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Friday, March 27, 2009

Chicken in Guaje Sauce

chicken guaje sauce mexican delectable victuals spicy

This Guaje (gwa-hay) sauce is inspired by Rick Bayless's recipe Pollo Asado en Guasmole. The Guasmole (huaxmole) sauce is a tomato-based sauce with toasted ground guaje (or huaje). I found guaje at a Mexican market nearby; also, I usually stock up on ancho-pasilla chilies and sun-dried tomatoes anyway, so, I had enough ingredients handy to make this dish.

guaje seed pods chicken guaje sauce mexican delectable victuals spicy

Guajes or huajes are the flat, green pods of an acacia tree. The pods are sometimes light green or deep red in color -- both taste the same. Guaje seeds are about the size of a small lima bean and are eaten raw with guacamole, sometimes cooked and made into a sauce. They can also be made into fritters. The ground seeds are used to impart a slightly garlicky flavor to a mole called guaxmole (huaxmole). The dried seeds may be toasted and salted and eaten as a snack referred to as "cacalas". Purchase whole long pods fresh or dried at Mexican specialty markets.
-- from Gourmet Sleuth

guaje seeds toasted chicken guaje sauce mexican delectable victuals spicy

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2-3 cups broth or water
1 tsp brown sugar (optional)
2 Tbsp canola oil
salt to taste
cilantro and spring onions for garnish

For the Guaje Sauce aka Guasmole (huaxmole):
1 cup canned tomatoes
2-4 sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
2 dry ancho-pasilla chillies
4-6 dry red chilies
4 garlic cloves
½ cup guaje seeds, lightly toasted

  1. Sauce: Soak the sun-dried tomatoes and the ancho-pasilla chilies in just enough hot water to immerse them; allow to reconstitute for about 5 minutes; then combine all the sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and grind to a fine paste
  2. Use about one-third (or just enough) of the sauce to marinate the chicken chunks for about ½ to 1 hour
  3. Heat oil in a pan sauté the tomato paste till dark red and aromatic, add the chicken pieces and sauté to brown the outsides, then add the sauce and broth and cover and cook for about 30 minutes over medium-low heat, checking to make sure there is enough liquid; cook the sauce to desired thickness
  4. Stir in the brown sugar and adjust salt to taste
  5. Garnish with cilantro and chopped spring onions

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  • At 8:37 AM, Blogger Cynthia said…

    I trust that your hubby appreciates your branching out to bring all these delicious dishes to the table :)


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