Pepian Recipe

Time needed: 2 hours

Ah yes, the childhood memories are coming back. We all have that dish that takes you back and brings forth some great memories from your childhood. For me, it is this dish (and maybe like 18 other dishes, but lets concentrate on this one!). Even in my adult years, I still get the feeling I am sitting back with family, enjoying a meal at the kids table.




  • 2/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds

Recado (sauce)

  • 2 Guajillo Chilis
  • 2 Ancho Chilis
  • 6 Tomatos
  • 5-6 Cloves of garlic
  • Half of a large onion

Veggies for Stew

  • 1/2 cup packed Cilantro (about a handful, I prefer it chopped roughly)
  • 1 Large potato
  • 1 lb fresh string beans (cleaned)
  • 2 Small Guisquiles


  • 1 Whole chicken
  • Season to taste


Served best with white rice, the Pepian Recipe we will share with you has great bold flavors and heat from the chili, but immediately refreshes you with the fresh crunch of the string beans and flavor of the cilantro. I made about 2 cups of rice and the stew allowed for about 6 -7 large servings. Or just 2-3 servings if you are a champ and go for seconds, which you likely will do. Here is how to make it!

Click to watch the cooking video below.

First things first, take your whole chicken and place in a large pot, fill it with water to cover the chicken and season with salt as needed. Medium High heat should be good for this chicken to come to a boil and after about 45 min your chicken should be all set. In the meantime, lets do something about this recado (which as you know already, is a base sauce that can be used for making tamales as well!)

Secondly, gather up ancho, guajillo, tomatos, garlic, onions (go the extra step and add a bayleaf, but remove before putting in blender) and place in a pot with about 2.5 cups of water, bring to a boil and set to the side. Once the items are all set, place in a blender along with roasted sesame/pumpkin seeds and completely disintegrate it until it creates a rich/nutty/full flavored sauce. See below for what a container with things in it looks like:

Once the recado is made, pose with your fresh bounty of veggies you purchased at the farmers market (or purchased from KeyFoods, whatever man!)

More posing as you can see. While the photoshoot continues with shots that would even surpass a Kardashian photoshoot, sans photoshop and endless amounts of botox, you should get started on shredding the chicken. Remember that veggies are peeled and cut into small cubes, with the exception of the string beans, leave those suckers whole.

Once chicken is shredded, place the recado through a colander directly into the the chicken broth/shredded chicken pot of glory. Toss away the remnants that stayed on the colander, or eat them, or save them to make mulch, its your life. 

Let that simmer for about 10 minutes, and mix well. Next, bring in the string beans, guisquiles and potatoes- you will continue to cook until the vegetables are done, another 20 minutes.

Lastly, roughly chop up the cilantro and place as garnish. what I usually do is right before serving I'll also put the entire handfull of cilantro in the soup itself and let its flavors contribute to the delicious stew. Cilantro, in my experience, has always paired well with this dish! Do enjoy, and don't forget to share with friends and family!

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