Chicken with Pumpkin-Seed Mole

They may be tiny, but seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch.

  • Servings: 6
Chicken with Pumpkin-Seed Mole

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2008


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3), each halved
  • 1 small serrano chile
  • 1 small poblano chile
  • 1 small white onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons pepitas (roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Steamed rice, for serving (optional)


  1. Place chicken in a 4-quart pot, and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, and cover.

  2. Place serrano and poblano chiles directly over the flame of a gas-stove burner on high heat. Roast, turning with tongs, until blackened all over. (Alternatively, broil chiles on a baking sheet, turning often, until skin has charred.) Transfer chiles to a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand for 15 minutes. Peel chiles, and remove stems, seeds, and ribs.

  3. Process roasted chiles, onion, garlic, cilantro leaves, 1/2 cup pepitas, cumin, oregano, and 1/2 cup stock in a blender until a coarse paste forms.

  4. Heat oil in a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Add paste, and cook, stirring constantly, until very thick, about 9 minutes. (Reduce heat if mixture begins to scorch.) Whisk remaining 1 1/2 cups of stock into paste until incorporated. Let mixture cool slightly, then transfer to blender. Add salt and lime juice. Process until sauce is smooth.

  5. Place chicken in a clean 4-quart pot, and cover with sauce. Cook over medium-low heat until just heated through, about 10 minutes. (Do not simmer.)

  6. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Distribute evenly among plates, spoon sauce on top, and garnish with cilantro sprigs and remaining 2 tablespoons pepitas. Serve with rice if desired.


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