Chicken Pipian Verde (Chicken in Pepita – Tomatillo Sauce)
Serves 4. Total time about 1 ½ hours. Easy to prepare.
The pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) give this sauce a unique toasty, rich flavor. Serve with your
favorite Mexican sides such as Spanish rice and beans. This dish is equally good with
grilled/roasted vegetables and polenta.
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Pipian Verde Sauce:
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ C. chopped shallots ( or ½ onion chopped)
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
¼ tsp. Black pepper, ground
1 C. chicken broth
1 lb. tomatillos, husk removed, washed and sliced
3 Pablano peppers
¼ C. Cilantro leaves
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 C. raw, unsalted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
Salt & pepper to taste
Coat chicken breasts with lime juice and lightly with olive oil and refrigerate until ready to grill.
Sauce: Heat chopped onion or shallot in olive oil in a medium sized, heavy saucepan over
moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add chopped garlic and ground pepper and
continue cooking for 1 – 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and tomatillos. Simmer tomatillo mixture
until it starts to thicken and tomatillos are soft, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, roast pablano peppers in a toaster oven set to broil. Turn the peppers as the skin
begins to char and blister, until they are charred on all sides. (You can also roast peppers by
placing directly over a low flame on the stove top or in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.)
Place charred peppers in a glass bowl, cover with a lid and let sit for 10 minutes. This will allow
them to sweat and make it easier to peel. Peel the charred skin from the pepper, remove the
seeds and stem and chop coarsely. Place peppers in a blender along with the cilantro leaves,
sugar and lime juice and set aside.
Preheat and ready your grill for the chicken. Set grill to medium heat.
Preheat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat till hot. Toast the pepitas (pumpkin seeds),
stirring constantly, until they begin to pop and turn a toasty brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Watch closely! Don’t let them burn. Immediately transfer seeds to a plate to cool. Reserve 2
Tbsp. for garnish.
When tomatillo mixture looks ready you can begin grilling your chicken. Put chicken on grill and
set timer for 4 – 5 minutes, depending on thickness.
Open beer and take a few swigs. Set aside.
Once tomatillo mixture is ready, let it cool slightly (while you put chicken on the grill) then add
this along with the pepitas to the peppers and cilantro mixture in the blender. Begin blending.
If sauce is too thick, add some beer. Blend until semi-smooth. There will still be some
coarseness from the pepitas. If you prefer your sauces really smooth, keep blending. Add salt &
pepper to taste.
Turn chicken and grill another 4 – 5 minutes until just cooked through.
Spoon sauce over chicken and garnish with reserved pepitas.
Recipe submitted by Peg Gerlock. This is a traditional Mexican recipe and has been adapted from from several other adaptions.