Chicken in yogurt sauce (Pollo Enjococado)
The name of this dish is derived from the Spanish word jocoque, which is sometimes translated as buttermilk, or yogurt mix, but is really a type of thick yogurt of Middle Eastern origin. In the city of Puebla, with its large Lebanese population, jocoque is sold in most supermarkets, but in rural areas, it is homemade and truly delicious. If you can’t find jocoque, a mixture of half sour cream and half Greek plain yogurt is an acceptable substitute.
- 4 chicken leg quarters, separated into thighs and drumsticks, seasoned with salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 guajillo chiles, seeded and deveined
- 6 ancho chiles, seeded and deveined
- 4 arbol chiles, seeds removed
- 1 ½ cups hot chicken broth
- ½ pound plum tomatoes
- ½ pound tomatillo (tomate verde —green tomato), husked
- 4 cloves garlic, roasted on a comal or dry griddle, then peeled
- ½ medium white onion, roasted on a comal or dry griddle, then peeled
- ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted
- 1 ½ cups jocoque, or use half sour cream and half plain yogurt
In a large skillet, brown the chicken on both sides in the vegetable oil. Set aside, but do not rinse skillet.
Soak the chiles in the broth until soft. Place the softened chiles, the broth, tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, onion and cumin seeds in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour this mixture into the skillet in which the chicken was browned. Heat the puree, stirring, until it comes to a boil.
Return the chicken to the pan, lower the heat to medium, and cook, covered until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and keep warm.
Add the jocoque to the sauce and stir to combine and heat through. Taste and add salt if desired. Serve the chicken, bathed in sauce, in shallow bowls. Accompany with warm corn tortillas.
Chicken Poblano (Pollo a la Poblana)
Chicken Poblano originally comes from Puebla, known to many as the heart of Mexican cuisine. It’s simple and fast to prepare and will enable you to plan an elegant and authentic meal. Serve it alongside white or Mexican-style rice.
- 4 poblano chiles
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 white onion, sliced thin
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1 cup cream
- 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 boneless chicken breasts
- Roast and clean the poblano chiles. Roughly chop and place in a blender.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan. When hot, add the onion, garlic, oregano and thyme and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the cream, cilantro, and salt. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into the blender with the poblano chiles and puree until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the chicken breasts and cook until both sides are lightly browned.
- Pour the poblano sauce on top on the chicken breasts when serving.
Plan Ahead: 1-2 days in advance: Make the poblano sauce.
Grilled chicken with orange, honey and chipotle glaze (Pollo a la parrilla con salsa de naranja, miel y chipotle)
Honey and citrus fruits go well together, and here they are combined with chipotle chiles, garlic, and spices for a flavorful take on grilled chicken. This dish may also be baked in the oven.
Ingredients for the chicken and marinade:
- 2 ½ – 3 pounds chicken pieces
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- ¼ cup each chopped cilantro and chopped parsley
- ½ tablespoon powdered ginger
- ½ tablespoon dried thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons finely grated orange peel
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pineapple vinegar (or substitute apple vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
Ingredients for the glaze:
- 2 cups orange juice
- 6 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons finely grated orange peel
- 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, seeded if desired
Place the chicken pieces in a non-reactive container, such as a Pyrex baking dish. In a bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients to combine thoroughly. Pour marinade over chicken, cover and marinate overnight.
To make the glaze: Boil orange juice and honey until reduced to 1 cup. Add the grated orange peel and chipotles and mix thoroughly. Taste and add a bit more of the adobo sauce if desired. Set aside.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, discard excess marinade, and grill chicken on an outdoor or indoor grill, turning frequently, until cooked through.
Brush chicken with the glaze and cook for 2 minutes longer on each side. Serve any remaining glaze in a separate bowl.