Jocón

Jocón or pollo en jocón is a dish popular with the Mayan population of Guatemala. Chicken is simmered in a tasty sauce tinted a beautiful green by tomatillos and cilantro and thickened with ground sesame and pumpkin seeds and corn tortillas.

Place the chicken, water and salt into a large pot over medium-high flame. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove the chicken to a bowl and strain and set aside the broth. Let chicken cool, then remove the meat from the bones and shred it with your fingers. Set aside.

Heat a dry skillet over medium flame. Add the pumpkin and sesame seeds and toast, stirring, until lightly browned. Remove to a coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder.

Add the sesame and pumpkin seeds, tortillas, tomatillos, cilantro, scallions and chile peppers to a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup of the reserved broth and process until smooth. If using a blender you may have to do this step in batches.

Return the chicken to the pot. Pour over puréed sauce and add 1 to 1½ cups of the remaining broth to give it a sauce-like consistency.Heat over medium-low heat and simmer for an additional 15-25 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Serves 4 to 6

* Serrano peppers are hotter (spicier) than jalepeños. Season according to your family’s taste preference.

Variations: