Traditionally, this dish is made with poached chicken, but you can save time by using store-bought rotisserie chickens. Just make sure you buy chickens without any special flavoring; if that's all you can find, try to remove all of the skin. You can use any kind of dried red chile for this recipe; anchos, guajillos, pasillas, whatever you have on hand. Look for ingredients like canela and masa harina in the Mexican foods section of your supermarket, at a Latin American grocery, or online. Serve the pepian with plenty of white rice and fresh corn tortillas.
• 6 plum tomatoes
• 8 tomatillos, husked and washed
• 1 medium onion, unpeeled
• 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
• 1/2 cup sesame seeds
• 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
• 3 dried red chiles, stemmed and seeded
• 1 (2-inch piece) canela or Mexican cinnamon
• 8 whole cloves
• 3 whole allspice berries
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 6 cups chicken stock
• 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1/4 cup masa harina mixed with 1/2 cup water
• 2 large rotisserie chickens, cut into pieces
• 3 sprigs fresh cilantro
In a large cast iron skillet, toast the tomatoes, tomatillos, onion and garlic until they are slightly blackened. Remove them from the pan and allow them to cool before peeling, coarsely chopping and adding to the blender.
In the skillet, toast the sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and chiles until the sesame seeds are golden. Add the seeds and chiles to the blender.
Add the canela, cloves and allspice berries to the skillet and toast until aromatic. Add the spices to the blender and puree all of the ingredients together completely. Press the mixture through a sieve.
In a large enameled Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the pureed mixture and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and stir to combine. Add the chocolate and the masa harina mixture and stir again. Bring the mixture to a boil, add the chicken pieces, then reduce the heat and simmer about 20 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro.