Pipian is a grand and quite ancient dish of the Mexican cuisine. I recently ran into it again down in Bahia Kino, Sonora, one of the fishing paradises on the Sonoran side of the Gulf of Mexico. There was a potluck at Thanksgiving, and Jose Pulido brought Pipian as his contribution. It was the best thing on the table.
Below is a Pipian recipe I found in one of my old cookbooks, "Cocina de Chihuahua" by Josefina Velazquez de Leon, and published in Mexico City, probably in the early 1950's.
Jose says it looks like the recipe his mother used to use. He also says that "Dona Maria" brand Pipian Sauce mix is good, a lot easier, and can be found in many supermarkets. Dona Maria brand also makes good Mole and Adobo sauce mixes. The Dona Maria mixes come in small glass jars, just mix some with stock and heat, stirring, until sauce is of the right consistency. With the Dona Maria Pipian Sauce, I would add some extra red chile for a bit more bite. As to the recipes below, the first one is the way it was in the Mexican cookbook, and the second is my translation to English.
PIPIAN DE GALLINA, INGREDIENTES:
MANERA DE HACERSE
El maiz, la semilla de calabaza, los chiles, y los dientes de ajo se doran en la manteca; se muele perfectamente procurando quede una pasta muy tersa; se desbaratan en el caldo; se agreda la gallina cortada en piezas y ya cocida; se deja hervir hasta que espesa y se serve luego.
Or in English:
Brown the masa, seeds, chiles and garlic a bit in the lard. Grind together well into a paste. Stir in the chicken broth and simmer up a bit until well blended. Add the cut-up chicken to the pipian, simmer a bit more and serve.
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