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Chicken in
Red Pipian

This is an exquisite dish and very traditional of the Mexican cuisine , where the chicken is combined with the exotic pipian salsa.

The origin of the word pipian, borns from the necessity that the Spaniards had of naming a new reality for them. This happened when they knew the
pumpkin seeds and they related them with what they already knew like the cantaloupe, the apple, the cucumber, etc. They concluded in naming them pepitas and for that reason this salsa is called pipian as it is prepared with pumpkin seeds.

*Although if we would want to be too precise in the name of the salsa it should be called “pepian", it is more correct.

The beauty of the pipian salsa is that it combines very exotic ingredients. Apart from using pumpkin seeds also sesame seed, guajillo pepper, ancho pepper and more ingredients are used that make the pipian have a thick consistency, a rough texture and an unbeatable flavor . It is a salsa that is very similar to the moles.

Before enjoying this main course you can start with a
soup or salad – and when the moment comes to enjoy the chicken in pipian, it can be accompanied with a rice.

About the Recipe

  • In this recipe the pipian salsa has to be prepared, which is laborious and also the chicken has to be cooked, which is easy.
  • The chicken in pipian can be prepared with the chicken pieces that you like the most.
  • In this recipe chicken stock is needed, which can be obtained from the liquid where the chicken is cooked.
  • The pumpkin seeds that are used to prepare the pipian, should not have salt nor any flavoring.
  • The total preparation time is of .
  • The recipe serves 4 plates.


  • 1.1 lbs of Chicken Pieces
  • 2 Ancho Peppers (.7 oz)
  • 2 Guajillo Peppers (.7 oz)
  • 2 Tomatoes (14.1 oz)
  • 3/4 of an Onion (3.7 oz)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (.2 oz)
  • 1/2 cup of Pumpkin Seeds (2.6 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon of Sesame Seeds (.2 oz)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 cups of Chicken Stock (16.9 fl oz)
  • 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • Pepper to taste
  • 3/4 of a tablespoon of Salt

  • Cookware

  • 2 Saucepans
  • 1 Saucepan Lid
  • 1 Frying Pan
  • 1 Blender
  • 1 Kitchen Spoon
  • 1 Turner

  • Directions

    Cook the Chicken Pieces

    1. Clean 1.1 lbs of chicken pieces and put them in a saucepan.
    2. Also add in the saucepan:
    • 1/2 Onion (2.4 oz).
    • 1 Garlic clove (.1 oz).
    • The enough Water to cover the chicken pieces.
    • 1/2 tablespoon of Salt.

    1. Bring the saucepan water to a boil over high heat.
    2. When it boils cover the saucepan and leave the chicken pieces cooking in the boiling water for about 20 minutes, until they are well cooked.

    Make sure that the chicken is always covered with water because it will consume. If scum accumulates on the surface remove it.

    While the Chicken is Ready... The Pipian Salsa

    1. Put in a frying pan over low heat:
    • 1/2 cup of Pumpkin Seeds.
    • 1 tablespoon of Sesame Seeds.

    1. Roast the frying pan ingredients for about 2 minutes, until they are lightly roasted; stir regularly.

    The pumpkin seeds and the sesame seeds are roasted to potentiate the pipian’s flavor.

    1. Transfer from the frying pan to a blender the seeds that were roasted, then reserve.

    Keep Preparing the Pipian Salsa

    1. Put in another saucepan:
    • 2 Ancho Peppers.
    • 2 Guajillo Peppers.
    • 2 Tomatoes.
    • The enough Water to cover all the ingredients.

    1. Bring the saucepan water to a boil over high heat.
    2. Leave the saucepan ingredients cooking in the boiling water for about 5 minutes, until the chilies soften.
    3. Transfer from the saucepan to the blender, with a kitchen spoon, the ingredients that were cooked.
    4. Also add in the blender:
    • 1/4 of an Onion (1.2 oz).
    • 1 Garlic clove (.1 oz).
    • 1/2 teaspoon of Cinnamon.
    • 2 Cloves.
    • 2 cups of Chicken Stock.
    • Pepper to taste.

    1. Blend very well the ingredients, then set aside.

    Cook the Pipian Salsa

    1. Heat in the saucepan over medium heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
    2. Pour in the saucepan:
    • The Pipian Salsa that was prepared.
    • 1/4 tablespoon of Salt.

    1. Bring the saucepan salsa to a boil over high heat.
    2. When the pipian salsa boils reduce to medium heat and cook it for about 5 minutes, until it thickens a little; stir occasionally. Then set aside.

    Back to the Chicken...

    1. Verify that the chicken pieces that were left cooking are well cooked, its color must be white outside and inside; if not cook them for a longer time.
    2. Take from the saucepan, with the kitchen spoon, all the chicken pieces that were cooked and put them in the saucepan where the pipian salsa that was cooked is.
    3. Mix very well the saucepan ingredients.
    4. Put the saucepan over medium heat and cook the chicken in red pipian for about 2 minutes, until the salsa is very thick; stir regularly.

    A Masterpiece

    Chicken in Red Pipian garnished with pumpkin seeds

    * When the chicken in pipian is served, if you have sesame seeds remaining, put them over the chicken as garnish – the dish will look beautiful.

    Variation: This dish can also be prepared with pork.

    Did you like the Chicken in Pipian?

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    To make the pipian sauce you need some good pumpkin seeds like the Bob’s Red Mill.

    The sesame seed is another very important ingredient in the pipian and here you can buy it organic.

    These “La Costena Chipotle Peppers" have an extraordinary flavor, which is perfect for the pipian sauce.