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Recipe: Pollo en pulque (Chicken in pulque sauce)

November 10, 2011
  • Chicken in Pulque sauce.
Chicken in Pulque sauce. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles…)


Total time: 1½ hours, plus marinating time for the chicken

Servings: 6 to 8

Note: In this recipe, dry white wine can be substituted for pulque. Serve this with rice and tortillas.

Marinated chicken

1 cup pulque (or substitute a dry white wine)

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 small onion, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 clove

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 small chicken (2½ to 3 pounds) cut into serving pieces (breast in quarters, thigh and leg separated; save the back for something else, such as soup or stock)

In the bowl of a blender, combine the pulque, orange juice, zest, onion, garlic, clove, salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a glass or ceramic bowl and rub the marinade all over the chicken. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the chicken for at least 2 hours to marinate.

Pollo en pulque assembly

Marinated chicken

1/4 cup olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

3/4 pound plum tomatoes, chopped

1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

1 pinch dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 cups pulque (or dry white wine)

1. Remove the chicken from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and pat the chicken dry using paper towels or a kitchen cloth.

2. In a heavy casserole, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken pieces on all sides, turning from time to time. Remove the browned chicken to a plate.

3. To the casserole, add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomatoes, chile (if using), oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the spices are aromatic and the flavors are married, 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Stir in the pulque and bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping any flavoring from the bottom of the casserole. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and add the chicken and the reserved marinade. Cook the chicken at a gentle simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is tender, 40 to 50 minutes (the white breast meat will cook a little faster than the dark thigh and leg meat; remove the white meat and hold in a warm place until the dark meat is completely cooked). Remove from heat and serve.

Each of 8 servings: 334 calories; 20 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 18 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 61 mg cholesterol; 4 grams sugar; 347 mg sodium.

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