Ancient Cuisines: Pueblo Chicken

Long overdue. But perhaps just in time for Thanksgiving, if your family, like mine, does not care too much for roast turkey.

Pueblo Chicken

Based on a recipe from Spirit of the Harvest, North American Indian Cooking by Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs

The original recipe uses rabbit, a major source of protein for Southwestern tribes. Rabbits were hunted by lighting fires around an area where they were abundant; the hunters then gradually moved in, trapping the animals from all sides. Rabbits were offered as ceremonial sacrifices and then eaten as part of ritual foods.

I haven't eaten rabbit but I am told it is like a leaner version of chicken, which is slowly fading in popularity at our dinner table but is still preferred to turkey.

  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • Salt to taste

  1. Dice chicken into bite size pieces
  2. Heat oil in a heavy stockpot and brown the chicken well.
  3. Add onion, chicken broth, water, red wine vinegar and red chilli powder.
  4. Simmer, partially covered for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the chicken is tender.
  5. Add salt and then slowly add the cornmeal, stirring as you pour. You do not want lumps.
  6. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes until the sauce is slightly thick.
  7. Serve with Ute tortillas

This is a great tasting thick stew. We imagined ourselves to be sitting by an open fire with the stew simmering over it. We ate with our hands, tearing pieces of the tortillas, to dip into the stew. We licked our fingers as the stew dribbled down them and decided to cook this stew the next time we went camping in the mountains. What a treat it will be to eat it out under the stars!


sunita said...

Now that is a very different recipe...I think we'll love it too.

Kribha said...

The way you described it...eating with the tortillas and licking the fingers...hmmm You are making my mouth water. Looks soooo delicious.

Anita said...

And, on your dinner table,chicken is making way for...lamb?!

What a simple recipe with so few ingredients - the slow cooking must bring out all the falvours. Simplest things are always the beast!

Rina said...

This is so unique for me.

Happy cook said...

Well that is what i call a very authentic and original recipe

bee said...

do you have a pueblo rice recipe in that book? if you do, could you send it to me, please?

bee said...

i found it.

Alpa said...

Isn't it amazing that people used to use what they could procure from their own surroundings? I just love your pottery by the way! The earthy rustic colors really go well with your dish.

musical said...

So this is what's in the offing for Thanksgiving-looks really very good! and i admire the simplicty of this recipe!

Aarthi said...

I just wanted to say u have a beautiful blog.
Also I wanted to tell you I tried ur glazed banana recipe yesterday from you birthday post. That post was really heartwarming and I have been wanting to try that recipe for a while now but finally made it yesterday.
We usually have something called Banana Flambe at a chinese restaurant where the cook makes it right in front of you. It looks and tastes delicious. The glazed bananas were the same infact they tasted even better! thanks.
Pueblo Chicken looks great too. thanks for sharing all the wonderful recipes and other heartwarming tidbits.

Treehugger said...

I agree. I like knowing the history behind a dish. I've tasted rabbit once before, in the South of France, outdoors in fact, basted with mustard, and roasted on an open fire.

Plain old recipes without a story are boring. Recipes should paint pictures. Yours do.