Gastronomy

JOCÓN

Jocón is a Guatemalan dish, made with chicken meat, with traditional country sauces. On November 2007, the Guatemalan Minister of Culture and Sports declared it intangible nation heritage. RECIPE Ingredients:

  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces -- 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
  • Water -- 4 cups
  • Salt -- 2 teaspoons
  • Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) -- 1/4 cup
  • Sesame seeds -- 1/4 cup
  • Corn tortillas, chopped, soaked in water, drained -- 2
  • Tomatillos, hulled and chopped -- 1 cup
  • Cilantro, chopped -- 1 bunch
  • Scallions, chopped -- 1 bunch
  • Jalapeño or serrano pepper, chopped -- from 1 to 5
Directions:
  1. Place the chicken, water and salt into a large pot over medium-high flame. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Place the chicken in a bowl and strain and set aside the broth. Let chicken cool, then remove the meat from the bones and shred it with your fingers. Set aside.
  3. Heat a dry skillet over medium flame. Add the pumpkin and sesame seeds and toast, stirring, until lightly browned. Remove to a coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder.
  4. Add the sesame and pumpkin seeds, tortillas, tomatillos, cilantro, scallions and Serrano peppers to a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup of the reserved broth and process until smooth. If using a blender you may have to do this step in batches.
  5. Return the chicken to the pot. Pour over pureed sauce and add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the remaining broth to give it a sauce-like consistency.
  6. Heat over medium-low flame and simmer for an additional 15-25 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve.
  JOCON VARIATIONS
  • Leave the chicken pieces whole if you prefer.
  • If you can't find pumpkin seeds, simply use 1/2 cup of sesame seeds. And if finding sesame seeds is a problem, you can substitute a slightly smaller amount of tahini.
  • Cubed pork can be substituted for the chicken. There is no need to shred the pork, but you may need to simmer it longer for it to become tender.
  • Use any remaining broth on rice to accompany the meal