Pipian, another way to eat pumpkin

[donotprint]I hope you all (the ones who celebrate it, that is) had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with your friends and family. I had a great and relaxing weekend (except the day I cleaned the spare room and put up X-mas decorations) Can you believe is December already? Wow! Time flies! Soon we’ll be celebrating Yuletide, New Year’s, writing down resolutions that we’ll forget in 1 month and eating rosca de reyes. So many parties and celebrations and so little time.  This is my favorite time of the year, starting with the Pumpkin Show in October, in part because I get to spend a lot of time with Jon and his family, in part because I love the cooler weather and the snow and a big part because of all the food.

And speaking of food, here’s another recipe that uses that marvelous seasonal fruit I love, yes you guessed right, pumpkin. Pipian is a mole made with the seeds of the pumpkin. Several recipes online direct to toast or fry the ingredients before mixing them, but my mom told me it tastes a lot better if you used them raw. I have to agree with that. This was a great way to prepare the tons of pumpkin seeds I got out of the monster pumpkin I roasted a couple of weeks ago.[/donotprint]

Pollo en pipian
Makes enough sauce for 6 pieces of chicken

For this recipe you will need:

  • 6 pieces of chicken legs (tighs or drumsticks or both)
  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds, roasted and processed to a fine powder
  • 2 leaves fresh Romain lettuce
  • 1/2 lb tomatillos, cut in quarters
  • 1 poblano pepper, cleaned and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chicken broth


  1. Season chicken legs and fry in 2 TBS of olive oil until golden brown, about 5 minutes each side.
  2. In a blender throw together lettuce, tomatillos, poblano pepper, onion, garlic, cinnamon and cumin with just enough chicken broth to blend all the ingredients into a thick sauce.
  3. Pour sauce over the chicken once this is brown. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
  4. Season to taste and simmer for 25 minutes or until the chicken is thouroughly cooked.
  5. Garnish with chopped roasted pumpkin seeds and serve with Mexican rice.


There you have it. Another delicious and popular Mexican mole that doesn’t require as many ingredients as the traditional poblano mole.

¡Buen provecho!


  • Wow, such an interesting sauce. Its funny that both you & eatingclubvancouver posted variations of it today

  • Never really thought you could do a mole this way, but why not! It’s like doing a pesto using rosemary instead of basil or walnuts instead of pine nuts. It looks pretty too.

  • This is the kind of sauce I would love to learn how to make at a cooking class in the mountains on the outskirts of Mexico City. In the meantime I will keep on dreaming Ben!!

  • Very interesting…I’d love to try it though it’s curious to me why you chose to include 2 Romaine lettuce leaves. Also I’m assuming the processed pumpkin seeds went in the blender. You didn’t mention that. Perhaps you should have used more than 413 words (LOL)!

  • I still have to try mole, but I would love it for sure… and if it’s cooked by you… better :D. I know what you mean with the month’s huge amounts of celebration and food! I all get nuts here too! ;D

  • I haven’t put up any Christmas decorations yet, but I can’t wait!

    This dish sounds wonderful, and it’s definitely a nice change from other chicken recipes,

  • This is so funny — our post today is pipian too! JS read a recipe online, then consulted a Rick Bayless one as well… then I think she kind of winged it! You should tell us if ours is “authentic” enough. =D

    I don’t think ours had enough pumpkin seeds though. =(

  • fabulous, ben! i absolutely love the way mexicans use pumpkin seed. this is a fave – have wanted to make it and yours looks FABULOUS!

  • Ben, this sounds so good. I haven’t had pipian in sooo long. The first time I had it I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but I did. Sounds like a great recipe for this weekend.

  • This is an interesting sauce for mole Ben! I’m intrigued! Yum!

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