Photo by Leslie Limón

Pollo a la Cacerola (Dutch Oven-Baked Chicken)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
This recipe for Pollo a la Cacerola includes tender bone-in chicken with onions, hot banana peppers and zucchini baked in a garlic and tomato salsa.

One of the most used and treasured items in my kitchen is my cacerola (a traditional enamel pot/Dutch oven) that once belonged to my suegra (mother-in-law). I use my cacerola for absolutely everything from pastas to soups to capirotada (traditional Mexican bread pudding), and for baking comforting dishes like this Pollo a la Cacerola. Every family has their own unique recipe for making Pollo a la Cacerola. My family’s recipe includes tender pieces of bone-in chicken with onions, hot banana peppers, and Mexican calabacitas (zucchini) baked in a simple garlic and tomato salsa.


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  1. Bring tomatoes and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low; let simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until tomatoes are cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree the tomatoes with the garlic, chicken bouillon cube, and 1 cup of the cooking water until smooth.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Season the chicken generously with salt and black pepper. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Fry the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side until light golden brown. Stir in the onion, hot banana peppers, and Mexican calabacitas. Pour in the tomato puree and place cilantro sprigs on top of the chicken.
  3. Cover and bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving. Serve with white rice, a fresh green salad, and warm corn tortillas.
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