Pulique, a Maya dish from Guatemala

Pulique de Pollo: Guatemalan Stewed Chicken

A delicious chicken stew bursting with the flavours of fresh market vegetables and herbs. It's a traditional Mayan dish enjoyed at celebrations and on Guatemalan holidays.

Course Main
Cuisine Guatemalan
Keyword Guatemalan food recipes, pulique, traditional Guatemalan food
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 452 kcal
Author Michele Peterson


  • 1 pound beef bones optional
  • 1 pound chicken organic or yellow skin
  • 4 potatoes peeled and halved
  • 1 1/2 huisquil rinse to remove stickiness
  • 2 cups masa corn flour wet
  • 6 small tomatoes
  • 1/ 2 tsp achiote paste
  • One bunch each of fresh cilantro, hierba buena (fresh mint) and green onion
US Customary - Metric


  1. Simmer the beef bones (in water to cover) with 3 leaves of hierba buena, cilantro and a green onion for one hour;

  2. Simmer chicken (in enough water to cover) with 3 leaves of hierba buena, cilantro and a green onion for 30 minutes. Remove chicken and reserve;

  3. Add the vegetables to the chicken broth and simmer until tender but not mushy;
  4. Strain the beef and vegetables reserving the liquid;
  5. Shape the masa into 6 small balls of dough;
  6. Liquify the achiote with 3 tomatoes, 3 balls of masa and the liquid from the beef and chicken. Add more balls of masa if it looks watery;

  7. Strain the tomato mixture into a pot on the stove;
  8. Simmer, stirring continuously for 15 minutes. Add more liquid if it gets too thick.
  9. The key to success for pulique de pollo is in the stirring. According to Olga, it's important to simmer the sauce until it's the colour of a mandarin orange. She was vigilant in this task, not removing the spoon from the pot for even a minute.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Pulique de Pollo: Guatemalan Stewed Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 452 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 40mg13%
Sodium 63mg3%
Potassium 1185mg34%
Carbohydrates 70g23%
Fiber 9g38%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 385IU8%
Vitamin C 28.2mg34%
Calcium 147mg15%
Iron 11.7mg65%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.