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Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

Thick, Rich Chicken Pepian

This Guatemalan dish should be thick, rich and chalk full of flavor, which this recipe toes the mark perfectly. Pepian can be made with beef, pork or white meat chicken as well, but truly try to find squash or pumpkin seeds(pepita's)in your local supermarket. It makes this dish authentic and gives it a great crunch.(See NOTE below).

Ingredients

For 3 people

Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
  • 2 tomatilloes, husked and roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas, shelled
  • 1 (7-ounce)can Chipotles in Adobo Sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce)can tomato puree or sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and cumin
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
  • Hot cooked Cilantro-Lime Rice, recipe below

Thick, Rich Chicken Pepian Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. When hot, add garlic, tomatilloes and onion. Cook, while stirring frequently until onions and tomatilloes are tender, about 12-14 minutes. Remove from heat and add to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add pepitas, chipotles(with liquid) tomato puree and spices. Puree until as smooth as desired; set aside. Wash out skillet and place remainder of oil in it over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until thoroughly done. Add tomato mixture, stir to combine, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until thickened. I break the chicken up more when cooking, but this is optional Serve hot with Cilantro-Lime Rice.
  2. To make Cilantro-Lime Rice, simply add 2 cups water, 1 cup white rice, 1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro and 2 teaspoons lime juice to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed. Remove cover to fluff and serve hot. 
  3. NOTE: If you can't find pepitas in your local supermarket, simply use shelled, sunflower seeds. These are the perfect substitution.
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