ODC/Dance’s Cora Cliburn Shares Her Green Chile Stew Recipe

December 28, 2021

One of Cora Cliburn’s favorite memories of growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is of smelling the local Hatch green chiles roasting each fall. Many locals have their own versions of a green chile stew—and heartily debate which is best, says Cliburn. The ODC/Dance member says her own favorite is her mom’s recipe, which uses ingredients like the squash and zucchini that she would grow in their garden. But it’s the iconic green chiles that bring a spicy, smoky taste to the dish, Cliburn says. “This stew is a healthy option for dancers that warms up the soul.” Cliburn, who worked as a fellow at Stanford University’s Sustainable Food Program, is mostly a vegetarian. When she’s cooking for herself, she typically makes this recipe with tempeh, but adds chicken when cooking for others. 


An Asian woman holds a bowl of soup at a wooden table, smiling at the camera
Courtesy Cliburn
  • 2 tbsps olive oil 
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • small handful of cilantro, chopped 
  • 2 cups green chiles, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • pinch of red cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 large yellow squash, cubed
  • 2 large zucchini, cubed
  • 4 large potatoes, cubed (can substitute corn)
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • salt


  1.  Sauté the chicken in half the olive oil, then cube it. 
  2. In a large pot, sauté onion, garlic and chopped cilantro in remaining olive oil over medium heat until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add green chile, chicken, chicken broth, water, oregano, cayenne pepper, cumin, black beans, yellow squash, zucchini, potatoes (or corn) and tomatoes. Add salt to taste. 
  4.  Cover and simmer on low for one hour. 
  5.  Garnish with more cilantro and serve with cornbread or tortillas.