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Pati's Mexican Table : TV Recipes

Pati Jinich

Pollo con Salsa de Tamarindo, Chabacano y Chipotle
Serves 8

4 chicken quarters, or 8 chicken pieces of your choice with skin and bones
1 tsp kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 cups water
1/2 lb, about 3/4 cup, dried apricots, roughly chopped
2 tbsp apricot preserve
3/4 cup tamarind Latin style tamarind syrup or homemade (recipe follows and it is different from tamarind paste)
2 tbsp sauce from chipotles in adobo, or more to taste

Thoroughly rinse chicken pieces with cold water and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the chicken pieces skin side down in one layer, and slowly brown the chicken pieces for 40 minutes. Flip them over, once they have crisped and created a crust, halfway through. This is not a quick sear or browning, this is low heat cooking for a good 40 minutes.

Pour water over the chicken, raise the heat to medium-high to bring to a simmer. Incorporate apricots, apricot preserve, Latin style tamarind syrup, chipotle sauce, salt, stir, and keep it at a medium simmer for 35 minutes until the sauce has thickened to a thick syrup consistency and can coat the back of a wooden spoon. You may need to reduce the heat.

Taste for salt and heat and adjust to your liking.

Concentrado de Tamarindo
Makes about 1 cup

1/2 lb dried tamarind pods with their shell
2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp fresh lime juice

Remove the outer pod from the tamarinds, discard, and place the pulp in a bowl. Cover them with 2 cups boiling water and let them sit anywhere from 2 to 24 hours.

With your hands, clean then tamarinds of the large seeds and strains/threads. Strain in a colander, pressing with your hands or a spoon to get as much pulp as possible.

Place the resulting tamarind juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, add the sugar, and let it simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes. The juice should have thickened considerably, to a thick syrup consistency.

Squeeze in the fresh lime juice, let it simmer for a couple more minutes and let it cool. Refrigerate and store in a tight lid container. The concentrate will keep for months.


Absolutely delicious. Great crowd pleaser, everyone had seconds and kept commenting on how good is was. Preparing the tamarindo sauce from scratch was more difficult than I thought. The pulp is very sticky making it difficult to separate the seeds and maximize pulp through the colander. I would also use less water when deglazing the pan. Reducing the sauce took a long time with 4 cups of water. I luckily had fresh apricots and incorporated a few of them into the recipe also. That being said, I would definitely make this again. yum yum!

I missed this episode, and I would like to know if the apricot sauce/syrup is added to the chicken or cooked separately. Thanks!

Hi Mel, I usually incorporate chopped, dried apricots and also apricot preserve to the chicken. Here is a link to the recipe! I hope you enjoy it.

I adore this show. And…..finally, someone has explained how to make tamarind sauce from scratch. I’ve been looking for months. Thank you

Ilsa, I’m so glad I could provide this explanation to you. I hope the dish is splendid for you.

This is a exquisite recipe. Have never used tamarind pods before and the flavors were a new experience. Not only was this a delicious recipe it was also very pretty when served.
I am so glad that I ‘discovered’ your show. Learning and trying new cultural recipes.

Ann, I too am happy you discovered the show. It is such a thrill and honor for me to share my recipes with you. I also am learning and discovering new things every day, so it is a wonderful journey to be on. Thank you for watching! I truly appreciate your encouragement.

I am here because my 6 year old daughter LOVES your show and is running back and forth from the television and my office telling me how to prepare this recipe, and telling me she wishes she had your phone number so she could call you to help her make these! So I thought it might be easier and more reliable if I looked it up first! Looks like I will be heading to the grocery store…

Pati, I love your show! It is my new favorite. I’ve been looking for simple recipes like this with great flavor. I’m headed to the store tomorrow to get everything I need to make this.
Thank you!

Hi Poppy, I am so glad you enjoy the show! :)

Hi Pati, I love your show. I found a place that carries the tamarindo in the concentrate. Please let me know how to use it in this dish. Thank you

Pati, I can only find tamarind nectar (in a can, from Goya) and not tamarind paste or pods in my area. Can I use the tamarind nectar instead the concentrate for the sauce in this recipe?

Hola Anne, Yes, you can use the tamarind nectar! :)

Hi Pati,
I love watching your show. You are so dedicated, patient, and give very clear instructions to your lovely recipes. Thank you!

Thank you so much for watching Liz!

We made this tonight and it was delicious! We used about half the amount of chipotle sauce (per our tastes), and like a previous commenter, we could only find Goya tamarind nectar in the can, so we used that in place of some of the water, and also added some fresh lime juice. Next time I would cut the amount of water down quite a bit (also as a previous commenter suggested), as we ended up having to take some of the liquid out. Hopefully I can find the real tamarind concentrate in the future, as I will definitely be making this again! We served it over rice and that worked perfectly. Thanks so much for this recipe.

Saw your show for the first time. Fantastic! Just one question, may I use duck instead of chicken? All the best!

Yes, of course you can Eileen!

I saw for this first time on The Chew and ever since then I have been looking to find your show on for the longest on Comcast. Finallly, I discovered that it is broadcast on the WTTW Create channel, 369 in Chicago. I am now a devoted fan of your show and thoroughly enjoy your creative and informative approach toward cooking Mexican cuisine. All the best!!!!

Happy you found the show Thomas! :)

Hi Pati.
We’re so excited to make this for Passover this weekend!
For the tamarind, w only found frozen Goya pulp. How much do we use?
Thanks so much!

Hola Eric, Latin tamarind has sugar added to it so, use the same amount as the recipe but add sugar to the pulp. Hope this helps!

What channel did I see you on in Tallahassee, Florida? and what regular time are you broadcast…daily weekly or without a predictable schedule? Public t.v only or what?? RSVP por favor!!

Hola John, Here is a link to my site that lists the public TV stations that air the show The show is on different times and different days depending on the city and stations. So, the best way to find out the schedule would be to contact your local station. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any trouble :)

Everything that you prepare on your show (that we catch on the Create channel c/o our local PBS station) looks wonderful, but this one looks EXTRA good and I plan on trying it tomorrow. I just have a couple of questions: Aren’t the cooking times for the chicken, indicated on the recipe, about twice as long as normal cooking times? I usually sear chicken pieces on the stovetop, flip them over, add whatever stuff I want to have cook with the chicken and place it in a 400-deg. oven for about 35 to 40 min. I know that this is all “stovetop” and you mention “low heat” for 45 minutes to an hour, but when you say to add water (after that) and let it simmer–along with the apricots, apricot preserves and chipotle/tamarind additions for another 35 minutes isn’t that an extremely long time? (Even for the chicken thighs that I have learned to enjoy on account of my wife’s preference for them.) Maybe this is to let the flavors get INTO the chicken rather than just ONTO the chicken? I don’t know and this is why I’m asking. The other thing is about “incorporating” the other skillet ingredients. Wouldn’t the “incorporation” best be achieved by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a separate pan then pouring the mixture over the chicken? Or perhaps removing the chicken from the skillet, mixing the ingredients in the skillet and then adding back the chicken? I’m glad you mentioned Tamarind concentrate and/or Tamarind nectar because actual tamarinds are probably pretty rare around these parts. I’m not sure if I’m going to serve this with your Rice and Angelhair pasta or your Rice and Poblano casserole, but in either case I know it will be a superb meal. Thank you for all that you do.

WLIW Create just broadcast this show on Sat. and the chicken dish looks amazing. Just a quick question: will Thai tamarind concentrate work?

Am also very curious about the flan because I’ve never made one without milk or coconut milk. Will try this next week.

Can we look forward to a Season 3?

Thai tamarind concentrate will work if you dilute it (3 tablespoons) with warm water (1/2 cup) and combine with sugar (1/2 cup). Yes! look forward to season 3!

Hi Pati. Would the tamarind concentrate work for making fresh “agua de tamarindo”? how about Tamarindo Popscicles?


Late reply, but for another reader- the answer is yes. I had some of the concentrate leftover and just added enough water( to taste) and served it with the meal. My husband ( Mexican) was loved the meal, but was even impressed that I made fresh agua de tamarindo.

Delicious dish! I will make this over and over again. I served it with Cuban-style tostones! a meal so delish I closed my eyes to savor it!

Kat, I’m so happy you tried my recipe! Thank you!! Sounds amazing with Cuban tostones.

Great idea! Since I’m Cuban, I think ANYTHING goes well with tostones!

Made the recipe with the Thai tamarind concentrate and it came out delicious.

I made this just as it says and it’s too watery and never looks thick like the picture which shows it looking more like mole. The second time I made it, I removed most of the oil, used 2 cups of water and it was perfect. Try it and maybe adjust the water measurement. Thanks

This recipe turned out to be everything I hoped for – and more! I’ve always enjoyed dishes that combine meat/poultry with fruit and I prepared the chicken with tamarind, apricots & chipotle as soon as I was able to identify and locate the prepared tamarind concentrate. Pati very kindly helped by providing me with the Spanish translation: “concentrado de tamarind.” This made it easy to find the concentrate at our nearby Mexican supermarket.

It’s not the simplest recipe to prepare but it’s far from difficult and the extra work was well worthwhile. The dish is absolutely delicious and I plan to include it among my regular recipe list.

Side note: we had a lot of leftover sauce which is yummy on plain steamed rice! It provided a whole second meal for us.

This recipe looks great and I really want to try it. I have a 12 ounce block labeled “wet seedless tamarind.” How much do I need and how do I use it here?

Hola Steve, It sounds like you have tamarind paste. Mix two tablespoons of your tamarind paste with 3/4 cup water & 1 tablespoon sugar, and use it in place of the tamarind concentrate.

I live in a fairly large city with many Latino and International food stores. I couldn’t find the Tamarind concentrate anywhere so I made it from scratch. It wasn’t that difficult to make. I think 4 cups of water is too much to add. It’s been simmering for 30 minutes and still has a long way to go in reducing. Can’t wait until it’s done. It smells good.

Hope you like it! Just take into consideration that it will thicken, considerably, as it cools.

As a follow up, it thickened nicely and was incredible! Love the show!

Hi Patti,
I made this recipe recently. I used store bought tamarind paste which is very tart. I kept adding more apricot preserves to counteract the tartness. I am wondering if the quantities of tamarind and preserves are reversed. In the end it the chicken was really good though. Please let me know.
Thank you so much…. Lisa

Hola L, Thank you for making my recipe! You want to use tamarind concentrate, which you can make from tamarind paste by dissolving 3 tablespoons of paste & 1/2 cup sugar in 1/2 cup boiling water.

Hola Patti,
Muchas gracias for responding to my question. I look forward to making the recipe again soon the right way!
Be well…Lisa

Yes, it seems like 45 minutes to an hour to cook the chicken in oil, even on low heat.

How about using date syrup rather than tamarind for Rosh HaShana?

That sounds like a great adaptation. Only thing is that tamarind has tart edge to it, and dates dont, but I am sure it will be lovely.

But I am still concerned about the cooking time in the oil for 45 minutes! Won’t it burn?

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