griddle or skillet over medium heat. Once hot, toast the ancho and guajillo chiles for about 30 to 45 seconds per side, until fragrant and lightly toasted. Place chiles in a saucepan along with the whole tomatoes, cover with water and set over medium-high heat. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the chiles are rehydrated and plumped up, and the tomatoes are cooked and mushy.
  • On the same comal, griddle or skillet, char the unpeeled garlic cloves and the onion slice, until completely charred and softened, about 8 to 10 minutes, flipping a couple of times in between. Set aside to cool. Peel the garlic when cool enough to handle.
  • On a small skillet set over medium heat, toast the cinnamon stick for a minute or two until fragrant, flipping once. Next, toast the cloves and peppercorns for a minute, moving them around the entire time. Toast the almonds for a couple of minutes, until lightly browned, as well as sesame seeds. Lastly, toast the oregano for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • As each ingredient is finished being toasted, place it in the jar of the blender: the cinnamon, garlic, onion, cloves, peppercorns, almonds, sesame seeds, and oregano. Add the rehydrated chiles, cooked tomatoes and 1 cup of their cooking broth, and the plantain to the blender, as well. Incorporate the raisins, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt, and puree at least for a couple minutes until completely smooth. If your blender is on the smaller side, puree it in batches.
  • Set a large casserole over medium-high heat and heat enough oil to have about 1/8-inch of depth. Season the chicken with the remaining teaspoon of salt. Once the oil is hot, brown the chicken pieces in batches, making sure to not crowd the casserole. Cook until they have created a crust on the skin and are easy to flip, about 3 minutes per side. Place the finished pieces in a large bowl.
  • Once you are done browning the chicken, reduce the heat to medium-low. Carefully, and using the casserole’s lid as a shield (there will be splatters), pour the mole sauce into the oil. Stir and cover with the lid, leaving it slightly open, and cook for about 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally (still protecting yourself with the lid), until the sauce is very thick and seasoned. Add the chicken broth, chocolate pieces, and the browned chicken pieces, and cook for another 20 minutes. Add the chayote squash and green beans, give it a good stir, and cook until vegetables are cooked yet tender, another 10 minutes.
  • Serve with tortillas and/or rice.

Notes

Mole Coloradito con Pollo

Oaxacan Chicken with Oregano and Garlic

oaxacan chicken with oregano and garlic
Print Recipe
4.15 from 7 votes

Oaxacan Chicken with Oregano and Garlic

Oaxacan Chicken with Oregano and Garlic recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 6, Episode 3 "A Queen in the Land of Gods"
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, garlic, oregano, pati's mexican table
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 30 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • To taste freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 3-pound chicken cut into 10 serving pieces breasts cut in half
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Using a food processor or molcajete, process or mash the garlic, oregano, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper until coarse and well mixed, yet not completely pureed.
  • Rub the garlic mixture all over chicken and place skin side down on a non-stick baking sheet. If you don’t cook right away, you may marinate the chicken up to 24 hours, covered in the refrigerator.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce temperature to 375 degrees. Flip over the chicken pieces, pour the chicken broth on the bottom of the sheet, and return to the oven for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear when pierced with a knife.

Notes

Pollo Oaxaqueño con Orégano y Ajo

Thanksgiving Turkey

Right after we got married, we moved from Mexico City to Dallas, Texas. It was in the middle of the very hot summer, oh how I remember that.

I had always been a great eater… but not a great cook. The youngest of four daughters, I had always been labeled the intellectual one, while each one of my older sisters jumped into the cooking and lifestyle field in one way or another.

Back then, I was focusing all my efforts on finishing my political science thesis to become an academic. But not knowing anyone, with my husband traveling all the time, and sort of locking myself in the duplex we lived in to write most of the time, I became insanely nostalgic for my family and the foods that we ate back home. So I jumped in the kitchen, and started to chat with anyone and everyone who seemed open to share recipes with me, in an attempt to recreate the soups, the stews, the dishes, and the nurturing flavors that I knew would help me feel at home.

Then came October. Like a sudden rain fall, I started seeing luscious Thanksgiving menu images everywhere: in stores, at the mall, on TV, on glossy books and cooking magazines in grocery stores. “A festive turkey meal in October,” I wondered. In Mexico, turkey is eaten for Christmas! “Oh boy,” I thought, “here they really do plan ahead of time.”

I had never heard of Thanksgiving before. Yet intrigued by the photos and recipes I was seeing, I made a full Thanksgiving meal for my husband and I. That was the very first one. Since then, we have sat down for a Thanksgiving meal every single year. Fast forward 19 years, and by now, I can tell you that Thanksgiving has become my favorite American holiday.

It is not only because of the food, but because of how friends and family come together around the table. How everyone seems to contribute in what is almost a communal effort. How the holiday is so timeless, with classic dishes that need to remain classics. But there is also an open window for flavors and ingredients that can enrich the meal.

Now, so many years later, I get the meaning of Thanksgiving more than ever. Here is my humble offer for your table: a turkey recipe packed with the sazón of some of my favorite flavor combinations and the tastiest Chorizo, Apple and Cornbread Stuffing.

Oh, by the way, for Season 5 of Pati’s Mexican Table, we made a Thanksgiving episode. I really do hope you catch it! Here is a clip.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AkJm803ACM[/embedyt]

You can also find out when the episode is playing in your location, by entering your zip code here.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Achiote Adobo Thanksgiving Turkey
Print Recipe
4 from 5 votes

Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 11 “Turkey Day”
Prep Time12 hrs
Cook Time5 hrs
Total Time17 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: achiote paste, allspice, banana leaves, bitter orange juice, cumin, oregano, pati's mexican table, Thanksgiving, turkey
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • 6 tablespoons achiote paste from a bar
  • 6 cups bitter orange juice or its substitute
  • 6 cups homemade chicken broth or store bought
  • 12 cloves garlic charred, broiled or toasted with the skin on, and then peeled
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

For the turkey:

  • 1 16- to 18-pound turkey rinsed and patted dry
  • 4 whole red onions peeled and sliced
  • 8 ripe tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 2 to 3 banana leaves (optional)
  • 1 brining bag large enough for a turkey (or an extra-large plastic bag)
  • Chorizo, Apple and Corn Bread Stuffing

Instructions

To make the marinade:

  • In a blender or food processor, working in 2 batches, add the achiote paste, bitter orange juice or its substitute, chicken broth, garlic, oregano, cumin, allspice, salt, and pepper and puree until smooth.
  • Slide the turkey, with the breast side down, into the brining bag. Pour the marinade into the bag and massage it into the bird, working it into the cavity and all the crevasses. Place the bag in a mixing bowl or roasting pan and refrigerate for 12 to 48 hours, turning the turkey a couple of times to redistribute the marinade.

To make the turkey:

  • Set the oven rack at the lowest position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spread the onions and tomatoes in a large roasting pan. Sit the turkey on the vegetables breast side up. Stuff the main cavity with as much stuffing as it can hold and place the rest in a buttered baking dish. Close the cavity by crossing and tying the legs with butcher’s twine. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Pour as much of the remaining marinade over the turkey as will fit halfway up the pan.
  • Roast the turkey for 30 minutes. Cover the turkey with layers of banana leaves, if you are using them, and then cover the entire pan with aluminum foil, sealing it as best as you can. The less steam that is able to escape the better.
  • Reduce the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place turkey back in the oven and roast for 3 1/2 hours, or for at least 12 minutes per pound. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the leaves and/or the foil, being careful as the steam is hot. Return to the oven and roast for 20 more minutes. The turkey should be completely cooked through and nearly falling off the bone.
  • Remove turkey from the oven and let it rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes, loosely covered with the aluminum foil.
  • Strain all the cooked vegetables and juice into a medium 3-quart saucepan, pressing with the back of the spoon to get as much liquid as possible. Set aside 1 cup for the stuffing. Simmer the remaining sauce for 15 to 20 minutes, until it has reduced by half.
  • While the turkey rests, pour the reserved marinade over the stuffing in the baking dish and place it in the oven for 20 minutes, or until it is hot and the top is crisped.
  • Carve the turkey and serve with the stuffing.

Notes

Pavo de Acción de Gracias

Lima Soup

lima soup or sopa de lima
Print Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

Lima Soup

Lima Soup recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 8  “Valladolid: A Day to Explore”
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, cilantro, corn tortillas, habanero, lima, pati's mexican table, sofrito, soup
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the broth:

  • 5 cloves garlic unpeeled
  • 2 chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the sofrito:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus more for frying tortilla strips
  • 1/2 red onion chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 green or yellow bell pepper stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 pound ripe tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

To serve:

  • 6 to 8 Corn tortillas cut into 2"x1/2" strips
  • 1 thinly sliced lima (lemon or lime) for garnish
  • 2 to 3 limas (lemon or lime) to add right before serving
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves and upper stems chopped, for garnish
  • 1 habanero chile finely chopped (optional)

Instructions

For the broth:

  • Place the unpeeled garlic cloves under the broiler, or on a pre-heated comal set over medium heat, and roast or char for 10 minutes, flipping a couple times in between, until completely blackened. Set aside.
  • Place chicken breasts in a soup pot and cover with 12 cups water. Add the charred garlic cloves, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, whole cloves, salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Partially cover with a lid and cook for 40 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked through yet still tender. Remove from the heat. Remove the chicken breasts and once cool enough to handle, shred into fine pieces. Strain the broth into a large bowl, incorporate the shredded chicken, and reserve.

For the sofrito:

  • Rinse and dry the soup pot. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion, bell pepper, tomato and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are completely cooked through and practically mashed and mushy.
  • Pour the reserved chicken broth and shredded chicken into the pot with the sofrito, bring back to a simmer, and cook partially covered for 8 to 10 minutes, until all the flavors have come together.
  • Heat about 1/4" of oil in a deep skillet or casserole and set over medium heat. Once hot, working in batches, flash fry the corn tortilla strips for 10 to 15 seconds until lightly golden, and remove with a slotted spoon or spider. Place on a plate covered with paper towels, drain and lightly season with salt. Alternatively, you spread the tortilla strips on a baking sheet and bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping once in between.

To serve:

  • Ladle the soup into bowls and add a couple very thin slices of lima. Top with tortilla strips, and give everyone a half a lima to squeeze into their soup right before they eat it. Additionally, you may set out chopped cilantro and habanero for everyone to garnish as they please.

Notes

Sopa de Lima

Fast Track Chicken Pibil Sandwich

Fast Track Chicken Pibil Sandwich
Print Recipe
4.84 from 6 votes

Fast Track Chicken Pibil Sandwich

Fast Track Chicken Pibil Sandwich recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 6 “Ancient Yucatán with my Boys”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: achiote paste, Avocado, chicken, pati's mexican table, pibil, pickled red onions, Sandwich, Tomatoes, Yucatán Peninsula
Servings: 4 to 5 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ripe tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion outer layer removed
  • 3 cloves garlic unpeeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 2 cups homemade chicken broth or store bought, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste chopped (the paste that comes in a bar, not a jar!)
  • 6 cups cooked shredded chicken from homemade broth or rotisserie chicken (may substitute turkey)
  • Soft buns (hamburger or potato buns)
  • Avocado Crema
  • Pickled Red Onions a la Yucateca

Instructions

  • Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet or roasting pan with foil. Place the whole tomatoes, onion and unpeeled garlic cloves on the foil and set under the broiler, 3 to 4 inches from the heat. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes, until charred on one side. Flip over and broil for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the skin is blistered and completely charred. The tomatoes should be very soft with the juices beginning to run out. Remove from heat.
  • Once cool enough to handle, quarter the tomatoes and place in a blender jar along with any juices from the baking sheet. Peel the garlic cloves and add to the blender along with the onion, salt and 1 cup of the chicken broth. Puree until completely smooth.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a casserole or soup pot until hot but not smoking. Pour in the puree and cover partially, as the sauce will sizzle and jump. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and darkens considerably.
  • Meanwhile, combine the grapefruit juice, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, oregano, cumin, allspice, pepper, chopped achiote paste, and the remaining cup of chicken broth in the blender and puree until completely smooth.
  • Stir the puree into the tomato sauce and bring back to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes, then add the shredded chicken. Mix together well and continue to cook, uncovered, until the chicken has absorbed most of the sauce, about 5 minutes. The finished dish should be very moist but not wet or soupy.
  • To serve, scoop about 1 cup of the chicken pibil onto the bottom half of a soft bun. Top with avocado crema and a few pickled red onions a la Yucateca. Cover with the top half of the bun to form a sandwich.

Notes

Sandwich de Pollo Pibil Rápido

Mini Pibis

Mini Pibis
Print Recipe
4.5 from 4 votes

Mini Pibis

Mini Pibis recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 1 “Chachi’s Champotón Kitchen”
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: achiote paste, banana leaves, chicken, masa, onion, pati's mexican table, Tamales, Tomatoes, Yucatán Peninsula
Servings: 14 to 16 tamales
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups (about 1 pound) corn masa flour for tortillas or tamales (masa harina)
  • 2 3/4 cups chicken broth for masa, plus 1/2 cup for chicken filling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste, divided
  • 1 cup lard or vegetable shortening
  • 3 tablespoons (or 2 ounces) achiote paste
  • 3/4 pound (about 3) ripe Roma tomatoes cut into chunks
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup white onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • Banana leaves, fresh or thawed from frozen cut into 15 pieces, 10-inches in length, plus more for covering the steamer

Instructions

To make the masa:

  • In a large bowl, combine the masa flour with 2 3/4 cups chicken broth using your hands, kneading the dough until thoroughly mixed and very smooth, not “grainy.”
  • Put 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a large casserole or pot and set over medium heat. Once it begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and add the masa in batches, working it as you go with the wooden spatula to blend with the water, until it is all incorporated. Add the lard, and work it with the wooden spatula for about 3 to 4 minutes until it is all incorporated and the masa appears “cooked." The masa should smell like cooked corn tortillas and appear to be lightly browning and very thick. Remove from heat.

To make the filling:

  • In a blender, add the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth, achiote paste, tomatoes, garlic cloves, white onion, oregano, allspice, remaining teaspoon of salt, and black pepper. Puree until completely smooth.
  • Heat the oil in a pot or casserole over medium heat. Once hot, carefully add the puree (because it will splatter) and cook partially covered for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it thickens and darkens. Add the shredded chicken, stir, and continue to cook for 8 to 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is very moist but not wet – like a sloppy Joe - and most liquid has been absorbed. Set aside.

To make the tamales:

  • Turn a burner on to low heat. Using tongs, slowly pass each banana-leaf piece over the flame on both sides and set aside (so they will be resilient, malleable and not break).
  • One by one, set each leaf piece on your counter with the shiny, outer side down. Spoon about 1/4 cup of masa into the center and spread to form a rectangle of about 4”x 3”. With the spoon, make a shallow channel down the middle, creating a stripe in the masa. Spoon a couple tablespoons of the seasoned shredded chicken right down the middle. Gently close each tamal by folding the longer sides first and then the sides as if making a flat and tight package, but being careful not to press on the tamal too much.
  • Prepare your tamalera or steamer: Add just enough water to touch the bottom of steaming basket and a coin (it will jump and make noise to let you know if water runs out). Line the steaming basket with a few banana-leaf pieces to gently cover the base. One by one, add the tamales, stacking them as evenly as you can, staggered in the same position as when you made them: laying them flat, with opening side on the top. Once you are done, cover with a few more pieces of banana leaves.
  • Set the steamer uncovered over high heat, once there is a bit of steam coming out and the water starts boiling a few minutes later, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 50 minutes to an hour. The leaves will have changed to a much darker color and will have completely wilted to wrap themselves as a second skin over the tamales, and the tamales should feel firm. Turn off the heat.
  • Let the tamales sit covered for 10 to 15 minutes - so they firm up - or until ready to serve. The tamales can be made ahead of time, and reheated in steamer. They can be refrigerated up to 5 days, or frozen in sealed plastic bags for 6 months, and reheated the same way.

Notes

Tamales Colados de Pollo

Chicken in Green Salsa Tamal

chicken in green salsa tamal
Print Recipe
4.67 from 6 votes

Chicken in Green Salsa Tamal

Chicken in Green Salsa Tamal recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 4, Episode 5 “Tamaliza!”
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, masa, pati's mexican table, salsa verde, Tamales
Servings: 18 tamales
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the tamal dough or masa:

  • 3/4 cup lard, vegetable shortening, or seasoned oil (see note at end of recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pound (about 3 1/4 cups) instant corn masa flour (masa harina) for tortillas or tamales
  • 3 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth add more if needed

For the filling:

  • 1 batch salsa verde
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken from homemade chicken broth

To assemble the tamales:

  • 25 dried corn husks soaking in hot water

Instructions

To make the tamal dough or masa:

  • Place lard, vegetable shortening or seasoned oil in an electric mixer and beat until very light, about 1 minute. Add salt and 1 teaspoon of cold water and continue beating until it is white and spongy, a couple more minutes. Add the baking powder and then alternate adding the instant corn masa and the chicken broth a little at a time. Continue beating until dough is homogeneous and as fluffy as can get. You know the tamal masa is ready when you can drop 1/2 teaspoon of the masa in a cup of cold water and it floats.

To make the filling:

  • Combine the salsa verde with the cooked shredded chicken.

To assemble the tamales:

  • Soak the dried corn husks in hot water for a couple minutes, or until they are pliable, and drain. Lay out a corn husk with the tapering end towards you. Spread about 3 tablespoons of masa into about a 2 to 3-inch square, the layer should be about 1/4-inch thick, leaving a border of at least 1/2-inch on the sides. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of the masa square.
  • Pick up the two long sides of the corn husk and bring them together (you will see how the masa starts to swaddle the filling) and fold the folded sides to one side, rolling them in same direction around tamal. Fold up the empty section of the husk, with the tapering end, from the bottom up. This will form a closed bottom and the top will be left open.
  • Assemble all the tamales and place them as vertically as you can in a container.

To prepare the tamalera or steamer:

  • Place water in the bottom pan of a steamer (so that water is under the steamer) and bring it to a simmer. Line the steamer with one or two layers of soaked corn husks.

To cook the tamales:

  • When you have all tamales ready, place them, again as vertically as you can, into the prepared steamer with the open end on top. If there is space left in the steamer, tuck in some corn husks, so the tamales won’t dance around. Cover with more corn husks, and steam covered with a lid for 50 minutes to an hour. You know the tamales are ready when they come easily free from the husks. They will still be moist, and as they are released from the husks, you will see the moisture, like when you remove good moist muffins from their paper baking cups.
  • Finished tamales will stay warm for about 2 hours in the steamer. They can be made ahead several days before and stored in refrigerator, well wrapped. They can also be frozen for months. In either case, reheat in a steamer. For refrigerated tamales, it will take about 20 minutes and about 45 minutes for frozen tamales.
  • Note: To make seasoned oil, in a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup vegetable oil over medium heat, add a thick slice of onion and 4 garlic cloves. Cook for 15 minutes until completely browned. Remove onion and garlic before using the oil.

Notes

Tamales de Pollo con Salsa Verde

Chicken Tinga

chicken tinga or tinga de pollo
Print Recipe
4.75 from 4 votes

Chicken Tinga

One of the tastiest ways to eat chicken in Mexican kitchens, no doubt about it, is Chicken Tinga. Although it comes from the state of Puebla, it is so popular, that it is eaten throughout the country. So of course there are countless variations. I have a favorite version. One that I have tweaked through the years until I found a balance of flavors that needs no more tweaking, if you ask me…
Prep Time1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Antojos, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, chipotles in adobo, Pollo, Puebla, quesadillas, Recipe, tacos, tinga, tortas, tostadas
Servings: 4 servings (makes about 5 cups)
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons safflower or corn oil
  • 1/2 white onion about 1/4 pound, slivered
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 8 roma tomatoes or about 2 pounds, rinsed
  • 2 tomatillos or about 1/4 pound, husks removed, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoons sauce from chipotle chiles in adobo can add whole chiles if more heat is desired
  • 5 cups cooked shredded chicken

Instructions

  • Place the rinsed tomatoes and tomatillos in a medium saucepan and cover them with water. Set the saucepan over medium heat. Once it comes to a simmer, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes and tomatillos are soft, thoroughly cooked, and smooshy but not coming apart. Remove them with a slotted spoon. Place in the jar of a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Heat the oil in a large and deep pan over medium heat. Once it is hot but not smoking, stir in the onion and cook until soft and translucent, for about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant and lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  • Pour the tomato/tomatillo sauce on top and sprinkle the oregano, marjoram, thyme, salt and black pepper. Spoon in the chipotle Chiles in Adobo sauce. If you want it spicy, you may drop a whole Chipotle Chile in Adobo in there as well. Let the sauce simmer, stirring now and then until it seasons and deepens its red color, about 10 to 12 minutes. You may want to partially cover the pan as the sauce may want to jump out over your burners.
  • Toss in the chicken and combine with the sauce. Let it cook, stirring casually, until the chicken has absorbed almost all of the juices and the mix is moist but not juicy.

Notes

Tinga de Pollo

Chicken with Tamarind, Apricots and Chipotle Sauce

Print Recipe
4.41 from 5 votes

Chicken with Tamarind, Apricots and Chipotle Sauce

Chicken with Tamarind, Apricots and Chipotle Sauce recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 1, Episode 11 “Middle Eastern Influences”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: apricot, chicken, chipotles in adobo, Tamarind
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken quarters or 8 chicken pieces of your choice with skin and bones
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste, plus more to season chicken
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste to season chicken
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 pound dried apricots roughly chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • 3/4 cup homemade Latin-style tamarind syrup or store bought
  • 2 tablespoons sauce from chipotles in adobo or more to taste

Instructions

  • Thoroughly rinse chicken pieces with cold water and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the chicken pieces skin side down in one layer, and slowly brown the chicken pieces for 40 minutes. Flip them over, once they have crisped and created a crust, halfway through. This is not a quick sear or browning, this is low heat cooking for a good 40 minutes.
  • Pour water over the chicken, raise the heat to medium-high to bring to a simmer. Incorporate apricots, apricot preserve, Latin-style tamarind syrup, chipotle sauce, and 1 teaspoon salt, stir, and keep it at a medium simmer for 35 minutes until the sauce has thickened to a thick syrup consistency and can coat the back of a wooden spoon. You may need to reduce the heat.
  • Taste for salt and heat and adjust to your liking.

Notes

Pollo con Salsa de Tamarindo, Chabacano y Chipotle

Amarillito Mole with Chicken

Print Recipe
4.2 from 5 votes

Amarillito Mole with Chicken

Amarillito Mole with Chicken recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 1, Episode 10 “Cinnamon”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: ancho chiles, chicken, cinnamon, dumplings, garlic, guajillo chiles, hoja santa, masa, Mole, pati's mexican table, tomatillos, Tomatoes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 ancho chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 2 guajillo chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 1 lb, or about 8 to 10 tomatillos husked and rinsed
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper ground
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 8 chicken pieces with skin and bones
  • 1/4 cup white onion chopped
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 3 medium fresh hoja santa or 5 dried optional
  • Corn Masa Dumplings optional (recipe in same episode!)

Instructions

  • On an already hot comal or dry skillet set over medium heat, toast the chiles for about 10 to 15 seconds per side. They will become more pliable and release their aroma. Remove the chiles from the pan and place them in a cooking pot along with the tomatillos, tomato and garlic cloves. Cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, until they are soft and cooked. Transfer to a blender along with 2 whole cloves, ground cinnamon, oregano, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Gently add the chicken pieces skin side down first, and brown on each side for 3 to 4 minutes. Incorporate the onion and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until soft and translucent. Pour the reserved pureed sauce on top, add the hojas santas if using, and cook until it has seasoned and thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer and keep at a steady simmer on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the masa dumplings one by one to the pan. Cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked and the mole thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Notes

Mole Amarillito con Pollo

Chicken in a Tomatillo, Chipotle and Brown Sugar Sauce

chicken in tomatillo salsa
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Chicken in a Tomatillo, Chipotle and Brown Sugar Sauce

Chicken in a Tomatillo, Chipotle and Brown Sugar Sauce recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 1, Episode 4 “Tomatillos”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: brown sugar, chicken, chicken broth, chipotles in adobo, garlic, onion, pati's mexican table, piloncillo, tomatillos
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken leg quarters or 3 drumsticks and 3 thighs, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt more or less to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 1/4 cup safflower or corn oil
  • 2 cups white onion sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 lbs tomatillos husks removed and rinsed, quartered
  • 4 tbsp piloncillo shredded, or substitute for brown sugar
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce plus more sauce if desired
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water

Instructions

  • Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  • In a thick and tall heavy skillet or casserole dish, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken pieces. Brown on one side, for about 4 to 5 minutes and then flip and brown on the other side, for another 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t try to flip too soon or the skin will stick to the skillet. Remove the chicken pieces and place in a bowl. You may remove the skin if you wish, I don’t.
  • Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring for about 3 to 4 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, for about 20 seconds. Make room in the pan and add the tomatillos. Let it cook all together, for about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the piloncillo, the chipotles and their sauce and stir well. Once it comes to a simmer incorporate the chicken pieces along with the chicken broth and cook for about 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be chunky and thick, and the chicken fully cooked.

Notes

Pollo con Tomate Verde, Chipotle y Piloncillo

Lime-Rubbed Chicken Tacos with Corn Guacamole

lime rubbed chicken tacos
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Lime-Rubbed Chicken Tacos with Corn Guacamole

Lime-Rubbed Chicken Tacos with Corn Guacamole recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 12 “Tacos, Tacos, Tacos”
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Avocado, chicken, Corn, corn tortillas, guacamole, jalapeno, lime, pati's mexican table, tacos, Tomatoes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/4 teaspoon dried

For the corn guacamole:

  • 2 large ripe Mexican avocados halved, pitted and diced
  • 1 jalapeno chile roasted, chopped, or to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves roasted with the skin on, peeled and minced
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels shaved from corn, or cooked from thawed
  • 3/4 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste

To assemble tacos:

Instructions

To make the chicken:

  • Mix the lime juice with the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper and rosemary in a bowl. Pour on top of the chicken, in a container. Cover and refrigerate anywhere from 1/2 hour up to 12 hours.
  • Heat a medium-sized sauté or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add corn or safflower oil; once it is hot but not smoking, add the chicken. Sauté until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the pan, place on chopping board to cool. When cool enough to handle, slice into diagonal strips about a 1/2-inch wide.

To make the guacamole:

  • Place the jalapeño and garlic cloves in a small baking dish under the broiler, for 6 to 9 minutes, until completely cooked through, soft and skin is charred. Once cool enough to handle, peel garlic and mince along with chiles.
  • Place diced avocado in a mixing bowl. Add the charred and minced garlic and jalapeños, gently tossing everything together well. Incorporate the corn and tomatoes. Squeeze the lime juice on top and sprinkle the salt. Mix it all together.

To assemble tacos:

  • In an already hot skillet or comal set over medium-low heat, heat the tortillas. It will take about 1 minute per side.
  • Place the tortillas in a tortilla warmer or wrap them in a clean kitchen towel or cloth napkin. Serve them together with the guacamole and the chicken at the table and assemble your tacos!

Notes

Tacos de pollo con guacamole con elote

Chicken Tinga

Pati Jinich Chicken Tinga
Print Recipe
4.2 from 5 votes

Chicken Tinga

Chicken Tinga recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 11 "Puebla: Food From a Colonial Jewel"
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, chipotles in adobo, tomatillos, Tomatoes, tostadas
Servings: 5 cups
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the Chicken Tinga:

  • 3 tablespoons safflower or corn oil
  • 1/2 white onion slivered
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 8 roma tomatoes or 2 lbs, rinsed
  • 2 tomatillos or 1/4 lb, husked and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sauce from chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 whole chipotle chile in adobo sauce, optional
  • 5 cups cooked shredded chicken

To Serve: quantities as desired

Instructions

To make the Chicken Tinga:

  • Place tomatoes and tomatillos in a medium saucepan, cover with water. Bring it to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until tomatoes and tomatillos are soft, thoroughly cooked and mushy but not falling apart.
  • Remove tomatoes and tomatillos with a slotted spoon, and place them in the jar of a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
  • Heat the oil in a large and deep pan over medium heat; once it is hot but not smoking, stir in the onion and cook until soft and translucent, for about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until the onion and garlic mixture becomes fragrant and lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  • Pour the tomato/tomatillo sauce on top and add the oregano, marjoram, thyme, salt, black pepper and the chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (if you want more heat add an entire chipotle chile in adobo sauce). Let it simmer, stirring now and then, until it seasons and deepens to a deep red color, about 10 to 12 minutes. You may want to partially cover the pan as the sauce will want to jump out onto your burners.
  • Add the shredded chicken and combine it with the sauce. Let it cook, occasionally stirring, until the chicken has absorbed almost all of the juices and the mixture is moist but not juicy.

To assemble the Tostadas:

  • Spread refried beans on a tostada, add the chicken tinga mixture, top with shredded lettuce, avocado slices, crumbled cheese and, if you want some, cream too. You may also serve with salsa verde on the side.

Notes

Tinga de pollo

Chicken À La Trash

chicken a la trash
Print Recipe
4.84 from 6 votes

Chicken À La Trash

Chicken À La Trash recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 10 “Lip-Smacking Mexican Meal”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, onion, pepitas, poblanos, potatoes, prunes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 6 skinless and boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white onion roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 pound poblano chiles charred, sweated, peeled, seeded, cut into strips, 3 to 4
  • 1 1/2 pounds red potatoes about 4 cups, peeled, cubed, and cooked in salted water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt divided, or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup prunes pitted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup raw and hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

Instructions

  • Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon of salt, or to taste, and black pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick, 12-inch skillet or casserole over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, brown the chicken pieces for about 2 minutes on one side. Flip to the other side and stir in the onion; cook until the onions are completely softened and beginning to brown, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring the onions often. Add the garlic; and cook for another minute.
  • Add the poblano chiles and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and give the entire mixture another good stir. Add the prunes. Pour in the water, add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or to taste) into the mixture, cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes more, stirring once or twice in between.
  • Meanwhile, toast the seeds. Place a small, sauté pan over medium-low heat. When hot, add the pumpkin and sunflower seeds, stirring often and taking care not to burn them, until you hear popping sounds and they begin to brown lightly, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the seeds from the heat and place in a small bowl.
  • Once the chicken is ready, add the pumpkin and sunflower seeds, gently mix. Taste for seasoning and serve.

Notes

Pollo a la basura

Hibiscus and Pecan Mole

hibiscus and pecan mole
Print Recipe
4.6 from 5 votes

Hibiscus and Pecan Mole

Hibiscus and Pecan Mole recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 9 “Xochimilco: Cooking with Flowers”
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: ancho chiles, chicken broth, cinnamon, corn tortillas, hibiscus, jamaica, Mole, pasilla, pati's mexican table, pecans, piloncillo, Plantains, prunes
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 9 oz ancho chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 6 oz pasilla chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or shortening
  • 1 cup white onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 cups dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • 1 1/4 cup ripe plantain peeled and sliced
  • 3 Corn tortillas cut into squares
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup grated or chopped piloncillo or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 5 cloves whole
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Toasted sesame seeds to decorate

Instructions

  • Preheat a comal, cast iron pan or nonstick skillet over low-medium heat. Toast chiles gently for about 10 seconds per side, being careful not to let them burn. Place them in a mixing bowl, cover them with boiling hot water and let them soak for 20 to 30 minutes until rehydrated, place chiles and water in batches in the food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
  • In a large, extended sauté pan, add oil and set over medium-high heat until hot, 1 or 2 minutes. Add onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion starts to soften. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the hibiscus flowers and cook for 3 to 4 minutes; until lightly crunchy.
  • Add the tortillas, let them cook for 1 minute. Stir in the pecans, and cook for 1 minute. Add the plantains and prunes, stir and let them start to cook and brown, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Each time you add a new ingredient, let it start to cook and season, before adding the next.
  • Stir in the puréed chiles along with the chicken broth.
  • Once the whole mixture starts simmering, add the piloncillo, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 20 to 25 minutes. In batches, purée the mixture in the blender or food processor until smooth. Serve over the cooked meat, poultry or seafood of your choice.

Notes

Mole de flor de jamaica y nuez, Adapted from Patricia Quintana

Chicken Flautas

Pati Jinich Chicken Flautas recipe
Print Recipe
4.34 from 6 votes

Chicken Flautas

Chicken Flautas recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 5 “Mexican-Style Kids’ Party”
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, corn tortillas, guacamole, lettuce, mexican crema, pati's mexican table, queso fresco, Tomatoes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup Mexican cream
  • 1 cup salsa of your choice
  • 1 head romaine lettuce sliced
  • 1 cup queso fresco crumbled
  • Serve with guacamole or salsa verde

Instructions

  • In a deep skillet, preheat 1 inch deep of oil to 350 degrees, set over medium heat. Or you can also test if the oil is ready for frying the flautas, by dipping a flauta or tortilla to see if the oil actively bubbles around it.
  • Place a comal or a dry skillet over medium heat until hot, then heat the tortillas on the comal for about 30 seconds per side; this will prevent them from breaking when rolling them into flautas.
  • Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of shredded chicken on each tortilla and roll them tightly. They should be thin, not chubby rolls. You can insert wooden toothpicks through 2 to 3 flautas at a time, so they will fry evenly and hold their shape.
  • Once the oil is hot, gently dip the flautas in it. Fry them until they have crisped and turned golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip them over so they will brown evenly, for another minute. Remove the flautas from the oil and put them on a plate or tray lined with paper towels.
  • Alternatively, you may want to toast the flautas on a comal or bake in the oven lightly brushed with oil at 375, for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Arrange them on a serving platter and garnish with lettuce, cheese, Mexican cream and salsa, or let your guests tailor to their taste.

Notes

Flautas de pollo

Dressed-up Chicken Milanesa

milanesa chicken
Print Recipe
4.2 from 5 votes

Dressed-up Chicken Milanesa

Dressed-up Chicken Milanesa recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 4 “Easy Comfort Food”
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time21 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, chile piquín, cotija cheese, fried chicken, pati's mexican table, queso fresco
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded thin
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely crumbled queso fresco cotija, ricotta salata, or romano
  • 1 tablespoon dried ground chile piquí­n or a mix or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  • To flatten the chicken breasts, in between two layers of parchment or plastic paper, flatten the chicken breasts with a meat pallet or a skillet.
  • On a plate, beat 2 eggs together with the milk. On another plate, combine the breadcrumbs with the cheese, ground chile and salt.
  • Dip both sides of each flattened chicken breast in the egg mixture, then gently coat both sides with the breadcrumb mixture so that the entire piece is covered. Set the coated breasts aside on a chopping board or platter.
  • Heat enough oil, in a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat, for it to be ¼ inch deep. After about 3 to 4 minutes, when the oil is hot but not smoking, place as many chicken breasts as will fit in a single layer without crowding the pan. If the edges of the chicken breasts aren’t bubbling in the oil, raise the heat closer to medium-high.
  • Cook for about 3 minutes on one side until golden brown. Gently flip and repeat on the other side. When the second side has crisped, remove it from the pan and set it on a plate covered with a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining milanesas.

Notes

Milanesa de pollo bien vestida

Mexican Chicken Broth

broth or caldo
Print Recipe
3.4 from 5 votes

Mexican Chicken Broth

Mexican Chicken Broth recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 4, Episode 5 “Tamaliza!”
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: carrots, celery, chicken, chicken broth, onion, pati's mexican table
Servings: 8 cups broth & 6 cups shredded chicken
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 3-pound chicken cut into serving pieces, or 2–3 pounds mixed chicken parts
  • 3 carrots peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 white onion halved
  • 3 celery stalks cut into large chunks
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 5 to 6 black peppercorns
  • 5 to 6 fresh Italian parsley sprigs
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 3 1/2 quarts water

Instructions

  • Place all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, skim off any foam, and simmer, partially covered, for 50 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool.
  • With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a bowl. Strain the broth into a container, cool, and refrigerate. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken. Shred or cut the meat into chunks for future use and refrigerate if not using right away.

Notes

Caldo de Pollo

Crazy Chicken and Plantain Torta

crazy chicken plantain torta pati jinich
Print Recipe
4.34 from 3 votes

Crazy Chicken and Plantain Torta

Crazy Chicken and Plantain Torta recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 4, episode 13 "Backyard Picnic"
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, Mexican, Plantains, refried beans, Torta
Servings: 6 tortas
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast filets
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus 3 tablespoons if frying chicken, plus more for plantains
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 very ripe plantains peeled and diagonally sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups refried beans homemade or store bought
  • 6 bolillos teleras, individual baguettes, or large baguettes cut into 4-inch pieces and halved
  • 2 large ripe Mexican avocados halved, pitted, meat scooped out and sliced

Instructions

  • Place the chicken in a container or dish.
  • In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, cumin, cinnamon, allspice black pepper and salt. With your hands, pulverize the tops of the cloves into the mix and discard the stems. Whisk with a fork or whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture all over the chicken, making sure it is entirely covered. You may marinate it for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator, or cook immediately.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make sure your chicken thighs are not rolled out before you bake them; they should be in their normal shape, as if there were a bone still in them. Place the baking dish with the chicken in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 500 and roast for 5 more minutes, until the chicken has browned on top and bottom and the meat is thoroughly cooked. Alternatively, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large casserole or frying pan set over medium high heat. Once hot, cook the chicken for about 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  • Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before you slice. Once it is cool enough to handle, cut each thigh into 1/2-inch slices across the grain.
  • Heat about 1/2-inch oil in a large casserole or frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Once it is hot, test with a plantain slice to see if there are active bubbles all around it (without foaming over). Fry the plantain slices, without crowding the pan (you may need to do it in batches), for about 2 to 3 minutes per side until they are golden brown, a bit caramelized and crisp. Remove and place on a paper towel covered plate.
  • Heat your refried beans!
  • To assemble the tortas: If the bread is fresh, just slice it in half, no need to toast. If it isn’t fresh, toast it for a few minutes. Spread about 2 to 3 tablespoons refried beans on the bottom half, top with 4 to 5 cooked plantain slices, then a chicken thigh and then 3 to 4 slices of avocado. Place top half on bread on. Cut in half and eat, or pack and take it to go.

Notes

Torta Loca de Pollo y Plátano

Drunken Rice with Chicken

drunken rice chicken pati jinich
Print Recipe
4.56 from 9 votes

Drunken Rice with Chicken

Drunken Rice with Chicken recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 4, Episode 11 “Family Favorites”
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: beer, chicken, chicken broth, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, onion, pati's mexican table, peas, peppers, rice, saffron, Tomatoes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 6 tablespoons safflower or corn oil divided
  • 6 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt divided, or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups long or extra long white rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or pressed
  • Pinch of ground cumin
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 2 whole cloves stems removed and tops crushed
  • 1 cup beer
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup peas fresh or thawed from frozen

Instructions

  • Place the saffron threads in a small mixing bowl along with the boiling water. Mix and let soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a large and thick casserole over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Once the oil is hot, brown the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove and place in a bowl. Add a couple more tablespoons of oil to the casserole and scrape drippings, don’t remove them though.
  • Add the uncooked rice and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until its color starts to change to milky white and the grains separate. Incorporate the onion, green and red bell peppers, tomato and garlic and stir. Add the cumin, cinnamon, crushed cloves, 1/2 teaspoon salt and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, until vegetables have softened. Pour in the beer, and let it cook and reduce until it is almost absorbed and the alcohol has evaporated, a couple minutes.
  • Place the chicken pieces on top of the rice, pour the chicken broth on top and the saffron and its liquid, as well as the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and stir. When liquid starts to boil, add the peas and cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and continue cooking for about 20 more minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has been mostly absorbed.
  • If the rice grains don’t seem soft and cooked through, add a bit more chicken stock or water and let it cook for another 5 minutes or so. Turn heat off, and let it sit covered for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Notes

Arroz Borracho con Pollo

Chipotle Chicken Pasta Casserole

chipotle chicken pasta casserole pati jinich
Print Recipe
4.56 from 9 votes

Chipotle Chicken Pasta Casserole

Chipotle Chicken Pasta Casserole recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 4, Episode 7 “Cooking with the Fans”
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Casserole, chicken, chipotles in adobo, mexican crema, Monterrey Jack cheese, mozzarella, Oaxaca cheese, onion, pasta, pati's mexican table, Tomatoes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped white onion
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt divided, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste to season chicken
  • 2 tablespoons sauce from chipotles in adobo or to taste
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce seeded, or to taste, optional
  • 1 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
  • 1 pound penne or elbow pasta
  • 3 cups chicken broth homemade or store bought
  • 2 cups grated melty cheese such as Oaxaca, Monterey Jack or mozzarella, 8 ounces
  • 1 ripe Mexican avocado halved, pitted, meat scooped out and cut into slices (optional for garnish)
  • Mexican crema Latin-style cream, crème fraiche or sour cream (optional for garnish)

Instructions

  • Place the tomatoes and garlic in a medium (3-quart) saucepan and cover with water. Set over medium-high heat and simmer until the tomatoes are thoroughly cooked and the skins have started to come off, about 10 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes and garlic, along with 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, to a blender or food processor. Once it has cooled slightly, add the onion, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, adobo sauce, and chipotle chile if using, and puree until smooth.
  • Sprinkle chicken with oregano, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and pepper to taste. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a large, deep and thick casserole or skillet set over medium-high heat. Once hot, sear the chicken thighs about 2 to 3 minutes per side until browned. Remove from skillet, reserve in a bowl.
  • Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil into the casserole, set over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the pasta. Fry the pasta for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until browned, but not burnt, and it smells toasty. Pour the tomato puree over the pasta. It will jump all over the casserole, so you may want to use the lid as a shield over the casserole. Stir, cover partially and let the sauce cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it darkens and cooks into a thick puree consistency.
  • Nest the browned chicken thighs in the pasta, pour the chicken broth on top, stir gently, cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Remove the lid, sprinkle the cheese all over the pasta and place the casserole uncovered in the oven. Bake anywhere from 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cheese has completely melted and begun to lightly brown. Serve hot. You may garnish with avocado slices and Mexican crema. Cut into thick slices and serve as you would a cake, since there will be a light crust on the bottom and sides and top.

Notes

Cazuela de Pasta con Pollo y Chipotle

Chicken in Salsa Verde Tamal Casserole

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3 from 6 votes

Chicken in Salsa Verde Tamal Casserole

Chicken in Salsa Verde Tamal Casserole recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 4, Episode 5 “Tamaliza!”
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Casserole, chicken, masa, mexican crema, Monterrey Jack cheese, mozzarella, Oaxaca cheese, pati's mexican table, salsa verde
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil to grease the baking dish
  • 1 batch corn dough or masa from my tamal recipe
  • 1 batch salsa verde
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups Mexican crema or Latin-style cream, crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) grated Oaxaca cheese mozzarella or Monterey Jack

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grease a large baking dish with oil. Spread half of the tamal dough or masa in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Set aside 3/4 cup of salsa verde and combine the rest with the shredded chicken. Spread the chicken and salsa verde mix on top of the masa. Cover with the rest of the masa in a second layer. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven for an hour.
  • Remove from the oven. Carefully remove the aluminum foil and spread on the remaining 3/4 cup of salsa verde. Top with the cream and cheese. Place back in the oven, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, or until the cheese completely melts and begins to brown along the edges. Serve hot, cut into squares.

Notes

Cazuela de Tamal de Pollo en Salsa Verde

Citrus Chicken with Carrots and Baby Potatoes

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4.34 from 6 votes

Citrus Chicken with Carrots and Baby Potatoes

Citrus Chicken with Carrots and Baby Potatoes recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 4, Episode 4 “Summer Evening Party”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 25 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: carrots, ceylon, chicken, Chipotle, cinnamon, cloves, lime, orange juice, pati's mexican table, potatoes, Tomatoes
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 pound roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 pounds chicken pieces such as thighs, breasts, drumsticks, patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
  • 2 cups chopped white onion
  • 4 garlic cloves pressed or finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon true or ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder or to taste
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 pound carrots peeled and diagonally sliced into about 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound baby red potatoes

Instructions

  • Broil, char or roast the roma tomatoes until completely charred, mushy and juicy. If under the broiler, it will take about 9 to 10 minutes, flipping once in between. Once cool enough to handle, chop and place in a bowl, including the seeds and all the juices.
  • Heat oil in a large casserole or a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken pieces and brown for about 4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken pieces and place them in a bowl.
  • Add the onion and garlic to the casserole and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until completely soft and the edges begin to brown. Sprinkle with oregano, thyme, marjoram, cinnamon and chile powder, and give it a good stir. Incorporate chopped tomatoes along with their seeds and juices, as well as the orange and lime juice, mix well.
  • Add the chicken, carrots and potatoes, and gently spoon the chunky sauce all over them. Reduce heat to medium low and cook covered for one hour, flipping the chicken and moving the vegetables around, once in between.

Notes

Pollo con Limón y Naranja, Zanahorias y Papitas

Red Pozole with Traditional Garnishes

red pozole
Print Recipe
4.41 from 5 votes

Red Pozole with Traditional Garnishes

Red Pozole with Traditional Garnishes recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 3, Episode 13 “My Piñata Party”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 hrs 15 mins
Total Time5 hrs 25 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Ancho, chicken, guajillo chiles, hominy, onion, pati's mexican table, pozole, radish, refried beans, tortilla chips
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the pozole:

  • 1 pound dried hominy or 3 29-ounce cans hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 1 head garlic papery outer layers removed, but not entirely peeled (if using dried hominy)
  • 2 whole chickens (about 3 pounds each) rinsed and cut into serving pieces, or a combination of 3 pounds chicken and 3 pounds pork shoulder or butt
  • 1 white onion peeled
  • 5 fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt plus more to taste

For the chile puree:

  • 2 ancho chiles (about 1 ounce) rinsed, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 guajillo chiles (about 1 ounce) rinsed, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Pinch of ground cumin
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the garnishes:

  • 5-6 limes halved
  • 10 radishes rinsed, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce rinsed, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • Dried ground chile such as piquín, ancho, chipotle or a Mexican mix
  • dried oregano
  • Crispy tostadas or tortilla chips store-bought or homemade
  • refried beans store-bought or homemade (optional)

Instructions

To make the pozole:

  • If using dried hominy, place it in a large soup pot. Add water to the pot to cover the hominy by at least 3-inches. Add the head of garlic. Don’t add salt now or the hominy will toughen. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, for 4 to 5 hours, until hominy is tender and has begun to “bloom” or open up. Occasionally skim the foam from the top as the hominy cooks and make sure it doesn’t dry as it cooks, adding more hot water if need be. If using canned or pre-cooked hominy, start with step below.
  • Meanwhile, place the chicken (and pork, if using), in a large soup pot. Add water to cover the top layer of chicken by at least 2 inches. Add the onion, cilantro and the tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered, until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 35 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking broth. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.
  • In the soup pot, combine the cooked hominy and its broth (discard the garlic head), or the canned hominy and 2 cups water, with the shredded chicken and its broth. Taste for salt, add more if need be, and simmer all together for 10 minutes more.

To make the chile puree:

  • Place the chiles in a 3-quart saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the chiles have softened and rehydrated. Place the chiles, along with 1/2 cup of their cooking liquid, the onion, garlic, cumin, cloves and salt in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. If using a food processor, be sure to wrap a towel around the joint between the lid and the base to catch any escaping liquid. Pass the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing gently on the solids with the back of a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in the 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the chile puree, bring to a boil and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally and allowing it to thicken.
  • Add the red chile sauce to simmering pozole, let it cook for an additional 25 minutes, adjust the seasoning, and serve in soup bowls. Arrange the garnishes in smaller bowls on the table and let your guests customize their pozole. Or, if making ahead, let the pozole cool then cover and refrigerate, and reheat when you are ready to serve.

Notes

Pozole Rojo

Amaranth and Panko Crispy Chicken with a Sweet and Spicy Crema Dipping Sauce

Amaranth Panko Crispy Chicken
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Amaranth and Panko Crispy Chicken with a Sweet and Spicy Crema Dipping Sauce

Amaranth and Panko Crispy Chicken with a Sweet and Spicy Crema Dipping Sauce recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 3, Episode 8 “Asian Influences in Mexican Cooking”
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time21 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: amaranth seeds, chicken, fried, Maggi sauce, mexican crema, panko, pati's mexican table, Sriracha sauce, Sweetened Condensed Milk
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup amaranth seeds (if not using amaranth, add another cup of panko)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded thin
  • vegetable oil for cooking the chicken

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1/4 cup Sriracha sauce
  • 1 cup Mexican crema or Latin-style cream or substitute sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Maggi sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

To make the dipping sauce:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the Sriracha sauce with the Mexican crema, the Maggi sauce and the sweetened condensed milk until fully mixed.

To make the chicken:

  • Place 1 chicken breast at a time in between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or skillet, or roll with rolling pin, to flatten. In a medium-to-large bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. In another bowl or on a plate, combine the panko breadcrumbs, amaranth seeds and salt.
  • Submerge each chicken breast in the egg mixture, then coat it on both sides, pressing slightly, with the panko-amaranth mixture so the whole breast is covered. Set aside on a cutting board or baking sheet. If making ahead, layer sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper between the prepared breasts, wrap tightly, and refrigerate or freeze.
  • Pour enough oil into a large skillet to reach 1/4-inch up the sides. Heat the oil over medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes until it is hot but not smoking, then place as many chicken breasts as will fit in a single layer without crowding the pan. If the edges aren’t bubbling in the oil, raise the heat to medium-high. Resist the urge to move the breasts around in the pan, as this my cause the amaranth coating to fall off. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on one side until golden brown, then gently flip and repeat on the other side. When the second side has crisped, remove the breasts from the pan and set them on a paper-towel-covered plate or wire rack. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces, adding more oil if needed.
  • If you’re not eating immediately, place the fried chicken breasts in a baking dish and keep them warm in a 250°F oven. Serve with the dipping sauce.

Notes

Pollo Empanizado con Panko y Amaranto con Crema Picante

Chipotle Agave Chicken Wings

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4 from 5 votes

Chipotle Agave Chicken Wings

Chipotle Agave Chicken Wings recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 3, Episode 6 “American Classics, My Way”
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Antojos, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: agave syrup, apple cider vinegar, chicken, chicken wings, chipotles in adobo, feta, mexican crema, orange juice, pati's mexican table, queso fresco
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

To make the marinade for the wings:

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 2 chipotle chiles from chipotles chiles in adobo sauce seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon sauce from chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • Zest of an orange
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds chicken wings

To make the chicken wing sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons agave syrup or maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sauce from chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste

To make the dipping sauce:

  • 1 cup Mexican crema crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or a mild feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves and upper parts of stems
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • kosher or coarse sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Carrot and celery sticks to eat along with the wings and dip in the dipping sauce

Instructions

  • In a large bowl or baking dish, add all the ingredients for the wing marinade: buttermilk, garlic, chipotle chiles, sauce from chipotles in adobo, orange juice, orange zest, salt and pepper, mix to combine. Add the chicken wings and mix well to make sure all of the wings are coated. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Place a cooling rack onto a lined (with aluminum foil or parchment paper) rimmed baking sheet and brush the cooling rack with vegetable oil. Remove the wings from the marinade and place them directly onto the cooling rack. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, flipping once after 25 minutes, until crisp and browned on all sides.
  • While the wings are baking, place a small saucepan over medium heat and add all of the ingredients for the chicken wing sauce: agave syrup, garlic, Tabasco sauce, sauce from chipotles in adobo, vinegar, olive oil and salt, bring to a simmer. Whisk to emulsify and combine. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the crema, queso fresco, lime juice, cilantro, chives and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and set aside.
  • Once the wings are ready, place them in a large bowl. Whisk the agave wing sauce once more with a fork or whisk, then pour it over the wings and toss well so that all the wings are coated. Serve with the crema dipping sauce on the side.

Notes

Alitas de Pollo con Chipotle y Agave

My Favorite Tamal of All Time: Chicken in Green Salsa

Tamales are it. If you’ve eaten one, you know it.

Simple. When ready and steaming hot, unwrap the edible bundle and eat swiftly, no fork, no knife, bite by bite.  So good.

Yet as simple as it may sound to write a post about tamales, I could dedicate an entire series of cookbooks to their endless possibilities, and in the end, not have covered them all.

Ancestral, iconic, yet humble, is each single tamal. And the tamal universe, immense, imagine: tamal refers to anything wrapped and cooked in a husk or leave. Usually made with masa, typically corn masa, either mixed with or swaddling ingredients, or both! As you move through Mexico, and increasingly outside, you find them in different shapes (round, square, flat, puffed up, even triangular like Michoacán corundas); with different wraps (corn husks, either fresh or dried, banana leaves and even fresh edible leafy greens like chaya in Chiapas); with an infinity of ingredients, from savory, like chicken, meat, seafood, vegetables, beans, all sort of grains, salsas and cheese…to sweet ingredients, like fresh and dried fruits, nuts, chocolate, cajeta

The consistency and texture vary greatly, too, from thin and dense like tamales found in Oaxaca; to sticky and gelatinous from Yucatán; to spongy and cakey like the ones from northern and central Mexico, where I grew up.

Tamales are so big in our kitchens that entire meals are devoted to them: the famous Tamaladas! Festive get-togethers we all get very excited about, where all you eat are different kinds of tamales, from beginning to end. Trust me, where there is a variety of tamales, you want to eat them all.

Aside from Tamaladas, tamales are present in all sorts of celebrations and holidays including Quinceañeras, Posadas, Christmas Eve and New Years parties: they have been fiesta food since pre-Hispanic times, when they were considered gifts from the Gods.

But tamales are also everyday food, for an entire country, an entire culture. Accessible to everyone and anyone who can get to the corner stand and has 10 pesos (less than a dollar) in their pocket for a quick breakfast, a filling lunch or an easy merienda (light dinner).

See photo below…. I was with my school friends eating tamales at the tamal stand on the street right outside our middle school. I used to day dream about those tamales; they were so alluring we used to sneak out of school to eat them…

Pati eating tamales with her school friends

Tamales are as fascinating and varied as the stars above. So to land this philosophical rambling about tamales somewhere practical and edible, for you, I will focus on my favorite tamal of all time. The Tamal de Pollo con Salsa Verde.

The easiest way to make tamales is to prepare your filling(s) first. In fact you can make it a day or two in advance. For the ones I feature here, make your cooked salsa verde, pictured in the molcajete below. Combine it with cooked shredded chicken to make a wet mix. No, you don’t want it dry! The tamal masa will soak up some of that salsa. After the tamales cook for almost an hour, you want to bite into a tamal that has a saucy, moist filling.

salsa verde

Then get your hands on dried corn husks, pictured below. You can get them in the Latin aisles of your supermarket, at many a Latin or international store, or online. No excuse. Soak those husks in warm water, so they will become malleable and pliable. You don’t want them to crack as you use them to wrap the dough and roll the tamal. You will also need to place some of the leaves in the tamalera or steamer.

Get the tamalera ready. Pour water and drop a coin in there. That’s a passed down trick from endless generations. It works as an alarm for when the tamales may be running out of water, so you won’t need to open up the pot and let all that precious steam come out: if the water is running out, the coin will start jumping up and down and make loud clinking noises.

dried corn husks

Then you work to make your masa. Or let the mixer help you out! I have the complete recipe below, but let me just highlight a few things…

In Mexico, you can go into the tortillería and buy fresh masa, made from scratch. And wouldn’t it be heavenly if there were tortillerías in all towns and cities in the US, so we could all indulge? But the truth is many, if not most, people in Mexican kitchens make their own masa at home from the instant corn masa flour, and you can get fabulous results.

Traditionally, tamal masa is made with lard. If top quality and fresh, it adds a delicious taste and texture and doesn’t have as much cholesterol as people think. If you ask me, I think it is a matter of moderation. Yet, many people prefer vegetable shortening and you can use it too. Now, vegetable shortening has, as of late, been questioned even more than lard.

If you don’t want to use either, I have a wonderful solution: use vegetable oil, substitute exact amounts, but to maintain depth of flavor and dimension, season the oil by heating it over medium heat and cooking a slice of onion and a couple garlic cloves in it for 15 minutes. Then remove the onion and garlic before using. Great trick for vegetarians as well. In fact, before the Spanish arrived to Mexico, and there was no pork, oils extracted from fruits, vegetables and seeds, were used to moisten and season tamales, so feel free to play around with oils you like!

The most important thing about the masa, aside from being well seasoned, is that it needs to be as fluffy as fluffy can get. It has to be so airy that, if you take a cup of cold water and drop half a teaspoon of the masa in it, it floats!  You can only achieve this by beating it for a long time at a good speed. That’s why I recommend a mixer in the recipe below, but of course, you are welcome to get a good work out from the masa mixing by hand or with a sturdy spatula.

Then, follow my detailed instructions below on how to fill and wrap the tamales, place them in the tamalera and hold your horses for 50 minutes until they are ready.

Hopefully, you make more than what you need. I can think of few foods that have as much warmth, sustenance and meaning than tamales. They are food that is meant to be shared. So I suggest you try a Tamalada gathering! Tamaladas don’t only happen on February 2nd (when according to tradition you must host a Tamalada and invite EVERYBODY, if you got the baby hidden in the Rosca de Reyes eaten on January 6th), they can happen anytime (but I am writing this post before February 2nd, just in case!).

Make many fillings ahead of time. Make your masa. Invite friends over and have a tamal-making party before the Tamalada. Everyone will have gifts to open and eat, as that is what tamales are, indeed. And the best gift of them all will be any leftover tamales that a lucky guest gets to take along. Or be a bit greedy, keep them at home.

Note: I’ve been asked for a quick casserole version in a few emails… All you need to do, is spread half the masa in the recipe below in a large baking dish, then add a layer of the chicken in salsa verde, top with remaining half masa dough. Cover well with aluminum foil, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and if you want, drizzle with some Mexican crema and crumbled queso fresco. Serve in squares.

Print Recipe
4.25 from 4 votes

Chicken in Salsa Verde Tamales

Tamales are it. If you’ve eaten one, you know it. Simple. When ready and steaming hot, unwrap the edible bundle and eat swiftly, no fork, no knife, bite by bite.  So good. Yet as simple as it may sound to write a post about tamales, I could dedicate an entire series of cookbooks to their endless possibilities, and in the end, not have covered them all.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, masa, pati's mexican table, salsa verde, Tamales, tomatillos
Servings: 18 tamales
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the tamales:

  • 25 dried corn husks soaking in warm water
  • 3/4 cup lard, vegetable shortening or seasoned vegetable oil (to make seasoned oil, heat oil over medium heat and cook a slice of onion and 3 to 4 garlic cloves for 15 minutes, strain before using)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pound (about 3 1/4 cups) instant corn masa for tortillas or tamales
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock add more if needed

For the filling:

  • 1 recipe for cooked salsa verde
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken

Instructions

To make the filling:

  • Make the salsa verde, combine it with the shredded chicken, and set aside or refrigerate, if made ahead of time.

To make masa for the tamales:

  • Place lard, vegetable shortening or seasoned oil in a mixer and beat, until very light, about 1 minute. Add salt and 1 teaspoon cold water, and continue beating until it is white and spongy, a couple more minutes. Add baking powder, and then take turns adding the instant corn masa and the chicken stock. Continue beating until dough is homogeneous and as fluffy as can get.
  • You know the tamal masa is ready if, when you drop 1/2 teaspoon of the masa in a cup of cold water, it floats.

To prepare the tamalera or steamer:

  • Place hot water in the bottom pan of a steamer (only enough so the water is just under the basket with the tamales and not touching them) and bring it to a simmer. Line the steamer basket with one or two layers of soaked corn husks. Use dough to form about 18 cornhusk wrapped tamales.

To make the tamales:

  • Soak dried corn husks in hot water for a couple minutes, or until they are pliable, and drain. Lay out a corn husk with the tapering end towards you. Spread about 3 tablespoons of masa into about a 2- to 3-inch square, the layer should be about 1/4-inch thick, leaving a border of at least 1/2-inch on the sides. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of the masa square.
  • Pick up the two long sides of the corn husk and bring them together (you will see how the masa starts to swaddle the filling) and fold the folded sides to one side, rolling them on same direction around tamal. Fold up the empty section of the husk with the tapering end, from the bottom up. This will form a closed bottom and the top will be left open.
  • Prepare all the tamales and place them as vertically as you can in a container. When you have them all ready, place them again, as vertically as you can on the prepared steamer, with the open end on top. If there is space left in the steamer, tuck in some corn husks, so the tamales won’t dance around. Cover with more corn husks, and steam covered for 50 minutes to an hour. You know the tamales are ready when they come easily free from the husks. They will still be moist, and as they are released from the husks, you will see the moistness, like when you remove good moist muffins from their paper baking cups.
  • Finished tamales will stay warm for about 1 to 2 hours in the steamer. They can be made ahead several days before and stored in refrigerator, well wrapped. They can also be frozen for months. In either case, reheat in a steamer. For refrigerated tamales, it will take about 15 minutes, and for frozen tamales about 45 minutes.

Notes

Tamales de Pollo con Salsa Verde

Make It, Freeze It, Take It: The Mexican Casserole

Every few months, my family gets together with a Latin group of friends and their families for a pot luck.

This winter it was our turn. As tradition goes, the host brings the main dishes to the table and the others bring the rest. I eagerly announced my plans to share Mexican casseroles, also called cazuelas, budines or pasteles. The Mexicans couldn’t hide their joy- “Pati! De veras? Budin Azteca? Cazuela de Tamal?!”- and quickly thought of other “very” Mexican sides to pair with them. The Argentines and Costa Ricans tried to understand what “Mexican casserole” meant and whether it was supposed to be any good. The Americans in the group (though they consider themselves Latin) were clearly not excited about it.

No doubt about it, casseroles have had their ups and downs in culinary history. Their weakest stand seems to have been in the United States, after being fashioned into “two-step-many-can” versions in the 1930 and ’40s. But think of all the bright stars in the casserole universe: French cocottes enveloped in mother sauces; British potpies encrusting fillings as wet as British weather; irresistible Italian lasagnas layered with pasta; Peruvian causas with seasoned meat encased in mashed potatos; Greek spanakopitas with an extra-savory cheese-spinach mix covered with phyllo dough; Middle Eastern moussakas stacked with layers of eggplant; and the not-so-well-known, yet gloriously tasty Mexican cazuelas…

All of those casseroles are assembled, baked and served in the same vessel, which makes them convenient, practical and savvy. They are cooked tightly covered without a hurry, giving their fillings time to become succulent with fully blended flavors. Then their messy beauty unravels on your plate. One has to wonder: Why don’t we see more of them around, when we all crave flexible meals that can be made in advance?

In the Old World, casseroles’ prestige may have peaked in the early Renaissance.They were served at royal feasts, with artful decorations fit for competitions and complex fillings; some even had live birds fly out of them with an exhilarating song as the first piece was cut. Such a high-pitched recipe is found in the first British cookbook published during the mid-16th century. It also was recorded as part of one of the most extravagant banquets ever: the wedding of Marie de Medici and Henry IV of France, held in 1600 in Florence. This theatrical dish might have inspired the nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence,” in which “four and twenty blackbirds” are baked in a pie.

Fast-forward to 2009: British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal felt obliged to replicate it in his Medieval episode of “Heston’s Feasts” in England.

Surprisingly, I recently found the nursery rhyme’s muse of a pie in the anonymous 1831 Mexican cookbook “El Cocinero Mexicano.” I am always amazed at how ingredients and recipes hop around the globe. But this I found to be absurdly funny: As if Mexican cooks needed any more outrageous ideas of what to do with casseroles.

Centuries before Old World cooks were trying to impress guests with interactive creations, Mexicans were baking casseroles in underground pits and cooking them over rustic fires. The fillings might not have been able to take flight, but they did contain wild turkey, boar and/ or iguana.

The first version of a Mexican casserole seems to have been the muk-bil (literally, “to put in the ground”). Made by the Mayans on the Yucatan Peninsula since pre-Hispanic times, it is the King Kong of tamales. Truly gigantic. The corn dough wraps around a filling of turkey (after the Spanish arrived, chicken and pork were used as well) rubbed with a pungent paste seasoned with achiote (annatto) seeds, spices and tomatoes. It resembles the flavors of cochinita pibil, a robust Yucatan dish.

So prized was this tamal in ancient times that it was designated meal for major festivities, and it still is. You can bet there will be a lot of muk-bils made this year with all the talk of 2012 marking the end of the Mayan calendar. So it is the right time to head down there if you want a true taste.

This tamal is traditionally wrapped in fragrant banana leaves and baked underground, which gives it a smoky flavor.

Other tamal casseroles throughout Mexico have regional spins, ingredients and salsas. Just across the border in neighboring American states, tamal pie recipes appeared in cookbooks at least a hundred years ago. They called for cornmeal rather than fresh corn masa; the former leads to a much grainier and less fluffy result. That was probably because making masa from scratch involves the ancient nixtamalization process, which takes days (drying, soaking, cooking and grinding) to treat corn so that its nutritious content is fully exploited. It makes a masa so soft that it is practically airy. Today, outstanding instant masa flour that has already gone through that process is widely available, so it’s a snap to put together a real tamal casserole at home.

Here my go-to version: The masa dough is set in two thick layers that hold a rich and baroque filling, typical of the Mexican colonial era, when nuns used to combine Spanish and Mexican ingredients in their convent kitchens. The filling has a sauce made with my preferred pairing of dried chili peppers: sweet, almost chocolaty and prune-flavored ancho and mild, bright-tasting guajillo. It’s seasoned with onion, garlic, oregano, cloves, cinnamon and a pinch of cumin, then made hearty with juicy ground meat that is sprinkled with crunchy almonds, chewy raisins and salty manzanilla olives.

Just like a tamal casserole is a giant version of a tamal, a tortilla casserole is like a hefty stack of open-face tacos with layers of sauce and cheese. It’s a homespun version of tacos, one of the most sought-after street foods in my native country: Taco elements are layered in a cazuela, or earthenware pot. That takes away the hassle of making individual portions and allows for endless filling possibilites, just as with tacos and tamales.

The most popular casserole of them all has an imperial name: Aztec. It is traditionally made with corn tortillas, as they are much more resilient than flour tortillas. Think of a lasagna gone way down south, soaked in a spiced-up tomato sauce with handfuls of exuberant, fruity, addictive roasted poblano peppers and crunchy, sweet corn. Chicken is sometimes added to the mix, which is then bathed with Mexican crema and melty cheese. When I was growing up, and Aztec casserole was a must for successful potlucks.

Some versions use salsa verde or mole sauce instead of a tomato sauce, as well as other kinds of meats and vegetables. Good-quality corn tortillas can be found at the market, so there’s no need to make your own.

The rice casserole is the most modern of the three I’ve offered here. Brought over from Europe by the Spanish, rice has grown deep roots in Mexican cooking. The dish I have been obsessively repeating came about because I wanted to use the bounty of fresh mushrooms found in stores this time of year. Although I don’t have the wild varieties that crop up in Mexico’s rainy season, I have experimented with an accessible mix of mushroom textures and flavors, fresh herbs, epazote, cilantro, parsley, that salty crema and tangy cheese. This stew goes on top of the rice with a topping of grated dry and aged cheese. As the casserole bakes, the rice absorbs the flavored cream, the mushrooms meld with the sauce and the cheese morphs into a perfectly browned crust.

I’m wondering whether Mexican renditions can lend a bit of prestige to the state of casseroles in the United States. They certainly receive a royal welcome from my potluck friends, who heap seconds on their plates.

Article written for and published by The Washington Post. Photo taken by Deb Lindsey Photography www.deblindsey.com.

Meaty Tamal Casserole
Print Recipe
4.6 from 5 votes

Meaty Tamal Casserole

My go-to version of a tamal casserole: The masa dough is set in two thick layers that hold a rich and baroque filling, typical of the Mexican colonial era, when nuns used to combine Spanish and Mexican ingredients in their convent kitchens. The filling has a sauce made with my preferred pairing of dried chili peppers: sweet, almost chocolaty and prune-flavored ancho and mild, bright-tasting guajillo. It’s seasoned with onion, garlic, oregano, cloves, cinnamon and a pinch of cumin, then made hearty with juicy ground meat that is sprinkled with crunchy almonds, chewy raisins and salty manzanilla olives.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: ancho chiles, Casserole, Cazuela, guajillo chiles, masa, meat, tamal, Tamales, veal
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable shortening or lard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 5 cups) corn masa flour for tortillas or tamales such as Maseca brand
  • 4 1/2 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth may substitute water

For the filling:

  • 8 dried guajillo chiles stemmed, halved and seeded
  • 8 dried ancho chiles stemmed, halved and seeded
  • 2 cups hot water or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil plus more for the baking dish
  • 1 medium white onion chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground meat such as veal, turkey, beef, pork or a combination
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth may substitute water
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 3/4 cup pimento-stuffed manzanilla olives chopped

Instructions

For the dough:

  • Place the vegetable shortening or lard in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until it is light and airy. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the salt and baking powder; on low speed, gradually add the corn masa flour and the broth in alternating additions, making sure each time that the addition is well incorporated. Beat for about 10 minutes to form a masa dough that is homogeneous and fluffy. Let the dough sit at room temperature while you make the filling.

For the filling:

  • Heat a comal (tortilla griddle) or skillet over medium heat. Add the guajillo and ancho peppers; toast them for about 15 seconds per side, until they become more pliable, lightly toasted and fragrant and their inner skin turns opaque. Transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with at least 2 cups of hot water. Cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, or until the peppers have rehydrated, plumped up and softened.
  • Transfer the peppers and 2 cups of the liquid to a blender and add the oregano, cloves, cinnamon and cumin. Remove the center knob from the blender lid and cover the opening with a dish towel to contain splash-ups. Puree to form a smooth sauce. The yield is 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups.
  • Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring continuously, until the onions are cooked through and beginning to brown at the edges. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, less than a minute, then add the ground meat, salt and black pepper. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and using a spoon to break up the meat, until it has lightly browned. Add the sauce, the broth, raisins, almonds and olives, stirring to combine; reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet and cook for 20 minutes. Uncover, stir and cook uncovered for 5 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Use a little vegetable oil to grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or the equivalent.
  • Spoon half of the prepared masa dough into the dish, forming a bit of a lip on the sides and gently leveling it out; don’t press hard. Spoon all of the meat filling on top. Cover evenly with the remaining dough. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour or until the masa is completely cooked and the top appears to be firm. Remove from the oven and let it sit, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

Cazuela de Tamal
Chicken and Tortilla Aztec Casserole
Print Recipe
3.67 from 3 votes

Chicken and Tortilla Aztec Casserole

The most popular Mexican casserole of them all has an imperial name: Aztec. It is traditionally made with corn tortillas, as they are much more resilient than flour tortillas. Think of a lasagna gone way down south, soaked in a spiced-up tomato sauce with handfuls of exuberant, fruity, addictive roasted poblano peppers and crunchy, sweet corn. Chicken is sometimes added to the mix, which is then bathed with Mexican crema and melty cheese. When I was growing up, and Aztec casserole was a must for successful potlucks.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Aztec, Azteca, Casserole, Cazuela, chicken, chile, Corn, corn tortillas, Mexican lasagna, Poblano
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes cored and pureed, or whole canned tomatoes, drained and pureed (to make about 5 cups tomato puree)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

For the tortillas:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil or more as needed, for frying the tortillas
  • 8 to 10 (9 ounces total) corn tortillas

For assembly:

  • 4 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 4 cups fresh corn may substitute frozen (see NOTES)
  • 1 pound poblano chiles roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into rajas (see NOTES)
  • 1 cup Mexican cream (crema) Latin-style cream, creme fraiche or heavy cream
  • 12 ounces (about 3 cups) grated Oaxaca, mozzarella, Monterey Jack or mild white cheddar cheese

Instructions

For the sauce:

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the tomato puree, oregano, bay leaf and salt and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and darkens in color. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.

For the tortillas:

  • Cover a large plate or baking sheet with several layers of paper towels. Pour the oil into a medium 10-inch skillet to a depth of 1/4 inch (about 1 cup). Heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking, about 2 to 3 minutes. Working with one tortilla at a time, use a pair of tongs to pass the tortilla through the oil for 10 to 15 seconds per side; this will make the it pliable and resistant to the sauce. The tortilla will first appear to be softening and then will become barely crisp, and its color will darken. Drain on the paper towels.

To assemble:

  • Spread one-third of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or the equivalent. Cover with half of the cooked chicken, half of the corn, half of the poblanos and one-third of the cream and cheese. Top with half of the tortillas, tearing them into large pieces if needed to make an even layer without much overlap. Repeat, adding one-third of the tomato sauce; the remaining half of the cooked chicken, corn and poblanos; and one-third of the cream and cheese. Top with a layer of the remaining tortillas, the remaining one-third of the sauce and the remaining cream and cheese.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover the casserole dish with a lid or with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the lid or foil and bake for 15 minutes or until the top is bubbly and the cheese has melted. Serve hot.

NOTES:

  • To create rajas, or strips, char or roast the chiles, either by placing them under the broiler or directly on a grill or hot skillet. Roast for 6 to 9 minutes, turning every 3 to 4 minutes, until they are charred and blistered but not burned. Immediately place in a plastic bag; close the bag tightly and cover with a kitchen towel; this will facilitate skinning. One by one, remove each chili from the bag, peel off the skin and lightly rinse the chili with water. Cut out the stem and cut each pepper in half. Remove and discard the seeds, then cut the peppers into strips 1/2-inch wide and an inch long.
  • Frozen corn will make the dish watery if it is not precooked to remove moisture. First, defrost the corn completely. Heat a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter; when it has melted, add the corn and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Notes

Cazuela Azteca
Meaty Tamal Casserole
Print Recipe