Slow Cooked Chicken With Tomatillos, Potatoes, Jalapenos and Fre

"A very savory chicken dish from Mexico using local herbs. The aroma of this dish cooking ever so slowly in the crock pot will tempt you to open the cover and sample!"
photo by Muffin Goddess photo by Muffin Goddess
photo by Muffin Goddess
Ready In:
6hrs 30mins


  • 1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • salt
  • 4 medium red skin boiling potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 1 pound)
  • 8 skinless chicken thighs (bone in or out, 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 13 cup fresh epazote leaves, loosely packed (or 1 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed)
  • 1 14 lbs medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed and sliced 1/4 inch thick (8 to 12)
  • 14 cup sliced canned pickled jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeno juice


  • Spread the onion over the bottom of a slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt. Continue with layers of the potato slices, chicken thighs, epazote or cilantro and then Tomatillos. Sprinkling salt evenly over each layer before moving on to the next. Scatter the jalapeno slices over everything, then drizzle on the pickling juice. Cover and slow cook on high for 6 hours.
  • Carefully transfer a portion of the pollo Pulquero onto each dinner plate. If there is a large amount of juice in the cooker, tip or ladle it into a saucepan, set it over high heat and boil quickly to reduce to a rich consistency. Taste and season with more salt, if needed, then drizzle over each serving. Sprinkle each portion with chopped cilantro.
  • Variations:

  • Pork shoulder and beef chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes are excellent substitutes for the chicken thighs. If available, use banana leaves and line the slow cooker or Dutch oven before assembling all the parts.
  • Oven Version:

  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Layer the dish as described above in a medium large (4 to 6 quarts, 10 to 12 inch diameter) heavy pot, preferably a Dutch oven. Set the lid in place and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer to reduce the juices. Spoon directly from the pot onto plates.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Excellent! I added a few extra potatoes, a few extra jalapenos and used boneless chicken, but other wise followed the recipe. I had banana leaves in the yard, and was able to find epazote at Fiesta grocery here in Houston. I was a little nervous about cooking with the epazote...I had never cooked with it and did not know what flavors it might add to a dish, but it was wonderful. (It is kind of a cross between basil and cilantro.) I agree, this is a keeper!
  2. I followed the recipe using cilantro and a few extra carrots and potatoes. Maybe that is why there were no juices when finished. Good, but not my favorite.
  3. This is a keeper! DH loved this so much, he had me make it a second time in a span of two weeks! The slow cooker cook time just wasn't fitting into my schedule, so I opted for the oven version instead. I just happened to have some frozen banana leaves on hand (the one time I was able to find them in a grocery store somewhere, I went nuts and stocked up lol), so I lined the dutch oven with those and wrapped them over the top of the chicken and veggies once they were in the pot. The first time I made this, I kept to the recipe as written (except for subbing cilantro for epazote, which I can't seem to find anywhere), and DH really liked it, but I adjusted it a tiny bit the second time to accomodate DH's "this would be even better if..." suggestions. He really liked the potatoes in this, so I increased the amount of potatoes the second time to 7 instead of 4. I also increased the amount of sliced jalapenos and jalapeno juice, since DH wanted it to be more spicy. I opted for the boneless skinless thighs for the meat so we wouldn't need to pick "carcass" out of our bowls. I didn't find that I needed to reduce the pan juices either time -- it's probably better that I didn't, since DH really enjoyed sopping up the juicy part with warm corn tortillas. I really liked the different twist of having tomatillos just sliced rather than pureed as they are in most other dishes. My photo really doesn't do it justice, but the finished dish looked so appealing with the vibrant colors and all (the orange is just the bits of carrot that were in with the pickled jalapenos). This tasted like such a high-effort, Mexican mom kind of dish, but it's deceiving because it's really so easy to assemble and cook. Just as a side note, we ended up with some leftover veggies and liquid the last time, and it recycled very well as a topping (supplemented with some more jalapeno, cilantro and chopped tomato) for some baked pollock that my dad had caught while deep sea fishing. We will absolutely be making your recipe again, thanks for posting!


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