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Sope de Pollo

Prep Time:2 Hours
Cook Time:30 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Sopes are a great main dish or can be made smaller to serve as an appetizer.


  • For the Sauce:
  • 4 ounces dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and each torn into several pieces
  • 4 each garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • .5 each onion
  • 4 cups chicken stock, approximately, this depends on the size of the pot you use
  • .5 teaspoon black pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • .25 teaspoon cumin, preferably freshly ground
  • For the Sopes:
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1.25 cups lard or crisco
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 4 cups corn masa for tamales OR 3 1/2 cups dried masa harina for tamales, for class we used Maseca Tamal
  • 4 cups chicken stock or water, or more if your dough seems dry
  • 1.5 lb. Chicken thighs
  • 4 ounces Mexican crema or creme fraiche
  • 2 ounces Cotija cheese


  • 1. If using a mixer add lard and baking powder and beat for about five minutes. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth adding more liquid if dough seems dry. One way to test this is if you take a tablespoon of dough and add it to a cup of water it should float. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for about an hour. Remove from refrigerator and form into 3 oz. patties. Oil and cast iron pan and sear until golden brown on both sides.
  • 2. Preheat Egg to 350ºF with cast iron grate for direct heat. Place chiles in a heavy duty cast iron pan and add it to the Egg. Turn chiles every couple of minutes until toasted and fragrant, about 10-15 minutes. Keep the pan on the grate and remove chiles with tongs. Next, add just enough oil to coat the bottom of your pan. Place onion (cut side down) and garlic in the pan and sear until well caramelized. Chop onion and garlic and remove seeds and stems from chiles. Add chiles, garlic and onion to a dutch oven or sauce pot big enough to fit everything into and add stock to just barely cover everything. Bring to a simmer and cook until the onions are completely translucent and chiles are softened about 30 minutes. Strain the chiles and reserve the cooking liquid. Place solids into a food processor with about a cup of liquid, cumin and black pepper and puree. Add more liquid until you have a smooth and slightly runny paste. Taste and season with salt.
  • 3. Brine chicken thighs for about 15 minutes using the basic brine (on website). Remove from the brine pat dry and season with rub of your choice or just salt and pepper. Grill chicken thighs at 450ºF over direct heat. Slice thinly and toss with the sauce.
  • 4. Top your sopes with the chicken and serve with Mexican crema or creme fraiche and cotija cheese.
  • 5. You will have extra dough that can be wrapped and frozen. When you remove from the freezer, let thaw at room temperature. Place dough in mixer and beat slowly while adding just enough liquid to soften.
  • 6. For 5/1/19 class we used brisket in place of chicken.

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Chef JJ’s is a unique, personal and hands-on culinary experience with a focus on kamado style cooking, corporate team building, private events and grilling classes. Indy's large party restaurant. Indianapolis, Indiana 317.602.3828