The Search for Enjococado: Spicy from Chicago

Note: This is part of a four-part recipe series, the Search for Enjococado.

I found this recipe from some googling and it was the first I made, mostly because it seemed like the closest. The flavors are quite wonderful and I was impressed, but something wasn’t quite right. It was clear to me that this recipe was some kind of enjococado, but not the kind I was looking for and definitely not the infamous one found at La Fiesta. It was also a bit too dark – too red – in color, something not hard to control, but I didn’t want to experiment too much the first time around.

This recipe is heavy on the chilies de arbol, causing a much redder color than the enjococado I’m used to. It also makes it quite a bit spicier than I’d like. One of the things I remember from visiting Fiesta Del Mar was its use of sliced almonds as a decoration on top. This recipe used no almonds at all.

Either way, I recommend you give this recipe a try. The flavor was good, albeit not quite what I was looking for.


  • 3 chicken breasts halves (about 1 pound)
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 medium tomatillos
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 6 guajillo chiles (dried, devined, seeds removed)
  • 14 de arbol chiles (dried, devined, seeds removed)
  • ¼ tsp whole cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 small strip Mexican cinnamon (1 cm width, 4 cm long)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 15 oz container of Mexican cream
  • salt to taste


  1. Season the chicken generously with salt.
  2. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, add oil and heat to medium heat.
  3. Brown chicken pieces until they are about half cooked (in batches if needed).
  4. When chicken is cooked completely, remove from skillet and set aside.
  5. While chicken is browning, place tomatillos and tomatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil.
  6. Once done, remove from heat add chiles and cover until chiles are rehydrated and soft.
  7. Place cumin seed, onion, garlic, cinnamon strip, and oil in a small skillet and gently fry on medium heat for 3-5 minutes to release and combine flavors.
  8. When onions are soft, remove from heat and place spices and onions in blender jar. (If you used a regular cinnamon stick, remove from mixture and throw out.)
  9. While reserving liquid, drain tomatillos, tomatoes, and chiles and place in blender jar.
  10. Add about 1 cup of reserved liquid to the blender jar.
  11. Blend well until sauce is very smooth.
  12. While chicken skillet is still hot, pour in sauce and stir to release brown chicken bits at the bottom of the pan.
  13. Replace chicken in sauce, reduce to medium-low heat, and cover.
  14. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until chicken is done. If sauce because too thick, add water or chicken broth in small amounts.
  15. Add Mexican cream and stir to combine.
  16. Simmer for 10 minutes to combine flavors and warm cream.
  17. Add salt as necessary.









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