June 11, 2011 11:30 AM
Chicken with Tamarind, Apricots and Chipotle Sauce
POSTED IN: TV Show Recipes , Pati's Mexican Table
TAGS: apricots , chicken , chipotle , EP111 , food , mexican , recipe , tamarind
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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 concentrate, store bought or homemade (recipe follows)
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 low heat. Add the chicken pieces in one layer, and slowly brown the chicken pieces for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn them over occasionally, so they will brown evenly on all sides. Pour water over the chicken, raise the heat to medium-high to bring to a simmer.

Incorporate apricots, apricot preserve, tamarind concentrate, 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!

Marty Riggs | July 10, 2011 1:02 PM

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

Mel | July 21, 2011 7:32 PM

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 Draznin | July 22, 2011 5:05 AM

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

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Ilsa Draznin | July 22, 2011 11:16 AM

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.

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Mel | July 28, 2011 12:08 PM

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 Meeks | August 13, 2011 2:52 PM

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.

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Ann Meeks | August 15, 2011 10:11 PM

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...

Janelle | September 6, 2011 1:26 PM

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!

Poppy | September 11, 2011 11:06 PM

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

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Poppy | September 14, 2011 1:30 PM

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

Ray | September 15, 2011 1:53 PM

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?

Anne | November 10, 2011 3:35 PM

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

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Anne | November 15, 2011 11:10 AM

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

Liz Mackie | January 15, 2012 4:34 PM

Thank you so much for watching Liz!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Liz Mackie | January 16, 2012 3:05 PM

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.

Mel | March 26, 2012 1:35 AM

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

Eileen | April 2, 2012 10:26 AM


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!!!!

Thomas Barbee | April 2, 2012 5:03 PM

Yes, of course you can Eileen!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Eileen | April 4, 2012 11:06 AM

Happy you found the show Thomas! :)

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Thomas Barbee | April 5, 2012 4:26 PM

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!

Eric | April 5, 2012 9:26 PM

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!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Eric | April 9, 2012 2:09 PM

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!!

john sailors | May 5, 2012 6:22 AM

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 :)

Pati Jinich replied to comment from john sailors | May 9, 2012 3:14 PM

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.

John Carlson | July 16, 2012 10:38 AM