Chicken in Pumpkin Seed Sauce
Adapted from Food for Thought—Healing Foods to Savor
Looking for a quick and easy to prepare chicken dish? Try this simple pumpkin seed and salsa verde combination, which coats the chicken with a flavor-packed and nutritious sauce. Pumpkin seeds are an especially rich source of protein and zinc, both important for tissue building and repair, as well as for a healthy immune system.
- 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 4 chicken breasts, skin and bones removed (about 16 oz raw weight)
- 1 12-oz. jars salsa verde (green chili salsa)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (1 large bunch)
- Black pepper (4-6 grinds)
Heat a heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add pumpkin seeds (pepitas). Cover and stir frequently until seeds puff and begin to pop, about 5 minutes (do not brown). Transfer to a plate and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, allowing it to lightly brown on each side. (NOTE: I often use thawed chicken tenders that I have cut into bite-size pieces).
Grind the pumpkin seeds in a small food processor. Mix together the salsa, chicken broth, cilantro, and ground pumpkin seeds. Add to the frying pan, making sure to distribute the sauce over and under all pieces of chicken. Add pepper to taste.
Turn the heat down to simmer, cover, and cook gently for about 10-15 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Do not overcook or the chicken will be tough. If the sauce seems too thick, add ½ to 1 cup of chicken broth.
Makes 4 servings. Each serving provides about 310 calories, 33 g protein, 11 g fat (2 g sat), 65 mg cholesterol, 10 g carbohydrate (3 g sugar; 1 g fiber), 160 mg sodium, 320 mg potassium, 10 mg calcium, 90 mg magnesium.