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Guatemalan Green Chicken Stew recipe - Tender chicken simmered in a tomatillo cilantro sauce, thickened with toasted ground pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds. A delicious festive healthy soup/stew that also low fat, gluten free and paleo friendly.

Guatemalan Green Chicken Stew: Pollo en Jocon

  • Author: Lisa
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


Delicious healthy chicken stew of tender shredded chicken in a fresh tangy tomatillo-cilantro sauce. Top with sliced avocado, chopped scallions and corn tortillas


  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (toast for 5-7 minutes in a dry non-stick pan over medium heat with constant tossing until lightly browned)
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds (toast for 2 minutes in a dry non-stick pan over medium heat with constant tossing until very lightly browned - remove from heat as soon as they start to color)
  • 5 pounds skinless chicken breasts with bones
  • 1 1/2 pounds of fresh tomatillos, husked (10-12) or 2 11-oz cans of tomatillos, drained
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or other cooking oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 green peppers, seeds and ribs removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


  • Corn tortillas to serve with stew (1 per person)
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 avocado, cubed or sliced
  • 2 limes, sliced into wedges for squeezing on top


  1. Put the toasted pumpkin and sesame seeds in a blender and pulse for 5 or 10 seconds, until finely ground. (You may need to stir a bit between pulses) Scrape them into a small bowl and set aside. No need to wash blender - you will use it again soon.
  2. Put chicken and fresh tomatillos in a large pot with 2 teaspoons of salt and 9-10 cups of water, or enough to just cover them. (If using canned tomatillos, don't add them to the pot. They'll be used later). Bring to a boil, lower to a very gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a plate and scoop tomatillos into the blender. If using canned tomatillos, put them into the blender. Pour the broth through a strainer set over a large bowl. (you will need 4 cups of broth for the stew) Wipe out pot.
  3. Add cilantro to the blender along with 1 cup of the strained chicken broth. Puree for 10-15 seconds. Pour the mixture into the pot. (keep blender out for one more use)
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan and cook garlic, jalapeño, green pepper and onion over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until they start to brown. Scrape them into the blender, add 1 more cup of strained broth and puree for 10-15 seconds. Pour mixture into the pot with the tomatillos and cilantro. Add the ground seeds to the pot and 2 more cups of strained broth. (Remaining broth will not be needed but you might want to use it to make rice to accompany the stew). Bring contents of pot to a boil. Lower to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered for 10 minutes to thicken the sauce. Meanwhile, remove chicken from bones and shred it. (pull chicken apart using two forks. Refer to photo in BBQ Chicken Enchiladas). Add shredded chicken to pot along with salt and fresh pepper, to taste. Simmer gently for an additional 5-10 minutes, until heated through.
  5. Serve stew in deep bowls, over rice, with corn tortillas tucked in. Sprinkle with cubed avocado, green onions and lime juice. I suggest a simple green salad with citrus dressing on the side. Enjoy!


Nutrition Information: The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and is not a substitute for the advice of a professional nutritionist.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Category: Stew
  • Method: simmer
  • Cuisine: Guatemalan

Keywords: pollo en jocon, chicken stew with tomatillos