In the kitchen with Vinicio: Jocon

JoconWe have a new recipe for you in our semi-monthly series with Vinicio, head chef for our food service in Guatemala. Trying out traditional Guatemala recipes is a way for you to experience and share Guatemalan culture with friends and family back home. This month’s recipe: Jocon, a kind of chicken stew with a green vegetable base that includes tomatillo, cilantro, spinach, green peppers, and broccoli. Read on for the recipe and the steps to make it at home!

Ingredients for Jocon

*Serves four people

1-½ pounds of chicken legs and thighs
½ pound of tomatillo
5 green onions
½ handful of fresh cilantro
1 pound spinach
3 green peppers
1 pound of green tomatoes
1 head broccoli
2 stalks of celery

  1. Place chicken thighs and salt to taste in a pot and cover with water. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove meat and set aside broth.
  2. Cut all vegetables into chunks. Place in a separate pot and add enough water to reach half the level of the vegetables. Cook for 10 minutes or until veggies are tender. Blend veggies and water together, using some of the chicken broth to thin out the sauce.
  3. Return to pot and add chicken broth al gusto, i.e. to taste. Adjust salt, then boil for 10 minutes. Add chicken to mix and cook for 5 minutes more.
  4. Serve with rice and tortillas.

*If you would like the Jocon to be spicy, add a green spicy pepper to the vegetable mixture.

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4 Responses to In the kitchen with Vinicio: Jocon

  1. Sally Thomas August 12, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    I’ve got a recipe question! I have a different jocon recipe and would like to try this one, but my recipe comes out a fairly bright green color and I’m wondering why this looks so brown, more like pepian. And what are those brown, roundish things in the photo above? As well as that big bowl of brown things mixed together? I’m just a little confused and want to figure it out before I make the recipe. Thanks for any help you can give!


    • Lizz Weidenbach August 13, 2014 at 9:31 am #

      Hi Sally! I can ask our amigos in Guatemala, but I believe that the “brown roundish things” you’re referring to are the tomitillos. Usually they are more green than the ones pictured above, which is why your recipe might turn out more green than this one did. The big bowl of brown things mixed together is all of the vegetables listed in the recipe (tomatillos, green onions, fresh cilantro, spinach, green peppers, green tomatoes, broccoli, and celery). Cooking and blending them together resulted in a more brown hue, but I think if yours comes out more green, that’s okay!

      • Wiley August 21, 2014 at 6:17 am #

        Perhaps the brownish color is a reflection of the color in the bowl?

      • Lizz Weidenbach August 21, 2014 at 8:27 am #

        That could be the case! That plus the lighting in the photo could be making it appear more of a brownish color.

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