Chicken in Pipian Sauce

Chicken in Pipian Sauce

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  • 4 boneless skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Green Pipian Sauce

  • 1 1/4 cup green pumpkin seeds pepitas
  • 1 pound tomatillos husked and rinsed
  • 1 serrano chile stemmed
  • 1/2 medium white onion roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth preferably organic, warmed
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the chicken

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Slide your fingertips beneath the skin of each chicken breast to loosen.
  • Drizzle each breast with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, rubbing beneath and on top of the skin.
  • Place the chicken on a baking sheet or in a baking dish and roast in the oven until the chicken is cooked through, about 35 minutes.
  • Set aside and cover with foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile, for the sauce

  • Preheat a large, heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot.
  • Toast the pumpkin seeds, stirring constantly, until they have expanded and begin to pop, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the seeds to a plate to cool.
  • Reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish.
  • In a medium, heavy saucepan, simmer the tomatillos, serrano and onions in salted water to cover until the tomatillos turn a dark green color, about 10 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatillos, serrano and onions to a blender and puree with the chicken broth, cilantro, sugar and toasted pumpkin seeds until smooth (the sauce will be a little coarse).
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • To serve, remove the skin from the chicken breasts and slice the chicken crosswise on the bias.
  • Transfer to a serving plate.
  • Spoon the green pipian sauce on top and garnish with the reserved toasted pumpkin seeds.
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