1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
5 cups water, divided
¼ cup chili powder or ground chile powder (see Notes)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (100% cacao)
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
- Wash hands with soap and water.
- Remove whole chicken from packaging and remove organs from cavity. Do not rinse chicken; cooking will kill all bacteria.
- Cut chicken into pieces: thighs, legs, breast, wings and back. Remove fat and skin from all but the wings and back. Save wings and back for making broth, if desired. Cut breast pieces in half.
- Wash hands, cutting board and knife with soap and water after handling raw chicken.
- In a large pot, put chicken pieces, onion, garlic cloves and 4 ½ cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (165 degrees F using a food thermometer).
- While chicken is cooking, mix chili powder, oregano, cocoa, flour, sugar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the remaining ½ cup of water and stir until smooth. Stir in peanut butter and set aside.
- When chicken is cooked, move pieces from the broth to a large bowl.
- Slowly add the seasoning mix to the pot, stirring to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes or longer until you like the flavor and thickness. Stir a few times.
- While the sauce is cooking, add the chicken pieces back to the pot, or cut or shred the chicken into smaller pieces and add them to the pot. Cook until heated through.
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.
- Make this a meal with a vegetable and grain or beans of your choice. It is traditional to sprinkle sesame seeds on the top of the chicken and sauce.
- Chili powder is often a mix of dried cayenne pepper, salt, oregano and cumin that is usually mild to medium spicy. Ground chile powder can be made from any variety of dried pepper without other ingredients. Ancho, California, New Mexico and Colorado chile powders have a mild flavor; cayenne and chile de arbol powders are spicier.
- No whole chicken? Use uncooked chicken pieces (with or without bones), such as 7 chicken thighs or 2 chicken breasts. Remove extra fat and skin, then continue with step 5.
- Want to use cooked chicken? Pour 4 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth into a large pot. Add the seasoning mixture from step 6. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low (step 8). Add 3 ½ cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken (step 9).
Thanks to the OSU Extension Latin Heritage Workgroup for this recipe.