Chicken in Tabascan Pipian: Pollo en Chirmol
Chirmol is a thick sauce resembling the pipian rojo of central Mexico. It is served in Tabasco with fish, chicken and pork.
Ingredients for the chicken:
- 1 3 ½-4 pound chicken, cut into serving pieces
- 2 tablespoons corn oil
- ½ medium white onion
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled salt to taste
Ingredients for the chirmol:
- 4 ancho chiles, seeded and soaked until soft
- 4 black peppercorns
- 1 white onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 sprig epazote
- 2 ounces raw pumpkin seeds without shells, popped in a dry pan
- 4 corn tortillas (preferably a bit stale) toasted in the comal until brown
- 2 cups reserved chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons lard or corn oil
- salt to taste
Place the chicken in a skillet with hot corn oil and sauté until golden on both sides. Remove it to a large stockpot with the other ingredients, water to cover and salt to taste.
Bring to a boil, turn to medium and cook, covered, until cooked through. White meat should be removed first to avoid becoming rubbery. Strain stock and reserve.
Place the drained chiles, peppercorns, onion, garlic, epazote, pumpkin seeds, tortillas torn into pieces and enough of the broth to allow movement of blades in a blender and blend until a smooth puree is formed.
Heat the lard or corn oil in a large saucepan and add the puree. Add the remaining chicken broth little by little, stirring constantly. Cook over low flame until thickened to desired consistency, adding more broth if necessary. Add salt to taste. Serve chicken pieces in shallow soup bowls, with the chirmol ladled over. Rice and hot tortillas are the usual accompaniment.