Along the majestic High Road to Taos, Peñasco’s Sugar Nymphs Bistro, housed in a whimsical building painted with colorful murals, has dazzled diners with made-from-scratch creative fare for more than two decades. The co-owners, chef Kai Harper Leah and pastry chef Ki Holste, created this versatile ranchero sauce for several purposes: to ladle over grilled chicken breasts with mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies, as a base for green chile alfredo pasta sauce, and as a topping for eggs at brunch. Try it with chicken for a flavorful dinner, then use the leftovers for Sunday brunch.

  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 4 cloves diced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Chimayó red chile
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ cup green chile, chopped
  • ½ chicken or vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup canned fire-roasted tomatoes (or you can roast them yourself)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cornstarch whisked with 2 tablespoons water
  • 6 to 8 chicken breasts, grilled
  • Mashed potatoes for 6 to 8 servings

Makes enough sauce for 6 to 8 servings

1. Sauté onion and garlic until the onion is translucent.

2. Stir in salt, cumin, red chile, and smoked paprika. Then add green chile, bouillon cube, water, and tomatoes.

3. Stir in cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce. Let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes. It is ready to serve with chicken and potatoes once you’ve tasted it and adjusted the seasonings to your liking.

This recipe is featured in the "New Mexico Magazine Centennial Cookbook: A Century of Flavors," celebrating a hundred years of culinary heritage.