Prep 15 mins
Cook 40 mins
From Epicurious.com. Very traditional mesoamerican ingredients combine for a rich textured dish typical of Puebla, Mexico. This is a mild, layered sauce. Feel free to adjust the seasoning to make it your own - you can omit the cilantro, choose a hotter or milder chile, or remove the chicken skin and bones before serving. Most of the sauce preparation takes place while the chicken is simmering. For a quick meal after a long day, the chicken and the sauce can also be made ahead of time, with the final steps of the dish taking only a few minutes to heat and assemble.
- 5 cups water
- 6 chicken thighs, with skin and bones
- 1⁄4 large white onion
- 3 garlic cloves, halved
- 3 large sprigs fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 2⁄3 cups pumpkin seeds, shelled
- 6 peppercorns, whole black
- 12 ounces tomatillos, husked, rinsed, coarsely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup white onion, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3 medium serrano peppers, chopped with seeds
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons corn oil
- For chicken, bring all ingredients to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Then, transfer chicken to bowl; cover to keep warm. (Remove skin and bones if desired.) Reserve chicken broth in pot; spoon off fat from surface.
- Meanwhile, begin the sauce by heating heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add pepitas; stir frequently until seeds puff and begin to pop, about 15 minutes. (Be patient; do not brown). Transfer to dish; cool.
- Set aside 2 tablespoons pepitas for garnish. Working in batches, finely grind remaining pepitas with peppercorns in spice mill or coffee grinder.
- After the chicken is cooked, puree tomatillos, next 5 ingredients, and 1/2 cup reserved chicken broth in blender until almost smooth. (If you're preparing the meat and sauce to be assembled later, stop here.).
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatillo mixture and simmer until sauce is thick and reduced to 1 cup, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
- Heat remaining 4 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add ground pepita mixture. Stir constantly until mixture resembles very coarse paste and begins to color in spots, about 9 minutes.
- Add tomatillo mixture; stir 1 minute.
- Add 2 cups reserved chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is thick, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes longer.
- Season sauce to taste with salt.
- Spoon some sauce onto platter. Top with chicken. Spoon remaining sauce over. Garnish with reserved 2 tablespoons pepitas.