Guatemalan Chicken and Potatoes with Pulique Sauce

Recipe by Nina Cohen, former Weavers Way Next Door staffer


  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken thighs
  • 2 zucchinis, thickly sliced
  • 4 potatoes, cut in chunks
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. salt

For the Publique Sauce:

  •  ¼ cup masa harina flour
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 6 tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
  • 6 large fresh tomatillos, husks removed
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, cut in half
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 dried guajillo chile peppers, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 whole cumin seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 3 Tbs. dried epazote or any tea leaves
  • 2 tsp. achiote seed or smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste


This stew originates from the Guatemalan highlands and bursts with the flavors of fresh market vegetables and herbs. You’ll dirty a fair number of dishes putting this together, but the unique, satisfying taste is worth the trouble.

In a large pan or Dutch oven, add the chicken thighs, zucchini, potatoes, carrots, chicken broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and vegetables to a bowl, reserving the broth in the pan.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl dissolve the masa harina in water and keep aside for about 10 minutes, adding more water as needed to make a two-inch ball of dough.

Add the dough ball, tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, onion, guajillo peppers, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, cloves, peppercorns, tea leaves and achiote or smoked paprika to the broth and bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.

Strain the mixture, reserving ½ cup of the broth. In a blender or food processor, add the mixture and pulse until smooth. Strain the mixture again and set aside.

In the same large pan you used before, heat the olive oil. Slowly add the sauce and fry for about three minutes. Stir in the cooked chicken, vegetables, reserved chicken broth and salt and pepper; reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. serve immediately.