0 (0)


Pollo en pulque (Chicken in pulque sauce)

Pollo en pulque (Chicken in pulque sauce)
Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

I entered my first small-town pulqueria, a place called Sal Si Puedes, with trepidation. The name itself was a warning: "Escape if You Can." Two toothless patrons teetering on bar stools gazed as I ordered a pulque. The bartender handed ... Read more

Total time: 1 1/2 hours, plus marinating time for the chicken | Serves 6 to 8

Marinated chicken

  • 1 cup pulque (or substitute a dry white wine)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 clove
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small chicken (2 1/2 to 3 pounds) cut into serving pieces (breast in quarters, thigh and leg separated; save the back for something else, such as soup or stock)

Step 1In the bowl of a blender, combine the pulque, orange juice, zest, onion, garlic, clove, salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a glass or ceramic bowl and rub the marinade all over the chicken. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the chicken for at least 2 hours to marinate.

Pollo en pulque assembly

  • Marinated chicken
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 pound plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups pulque (or dry white wine)

Step 1Remove the chicken from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and pat the chicken dry using paper towels or a kitchen cloth.

Step 2In a heavy casserole, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken pieces on all sides, turning from time to time. Remove the browned chicken to a plate.

Step 3To the casserole, add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomatoes, chile (if using), oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the spices are aromatic and the flavors are married, 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 4Stir in the pulque and bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping any flavoring from the bottom of the casserole. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and add the chicken and the reserved marinade. Cook the chicken at a gentle simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is tender, 40 to 50 minutes (the white breast meat will cook a little faster than the dark thigh and leg meat; remove the white meat and hold in a warm place until the dark meat is completely cooked). Remove from heat and serve.


Roasted tomato cobbler
Roasted tomato cobbler

Steamed whole fish
Steamed whole fish


Pecan currant sticky buns
Pecan currant sticky buns

Have a specific question about a recipe or found a problem? Let us know at food@latimes.com

More recipes in Mains

NoMad food truck collaboration burger with Curtis Stone
Basic wet-brined turkey
Italian sausage and kale gratin
Ratatouille Soup