Tag Archives: Chicken

Oaxaca Inspired Sweet-Savory Orange Chicken Recipe: Mango and Carrots

My first day back in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, after a six-week Durham, North Carolina hiatus. I had to drive La Tuga, my 2004 Honda Element to Tlacolula for clutch repair, so I handed 200 pesos (the equivalent of $11 USD) to Federico and asked him to pick up a few things for me at the village market. My cupboards (and refrigerator) were bare.

On the cook top, mango carrot orange chicken

I specified only a bit of chicken, some fruit and veggies. He returned with four carrots, four Ataulfo mangoes — now in season, two onions, one orange pepsicum, four red apples, four chayote squash and some limes. The key seemed to be the number four. Oh, yes, two chicken drumsticks and two thighs equal four.

So, I give you Sweet-Savory Orange Chicken with Mango and Carrots.

Utensils: four-quart, oven-proof clay baker or stainless steel pot, paring knife, utility knife, large spoon. You might want to use a slow cooker/crock pot. That would work, too.


  • 2 chicken thighs and 2 chicken drumsticks, skinned
  • 2 teaspoons salt and fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 3 carrots, cleaned and peeled, sliced 1/4 inch thickness
  • 1 white onion, large diced
  • 2 Ataulfo mangoes, cut as shown in photo
  • 2 red apples, skinned, sliced thin
  • 1 orange pepsicum (sweet pepper), diced
  • 1 very small mild red chili pepper, seeded and stemmed
  • 4 cups water

Add salt (I prefer sea salt) and fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients. Put pot on top of heat diffuser. Cook on slow simmer for two-to-three hours.  Serve first course as a consomme/chicken broth.  Serve second course of chicken with mango/carrot melange over steamed rice, accompanied by fresh steamed chayote or zucchini squash.

I bet you could make this in a crock pot, too.

How cut a mango: lengthwise to separate two halves from seed

Serves two to four, depending on appetites.

Some years ago, many, in fact, I owned a gourmet cooking school and cookware shop in South Bend, Indiana. It was called Clay Kitchen.  I contracted with famous chefs from around the world to teach, and taught a few classes myself. My preference, still, is to see what ingredients I have at hand and make something up. This one, today, tastes pretty darn good and you should smell my kitchen!

A remaining pepper from my winter terrace garden, seeded, crumbled

Clay Kitchen, Inc. is a memory. We were in business for just under five years during one of the roughest financial downturns of the early 80’s when interest rates on inventory climbed to over 20 percent. Pre-internet, a Google search only comes up with our Indiana corporation registration and dissolution.  There is no other documentation.

My business partner then remains an important friend now. We modeled ourselves after Dean & DeLuca in NYC and aspired to greatness. When we closed, we cried and moved on.

Mole Amarillo (Yellow Mole with Chicken) Recipe by Pilar Cabrera Arroyo, Buen Provecho!

This recipe enthralled me, captivated me, educated me about how easy it can be to prepare a traditional Oaxacan recipe.  With Pilar’s permission, I am sharing this recipe with you to enjoy and savor. Buen Provecho!  Eat hearty and enjoy!

Pilar Cabrera's Mole Amarillo

Oaxacan Yellow Mole by Pilar Cabrera Arroyo (serves 6)


1 chicken, cut into 6 pieces

1/2 medium onion, chopped coarse

5 garlic cloves, peeled

6 Cups water

1 – 1/2 t. salt

1 medium chayote squash, peeled, cut in slices

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

1 C. green beans (fresh), tops removed

7 guajillo chiles

2 amarillo chiles

1 chilcoxtle chile

4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1/4 medium onion

1 black pepper

1 clove

1 pinch cumin

1 tomato

1 t. corn oil or lard

3 yerba santa leaves or 1 bunch cilantro

1 C. masa



1. Chicken and Vegetables:

Put the chicken pieces into a pot with the onion and garlic.  Fill the pot with water and add salt to taste.  Cook for 35 min. on medium heat until chicken absorbs all the liquids.

Boil the chayote, green beans and potatoes in water until they are cooked but still firm, “al dente” (about 7 minutes).  Set aside.

Peppers on the burner--90% charred!

2. Sauce:

Roast chiles by putting them on the grill of the gas burner.  Sear them, turning regularly until they are 90% charred.  Put them in a plastic bag or in bowl covered with plastic wrap to sweat, then peel.  Remove seeds. Put them into a bowl of water to cover.  Use heavy pan to press the chiles.  The liquid will be used in the sauce.

Use a heavy pan to press the chiles

Roast the onion, garlic and tomatoes on a comal or griddle (high heat) until evenly toasted.  Set aside.

Strain the soaking chiles and put them in a blender with the garlic, onion, tomato, pepper, clove and cumin.  Mix in blender until smooth and creamy.

Heat the oil in a hot pan.  Add the blended mixture.  Cook for 5 min. on medium heat.  Set aside.

Put the masa (corn meal) in a blender along with 1-1/2 C. chicken broth and blend until smooth.  Add this to the sauce and cook for 5 min. stirring constantly over medium heat.  Season with fresh yerba santa or cilantro and salt.  Cook for 7 min. over low heat until sauce begins to thicken.  This should be the consistency of gravy.

Cooking the mole sauce with chicken and vegetables

Finally, add the cooked chicken and vegetables.  Veggies should be firm and chunky.  Remove from heat when chicken and vegetables are warm.  Serve hot. Be sure the veggies are not mushy.

This is a fresh, delicious mole, simple to prepare and not complicated.  Black mole, for which Oaxaca is famous, takes hours to prepare.

Serve with rice, black beans and fresh tortillas.