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Pumpkin Seed Mole with Chicken


Roasted pumpkin seeds thicken this tomatillo-based mole sauce. Serve with a side of rice for soaking up the flavorful sauce. Shred any leftover chicken and serve in warm corn tortillas with sauce spooned on top.


  • 1 quart low-sodium, gluten-free chicken broth
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 chicken thighs, bone-in, skinless
  • 3 chicken breasts, skinless, bone-in or boneless
  • 1 1/2 Pound fresh tomatillos (about 20), papery husks removed and rinsed clean
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded
  • 1/2 onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds, more for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil


Combine chicken stock and water in a pot large enough to hold all the chicken. Add bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Sprinkle all chicken pieces with salt and pepper and add to simmering water. Bring the liquid back up to a light simmer, stir and cover pot. Continue simmering for about 5 minutes, then turn off heat and let chicken finish cooking in hot liquid, covered, about 15 minutes. Check that chicken is cooked completely before transferring to a platter while you make the sauce. Reserve the cooking liquid.

Add the tomatillos to the cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Cook for about 8 minutes or until tomatillos turn a darker shade of green. Transfer tomatillos to a blender, reserving cooking liquid. Blend tomatillos with cilantro, jalapeño, onion, garlic, and pumpkin seeds until smooth. Work in batches if necessary. Thin with cooking liquid if desired.

Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the mole and the chicken pieces together. When oil is hot, add tomatillo-pumpkin seed sauce. Bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and jalapeño. When ready to serve, add chicken pieces to the sauce and reheat. Serve immediately, spooning sauce over chicken. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro.