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Jocon de Pollo guatemalan chicken tomatill stew

Jocon de Pollo: Guatemalan Chicken and Tomatillo Stew

  • Author: Noreen
  • Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 pound chicken thighs (or breasts), chopped into pieces and seasoned with salt & pepper


  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
  • 45 medium-sized tomatillos, hulled and quartered
  • 1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 3 jalapeño peppers, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted and then ground
  • 2 cups water or chicken stock or vegetable broth


  • Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Sliced fresh scallions
  • Lime and freshly squeezed lime juice


Stage 1 – Prepare the Sauce

  1. Start by taking a deep skillet or a stockpot over medium-high heat. When it’s heated up, add in your sesame seeds and dry-toast them for a ~2 minutes until they start to brown
  2. When the seeds have browned, remove them from the pan and set them aside for the time being
  3. Next, add a dash of olive oil into your pan followed by your onions. Cook the onions alone for 1-2 minutes as they begin to sweat and become translucent
  4. As the onions soften, add in your garlic, jalapenos, bell pepper, tomatillos, cilantro and half of your spring onions into the pan as well. Mix everything well together and cook for 3-4 minutes as everything begins to soften
  5. Add in your broth/stock and cook everything together for another 5 minutes before taking your pot off the heat
  6. Very carefully transfer your softened vegetables, the broth and toasted sesame seeds into a blender or food processor (affiliate link), then liquify everything until you get your thickened sauce for jocon de pollo
  7. Set aside for the time being as you move onto the chicken

Stage 2 – Finish and Prepare Jocon de Pollo

  1. Take the same stockpot back onto your stovetop at medium high heat, and add a bit of oil
  2. When the oil’s nice and hot, add in your chicken and begin to sear for 3-4 minutes. Re-season your chicken with salt and pepper along the way
  3. As your chicken starts to cook, re-add your green sauce back into the pot and cover your chicken liberally with it
  4. Reduce the heat to a medium-low setting, and simmer the entire jocon de pollo together for ~15 minutes
  5. Take it off the heat, and you’re ready to serve. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min

Keywords: Chicken stew, chicken and rice, chicken side dish