Pipián Verde

Makes 8 servings


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1 onion (6 oz.), quartered
1/2 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 fresh jalapeño chilies (2 oz. total), stemmed
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 romaine lettuce leaves
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
1/4 cup radish leaves
1 2/3 cups (about 1/2 lb.) hulled, salted, and roasted pumpkin seeds
6 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup (about 1/4 lb.) unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
1/3 cup Asian sesame seed
4 to 6 warm poached or baked boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 3/4 to 2 1/2 lb. total), sliced, or 2 pounds warm cooked firm-flesh fish, such as halibut or swordfish
Cilantro sprigs
Salt and pepper


1. In a 6- to 8-quart pan, combine onion, tomatillos, chilies, garlic, and 2 1/2 cups water.

2. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender when pierced, about 20 minutes. Drain.

3. In a food processor or blender, smoothly purée vegetable mixture with romaine, cilantro, and radish leaves.

4. Pour about half the purée into a bowl; set aside.

5. Add 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds and 1/2 cup broth to purée in food processor; whirl until mixture is smooth. Pour into cooking pan.

6. Pour purée from bowl back into food processor. Add peanuts, sesame seed, and 1/2 cup broth and whirl until smooth. Add to pan.

7. Add 3 cups broth to pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 30 minutes. Sauce will look curdled.

8. In a food processor or blender, whirl about half the sauce and 1 cup broth until smooth. Pour into a fine strainer over a bowl, pressing sauce through with the back of a spoon; discard residue.

9. Purée remaining sauce and 1 cup broth, and rub through strainer. (If making ahead, cover when cool and chill airtight up to 2 days.)

10. Return sauce to pan and stir over medium heat until hot.

11. Ladle about 3/4 cup sauce onto each dinner plate; lay chicken in sauce and garnish with cilantro sprigs and remaining pumpkin seeds. Accompany with remaining sauce and salt and pepper to add to taste.

Created date

October 2003

Nutritional Information

Calories 438
Caloriesfromfat 41 %
Protein 42 g
Fat 20 g
Satfat 3.8 g
Carbohydrate 25 g
Fiber 4.1 g
Sodium 310 mg
Cholesterol 79 mg