Chicken Pepian

I love a whole chicken dish, this is such a great meal to make around the holidays. The purees give this simple protein much needed deep, rich, layered flavors and it is very easy. Perfect for parties, week night meals or family gatherings. I suggest serving with Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec.

Servings: 4-5

Total Time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

Tomatillo Puree

  • 2 Spanish onions, halved

  • 12 tomatillos, peeled

  • 2 serrano chiles

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled

  • Extra virgin olive oil

Toasted Ingredients

  • 1 quart pumpkin seeds, shelled

  • 1 tablespoons star anise seeds

  • 5 pieces Mexican cinnamon

Blanched Ingredients

  • 1 bunch parsley

  • 1 bunch cilantro

  • 2 bunches epazote

Chicken

  • 1 3-5-pound free-range chicken, broken down into half portions

  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat an oven to 400°F. Combine the onions, tomatillos, serrano chiles and garlic on a half sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, until a char has formed on the outsides of the ingredients. Keep the oven on. Remove and puree in a blender until smooth in consistency.

  2. Combine the pumpkin seeds, star anise seeds and cinnamon on a half sheet pan. Toast at 400°F for approximately 10 minutes. Set aside.

  3. Blanch and shocked the parsley, cilantro and epazote. Puree in a blender with two tablespoons of olive oil.

  4. Puree the pumpkin seed mixture in a blender, adding in the onion, tomatillo, serrano chile and garlic mixture. Once combined, add two tablespoons of the herb mixture.

  5. Place the half chicken in hot sauté pan to get an initial sear on the skin for approximately 3 minutes, then place under a roasting brick in the oven for approximately 12 minutes at 400°F. Once the chicken has completed cooked and cooled enough to handle, break down into three pieces -breast, thigh and leg.

  6. To plate, spoon the sauce mixture on the middle of the plate, place chicken in the center of the plate and garnish with pumpkin seed brittle.

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