Pipian Verde - Seared Duck Breast in a Green Pipian Sauce

This pipian sauce pairs well with poultry, but can certainly be served over your favorite pork chop or steak as well.
Course Duck, Main Course, Pipian
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 2 Servings


  • Ingredients
  • For Pipian Sauce
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic skin on
  • 2 serrano peppers
  • 1 pound washed tomatillos
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried chile piquin optional
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup toasted pepitas
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ┬áchicken caldo de pollo bouillon
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

You Will Also Need

  • 1 large duck breast with skin on 1 pound at room temperature
  • salt and pepper



  • For the sauce: In a large skillet or comal at medium heat, add the onion, garlic serrano, tomatillos and chile piquin. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and cook the vegetables until the skins begin to blacken in spots and vegetables cook through most of the way. Remove the chile piquin after a minute, set aside. Turn as needed, removing the cloves of garlic after 15 minutes..
  • Remove skins from garlic, add to blender, along with onion, serrano, tomatillos, chile piquin, 1/4 cup pepitas, cilantro, oregano, bouillon, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Blend on high until smooth. Taste for salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat in a sauce pan or skillet. After a few minutes pour in the pipian sauce from the blender. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking partially covered for 20 to 25 minutes. Taste for salt, cover and remove from heat.
  • For the duck: Preheat oven to 395 degrees F. Season the duck breast with salt and fresh cracked pepper on both sides. Place duck, skin side down, into a cold cast iron skillet or heavy skillet. Heat to medium. In about 8 to 10 minutes the skin should be brown, crisp and ready to flip over. When it's crisp and brown, flip over and cook for 1 minute. Transfer the whole pan to the oven and continue cooking for 4 to 6 minutes or until the internal temperature reads between 143 and 145 degrees F. Remove from oven, then transfer duck breast to cutting board and cover loosely with foil paper. Let rest for 5 minutes. If you need, warm the pipian sauce while the duck is resting. Slice the breast into 8 slices. Ladle the pipian sauce generously over the duck. Serve with rice. Yields 2 to 4 servings.