Chicken in Peanut Sauce (Pollo Encacahuatado)

Chicken Peanut Sauce (Pollo Encacahuatado)
Photo: Jason Donnelly
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Stand Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins


  • 1 large dried ancho chile pepper, stemmed and seeded*

  • 6 chicken thighs

  • Salt

  • Ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • ½ cup chopped onion (1 medium)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • ½ cup dry roasted peanuts

  • 1 teaspoon ground canela (Mexican cinnamon) or cinnamon

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro

  • Hot cooked rice (optional)


  1. In a small bowl pour enough hot water over chile pepper to cover. Let stand for 15 minutes.

  2. If desired, skin chicken thighs and discard skin. Sprinkle chicken thighs lightly with salt and black pepper. In a large skillet cook chicken thighs in hot oil over medium to medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Remove thighs from skillet; set aside. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from skillet.

  3. Drain ancho chile pepper; pat dry with paper towels. Tear chile into small pieces. Add chile pepper pieces, onion, and garlic to reserved oil in skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until onion is tender.

  4. Transfer onion mixture to a food processor or blender. Cover and pulse with several on/off turns until a smooth paste forms. Add tomatoes, broth, peanuts, and canela. Cover and pulse with several on/off turns until smooth. Return mixture to the skillet. Add chicken thighs. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, turning chicken once.

  5. Garnish with cilantro. If desired, serve with hot cooked rice.


Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

389 Calories
30g Fat
11g Carbs
21g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 389
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 80mg 27%
Sodium 449mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 7.1mg 36%
Calcium 50.5mg 4%
Iron 2.3mg 13%
Potassium 519mg 11%
Folate, total 32.3mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.3mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.5mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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