Pepian (slow cooker)
*1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
*2 TBS flour
*3/4 tsp. cumin
*1 tsp. coriander
*1 1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
*1/2 tsp. paprika
*1 tsp. onion powder
*1 tsp. garlic powder
*1 tsp. salt or more to taste
*1/2 tsp white pepper; you can use cracked black pepper instead
*2 TBS canola oil
*1 Jalapeno; if you prefer it spicy leave the seeds in, if not then scrape the seeds out. I scraped half of the seeds out and left some in.
*4 tomatoes; cut in half
*1 onion, cut in fourths
*4 garlic cloves
*2TBS sesame seeds
*2 TBS pumpkin seeds; shelled
*2 potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces; I used russet because the starch seemed to help thicken the sauce better
*1 carrot cut into pieces
*2 cups chicken broth, divided
*1 TBS or more of cornstarch (if need)
In a large bowl, add the chicken. Next add the flour, cumin, coriander, chipotle chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss the chicken pieces with the flour mixture until the chicken is evenly coated.
Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron because it gives a great sear, to medium high heat and add in the oil.
When the pan is hot, add in the chicken, but do not over crowd the pan. You will have to do this in batches. Cook for about 2 minutes and turn the pieces over and cook for another minute. Do not leave the chicken in too long or the spices will burn. If the skillet becomes too dry, add in more oil.
Place the seared chicken pieces in to the slow cooker.
Wipe the skillet out and place the tomatoes in skin side down. Add in the onion, jalapeno and garlic cloves. Cook until it all begins to char, abut 5 minutes and then turn them over and cook until the other side begins to char. Take out the garlic cloves before they become too brown or they will have a bitter taste.
While the vegetables are in the pan, in another small pan or sauce pan, toast the sesame and the pumpkin seeds. Be careful not to burn the seeds, they toast quickly.
Add the charred tomatoes, onions, jalapeno and garlic cloves to a food processor or a blender, then add in the sesame and pumpkin seeds. Pour in 1 cup of the chicken broth and blend until everything is pureed.
To the slow cooker add in the potatoes and the carrot. Pour in the pureed mixture and the remaining cup of chicken broth. Stir to combine all of the ingredients.
Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or until vegetables are tender. If sauce needs to thicken, add equal amounts of the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Pour into the slow cooker and stir. Cook on high for about 5 minutes or more until sauce is thickened.
Serve with rice and tortillas.