Chicken in Peanut Sauce: Pollo Encacahuatado

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

Moles and other thick sauces made with nuts and seeds go best with chicken and pork. This recipe is from the town of Huauchinango, Puebla, set in a cloud forest not far from the Puebla-Veracruz border. It is a specialty of the small family restaurants in the area.


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 4 tablespoons lard or corn oil, divided
  • 2 roma tomatoes, roasted and peeled
  • 1/2 medium white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/2 cup shelled peanuts, skins removed
  • 1 ancho chile, seeded, deveined and soaked in warm water until soft
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • salt to taste


Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and saute it in 2 tablespoons of the lard or oil until golden. While the chicken is sauteing, make the sauce.

Puree the tomatoes, onion and garlic, with a little water, until smooth. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of lard or oil in a large saucepan, add the tomato puree, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Liquify the peanuts, chile and cinnamon with the chicken broth, add this mixture to the tomato puree and continue cooking another 5 minutes.

Transfer the chicken into the pan containing the sauce, cover and cook over low heat for 35-40 minutes.

Serve in shallow bowls, accompanied by fresh, hot tortillas.

Serves 6.

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2006 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008
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