Pollo a las Hierbas de la Sierra (Chicken with Mountain Herbs)

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

Suggested Use:
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.

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1 large chicken, about 4 lb., quartered
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 chiles anchos
2 chiles guajillos
1 cup chopped tomato
4 cloves garlic
1/2 small onion
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 cups water
12 avocado leaves with stems
1 sprig rosemary
1/2 cup fresh oregano


Season the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.

Toast the chiles and remove their seeds and membranes. In a small saucepan, cook the chiles with the tomato over medium heat until softened. Transfer to a blender, add the garlic, onion and vinegar and purée. Coat the chicken pieces with this purée and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Bring the water to a boil. In a deep cazuela or pot, prepare an infusion by pouring the water over half of the herbs. Add the chicken and cover with the other half of the herbs. Cook over low heat, covered, for 40 minutes. When the chicken is tender, serve it on the leaves with which it cooked.

Serves 4.

From Mexico, the Beautiful cookbook.