International Cuisine Tour #4

28 April, Guatemala City, Guatemala – Buen dia, amigos! Welcome to the food of Guatemala. Today’s menu: Pollo en Jocón (green chicken stew), Elotes (grilled corn), Frijoles Negros (black beans), and as dessert, Polvorosas (shortbread cookies with cinnamon sugar).

Influenced by Mayan tradition.


Pollo en Jocón

Serves 2; Preparation time: 10 minutes; Cooking time: 1 hour

  • 1/2 lb. tomatillos (about 6 medium), rusked and rinsed
  • 2 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 bone-in chicken breast
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, halved lengthwise, seeded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, rough chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garli, rough chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds toasted
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 2 corn tortillas, rough chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Bring to boil in a large pot the tomatillos, chicken, jalapeño, and salt. Reduce to medium low and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserve broth, and set aside.

Bring oil to medium heat in a large skillet. Add cilantro, garlic, green onions, and bell pepper cooking until softened, about 10 minutes. To a blender add cilantro mixture, tomatillos, jalapeño, sesame & pumpkin seeds, tortillas and broth to cover. Purée until smooth.

Transfer liquid into a large pot and boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, de-bone chicken and shred meat using a fork. transfer to the sauce and simmer 8 minutes more.

Serve over lime/cilantro rice and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

(Guatemala has 14 eco-regions with 5 different ecosystems. Tikal National park is the first mixed UNESCO World Heritage Site.)

Mayan ruins at Tikal

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