Pepian Inspired Chicken Stew


This stew tastes like Christmas to me. It’s a bit different from the traditional recipe for pepian, I improvised based on what I had in my cupboards and fridge, and it turned out great! It has a lot of ingredients but it’s delicious and a great comfort food.

I paired it with wild rice because I like the different textures and it’s pretty (and healthier for you too!).

You can find most of these ingredients at a supermarket (especially if you live in southern California like myself), or at a Spanish foods market. I’ve seen most of these ingredients at Whole Foods and Trader Joes as well.

This meal is very low in fat, gluten, and dairy free.

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 4 servings).

1 Cornish Hen (I like the taste personally, but any meat can work)

3 tomatoes

1 dry chile guajillo

1 dry ancho chile

3 garlic cloves

1/2 yellow onion

3 tomatillos

4 tablespoons sesame seeds

1/2 cup pepitas

1 small cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs of thyme

2 allspice balls

2 cloves

Salt and pepper to taste


Cut up the hen into separate serving size pieces and boil in a pot of water with the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and thyme. Add about a teaspoon of salt to the water.  Place garlic, onion, chiles, tomatillos, and tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and broil in the oven until all ingredients are slightly browned and tomatoes are tender. Blend all the ingredients from the baking sheet in a blender with a bit of the water from the chicken pot. Add the blended ingredients to the pot with the boiling chicken. In a separate pan, add the sesame seeds and pepitas. Toast them on the pan until all are browned. Grind pepitas and sesame seeds in a coffee grinder of food processor and add to the pot. Add the cloves, allspice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Add any vegetables of choice – I went with chopped kale and green beans. Simmer until vegetables are cooked through.

Serve in bowls and cook the wild rice per package directions to top the stew.


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