Chicken pipian is mole’s first cousin! That’s the best way I can describe it to followers who ask me. It’s definitely not as complicated as a mole sauce, but it’s as delicious.
So it’s not a mole sauce then?
Spice of life!
The spices added play a key part on the flavors that the sauce will yield in the end. That little bit of cinnamon, clove and all spice are subtle, but definitely shine through after a day. I have come a long way when it comes to incorporating spices into my recipes. Less is more! Don’t go overboard.
Keep it simple.
A simple side of your favorite rice and some fresh garnishes. oh, and don’t forget the warm tortillas! If I had thought of it earlier, I would have added some fresh pinto or black beans to the plate.
Above in the ingredient photo, I forgot to label the 2 chile morita. They are smoky just like the chipotle in adobo. If you don’t mid a little spice, it’s a definite must add.
For me, it’s all about the chicken thighs when it comes to recipes like this. So moist and flavorful compared to chicken breast. I enjoy chicken breast, but not for this recipe.
I invested in a power blender a few years ago!
After I purchased my power blender a few years back, I never had to strain another chile sauce! never! It breaks everything down so well that that there is nothing left to strain out.
Fresh garnishes are always present on a Mexican table!
Many, many, many Mexican dishes require garnishes. Not that they are not delicious on there own. The garnishes compliment the other flavors and textures, in my opinion. It makes for a well rounded eating experience! Pickled red onions are one of my favorites!
We cannot eat a traditional Mexican dish without tortillas!
It was true in our house growing up! Tortillas, mostly corn, were included in every Mexican meal. On occasion, there would be flour tortillas, but only for certain dishes.
Red Chicken Pipian- Pipian Rojo
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 pounds chicken thighs skin on, bone in
- 4 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 2 chile ancho stems and seeds removed
- 2 chile guajillo stems and seeds removed
- 1-2 chile morita or chipotle stems and seeds removed
- 1/3 onion roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 roma tomato sliced in half
- 1/3 cup roasted pepitas
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 inch piece Mexican cinnamon stick
- 2 whole cloves
- 4 whole all spice
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup Pickled red onions see link above
- 1/4 cup Extra sesame seeds
- Your favorite rice
- In a deep skillet, add 3 tablespoons of oil ans preheat at medium for 4-5 minutes.
- Season the chicken on both sides lightly with salt and pepper, set aside.
- Once oil is hot, sear the seasoned chicken, skin side down, for 5 minutes per side. Remove from skillet onto plate. Set aside.
- In that same skillet, add the onions, garlic, tomatoes and dried chiles. Stir frequently, for 5 minutes,so chiles don't burn. Add the cinnamon, cloves and all spice.
- To the skillet, add 2 cups of chicken broth. Bring up to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes
- When ready, transfer all of the ingredients in the skillet to a blender. Add the pepitas and 1/4 cup sesame seeds. Cover tightly and blend on high until very smooth. I use a power blender, so there's no need to strain the sauce. You may need to strain with a regular blender.
- In the same skillet , add 1 tablespoon of reserved oil and preheat to medium for a few minutes. Pour in the pipian sauce from the blender, along with the remaining 2 cups of broth.
- When it comes up to a boil, taste it for salt. Add the chicken pieces back in. Cover 3/4 of the way and continue cooking at a steady simmer for up to 45 minutes or until the sauce thickens and reduces.
- Serve with plenty of sauce, a side of rice. Garnish chicken with pickled red onions and extra toasted sesame seeds.