About this recipe:This is a Guatemalan dish known as pulique. It's a thick, hearty stew-like recipe, which is fantastic with potatoes or rice. Chicken is simmered with courgettes, potatoes and carrots in a spicy masa harina sauce.
450g chicken thighs
3 courgettes, thickly sliced
4 potatoes, cut into chunks
2 carrots, sliced
1.2 litres chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
For Pulique Sauce
4 tablespoons masa harina flour
2 tablespoons water
6 tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
6 large fresh tomatillos, husks removed
2 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 onion, cut into chunks
3 dried guajillo chillies, stems and seeds removed
1 (2.5cm) piece cinnamon stick
6 whole cumin seeds
2 whole cloves
2 black peppercorns
3 tablespoons dried epazote
2 teaspoons achiote seeds
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
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Place the chicken thighs, courgettes, potatoes, carrots, chicken stock and 1 teaspoon of salt into a large pot. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pot, reserving the stock and set aside.
Mix the masa harina with water in a small bowl and let stand until the masa harina has absorbed the water and made a pliable dough, about 10 minutes. Form the masa dough into a 5cm ball. Place the dough ball, tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, onion, guajillo chillies, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, cloves, peppercorns, epazote and achiote seed into the stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Discard the cinnamon stick and remove the vegetables and dough ball from the stock with a strainer. Place them into a liquidiser and working in batches if necessary, blend the ingredients until mostly smooth. Strain the sauce and set it aside. Retain about 125ml of stock.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and slowly pour the sauce into the hot oil, letting it fry and bubble until it starts to change colour, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken, courgettes, potatoes and carrots to the sauce, pour in about 125ml of reserved chicken stock and stir. Season with salt to taste and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes to blend the flavours.
Masa harina flour, fresh tomatillos, dried guajillo chillies, dried epazote and achiote seeds can be found in Hispanic speciality shops or online.