Chicken Vallejo

Serves 6

This is a wonderful dish that is quick and easy to make. It has a great depth of flavor and spice that pairs beautifully with Zinfandel. You can make the sauce a day or two ahead and then cook the chicken in the sauce the next day and serve.


  • 1 each Ancho Chili, roasted, seeded and stems removed
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 Tablespoons corn oil
  • 18 each whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 each large yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted & chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano, Mexican, fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives, chopped


  1. Soak the chilis in the water for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put the corn oil and garlic cloves in a heavy bottomed sauce pot over low to medium heat. Cook the garlic slowly until it turns a light golden brown and is very soft (10-15 minutes). Remove from the heat, but save the pot and the oil.
  3. With a slotted kitchen spoon, remove the garlic cloves and place them in a blender with the tomatoes, chilis and water. Blend until smooth.
  4. Put the pot and oil back on the stove over medium heat and add the onions and salt. Stir occasionally and cook until the onions are soft and golden. Add the tomato mixture, almonds, raisins, olives, oregano and chicken broth to the onions. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed. Keep sauce warm or refrigerate for the next day.


  • 12 pieces chickens, whole, cut into 8 pieces each
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season the chicken pieces with salt and chili powder.
  3. Place a heavy bottomed skillet on a medium-high fire.
  4. Add the canola oil. Once the oil is very hot, add the chicken pieces in one layer skin side down and cook until the skin is golden brown.
  5. Turn the pieces and cook until the other side is slightly golden. Pour off any fat from the pan.
  6. Add the warm sauce and place the pan with the chicken and the sauce in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the chicken prices are fully cooked.
  7. Place the chicken pieces on a plate with rice and ladle the sauce over the rice and chicken.

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