Pulique: Chicken and Epazote Stew

When it comes to good food, our next guest knows all about it! Chef and author Amalia Moreno-Damgaard just got back from Guatemala where she celebrated Semana Santa – Holy Week – with her family.

She joins us now with a one-meal dish to satisfy your hunger! Follow Amalia on Instagram here.

Serves 4 to 6 people

4 to 6 skinless chicken thighs, visible fat removed
1 small whole onion, peeled and t-scored
1/2 cup parsley (stems and leaves included)
2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup quartered Roma tomatoes (about 2 large tomatoes)
1/2 cup husked, quartered tomatillos (3 to 4 large tomatillos)
1/2 to 3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1 small yellow onion, cut into thick slices
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 to 3 tbsp. chopped epazote (or 1/2 cup chopped cilantro)

¼ cup masa harina (corn flour) dissolved in some cold stock or water
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. ground achiote dissolved in a little water

1 bay leaf
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. thyme
Pinch of ground cloves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup güisquil (chayote squash) cut into 1-inch cubes, cooked al dente
1/2 cup carrots sliced on the diagonal, cooked al dente
1/2 cup peeled, sliced potatoes, cooked al dente

Epazote (or cilantro) sprigs


  1. In a medium pot, cook the chicken, the onion, and the parsley in the stock until the chicken is tender (20 to 30 minutes). Remove and reserve the onion and parsley. Set aside the chicken and stock.
  2. In a blender or food processor, purée the tomatoes, tomatillos, red bell pepper, onions, garlic, epazote, dissolved masa harina, and the reserved onion and parsley.
  3. Add the purée, achiote liquid, bay leaf, thyme, cloves, salt and pepper, and al dente vegetables to the pot of chicken and stock. Simmer covered for 8 to10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.
  4. Serve the stew garnished with epazote.

Amalia’s Notes

  • To t-score an onion, make a 1/2-inch-deep cross-shaped cut at the narrowest end of the onion. The onion remains whole.
  • Epazote is available fresh at most Latin stores. It is an earthy herb with a strong, unique flavor. If you’re unfamiliar with it, use just a little at a time. Taste and add more, if you like.
  • Peel tomatillos under running water if you find the husks hard to remove.