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Jocon de Pollo Guatemalan food h

Jocón - Guatemalan Chicken and Tomatillo Stew

One of Guatemala's most famous dishes, jocón or pollo en jocón is a traditional stew of chicken and tomatillos that's very easy to make.

Course Main
Cuisine Guatemalan
Keyword authentic, chicken and tomatillo stew, chicken in salsa verde, easy dinner, jocon, miltomate, pollo en jocon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Calories 605 kcal
Author Michele Peterson


  • 3 pounds chicken pieces whole chicken cut into serving pieces
  • 4 cups water or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds known as pepitas in Latin America shelled
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 whole corn tortillas fresh, soaked in water and torn in pieces
  • 2 cups tomatillos hulled or substitute 16 ounces canned tomatillos (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 cup scallions fresh, chopped. Scallions are the green part of the stalk of a green onion
  • 1/2 cup mint fresh, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped


  1. Bring chicken, water or broth, and salt to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming the foam from the surface while cooking.

  2. Remove the chicken and set aside in a bowl. Strain the broth and reserve the liquid, discarding any solids.

  3. Bring a dry cast iron skillet or comal to a high temperature. Add the pumpkin seeds and then sesame seeds toasting them until brown.

  4. Grind the seeds in a spice or coffee grinder or in a blender/food processor until very fine.

  5. Add the pepitoria (ground seeds), tomatillos, soaked and shredded corn tortillas, cilantro, scallions and chile to a food processor. Add one cup of water and process until silky smooth.

  6. return the chicken to the cooking pot. Pour the green sauce over the chicken and add remaining 3 cups of water, stirring to mix well.

  7. Simmer for 20 more minutes. Adjust seasoning and then serve.

Recipe Notes

  • The key to making sure jocón keeps its bright green colour is not to overcook the sauce.
  • Using fresh tomatillos will make the dish a brighter green than if you use canned tomatillos.
  • Add more jalapeno or serrano hot chiles to taste. But note that the traditional Guatemalan recipe for jocón makes a very mildly spicy dish.
  • Be sure to process the sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds until very fine. A coffee or spice grinder works well for this.
  • Properly stored, this chicken and tomatillo stew will last for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Please note: Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed to be accurate. It is created by online calculators and, although we attempt to provide accurate nutritional information, the figures are only estimates. 

Nutrition Facts
Jocón - Guatemalan Chicken and Tomatillo Stew
Amount Per Serving
Calories 605 Calories from Fat 378
% Daily Value*
Fat 42g65%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 174mg58%
Sodium 763mg33%
Potassium 767mg22%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 47g94%
Vitamin A 935IU19%
Vitamin C 20.3mg25%
Calcium 152mg15%
Iron 4.7mg26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.