We’re focusing on pumpkin seeds for our Halloween menus, it seems. They’re perfect in pesto, sate dipping sauce, and here, in a Mexican-themed mole.
These would be great skewered for movie marathon appetizers, or as a main course.
Chicken with Pumpkin-Seed Mole
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.