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Pipián Verde

Pipián Verde

Sunset MAY 1997

  • Yield: Makes 8 servings


  • 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.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 438
  • Calories from fat: 41%
  • Protein: 42g
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated fat: 3.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 25g
  • Fiber: 4.1g
  • Sodium: 310mg
  • Cholesterol: 79mg

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Pipián Verde Recipe