Chef Aarón Sánchez's pollo con pepian on THE Dish


It could be said that chef Aarón Sánchez's success in the kitchen runs in the family. That's because his mom, Zarela Martinez, is known as "the queen of Mexican food" and he spent much of his young life by her side.

Special section: Food and wine

Sánchez was born in Texas and moved to New York City when he was a teen. He helped out with his mother's first restaurant, Café Marimba, and went on to graduate from Johnson and Wales.

Today he's an award-winning chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and television personality, including being a regular judge on the Food Network's hit show "Chopped." He also appears in a Spanish language cooking series on Utilisima.

In addition to his New York City establishments, in 2010 he opened Mestizo, in Leawood, Kan., which was his first restaurant outside of New York. Mestizo spotlights Mexico's unique melting pot of cultures and cuisines. He's since opened Crossroads, which is in many of the House of Blues locations nationwide.

Sánchez shared his recipe for pollo con pepian as well as others on "CBS This Morning: Saturday."

Pollo con pepian

2 Spanish onions, halved

12 tomatillos, peeled

2 serrano chiles

6 garlic cloves, peeled

Extra virgin olive oil

1 quart pumpkin seeds, shelled

1 tablespoons star anise seeds

5 pieces Mexican cinnamon

1 bunch parsley

1 bunch cilantro

2 bunches epazote

1 3-5-pound free-range chicken, broken down into half portions

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Combine the onions, tomatillos, serrano chiles and garlic on a half sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, until a char has formed on the outsides of the ingredients. Keep the oven on. Remove and puree in a blender until smooth in consistency.

2. Combine the pumpkin seeds, star anise seeds and cinnamon on a half sheet pan. Toast at 400