Chicken with Mexican Pumpkin Seed Sauce


With just a few tweaks, this recipe is from Paleo Perfected is by the editors at

America’s Test Kitchen ($26.95, America’s Test Kitchen, 2016) -Barb L.

Yield: 4 Servings


1/3 cup raw, shelled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

¼ cup sesame seeds

4 (about 12 ozs bone-in split chicken breasts, trimmed of fat

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp Flying Olive Cilantro and Roasted Onion Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Flying Olive Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or a Flying Olive Single Varietal of Choice

1 onion, chopped fine

½-1 fresh jalapeno chili, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine (1/2 is not noticeable to a wimp)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp minced fresh thyme, or ¼ tsp dried

6 ozs (about 4) tomatillos, husks removed, stems removed, rinsed well and dried, chopped

½ cup water, plus extra as needed

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, plus 2 Tbsp minced

1 Tbsp lime juice

½ tsp honey


Adjust the oven rack to the middle and heat the oven to 450 degrees.

In an oven-safe skillet heated on the stove, add the pepitas and the sesame seeds. Cook over medium heat until the seeds are golden brown. Transfer them to a bowl. Set aside 1 Tbsp for garnish.

Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat in the now-empty skillet over medium-high heat, the Flying Olive EVOO of Choice. Just before the oil starts to smoke, add the chicken. Brown well, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate when done.

Add the onion, ¼ tsp salt, and a pinch of pepper to the skillet and cook over medium heat until softened and light brown. If you cook them at too high a heat, the onions will get dark and make your sauce dark (learning experience, as in the photo above, although it won’t affect the taste). Stir in the jalapeno, garlic, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatillos.

Nestle the chicken, skin side up, into the vegetables along with any juices. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the chicken registers 160 degrees, about 20 minutes (if you are using boneless chicken breasts, this time will be greatly reduced).

Using a potholder, as the skillet handle will be HOT, remove the skillet from the oven. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

To finish the sauce, place the skillet back on the stove. Be careful that the handle is still extremely HOT. Stir the water into the vegetables, scraping up any browned bits. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the blender, add the toasted seeds, cilantro leaves, lime juice, and honey, and process until almost smooth, about 1 minute (NOTE: if you use a food processor, it will not become totally smooth. Add a little water, if needed, to thin the sauce, if desired.)

Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the chicken with the sauce, sprinkling individual portions with reserved toasted seeds and minced cilantro. The sauce is delicious and wonderful over the chicken, rice, or used in a wrap the next day.

Submitted by Chuck and Barb L.