Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Monday, January 31, 2011

No. 76: Chicken Pepian at San Miguel

Posted By on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 4:58 PM

click to enlarge San Miguel Restaurant's pepian. - JONATHAN KAUFFMAN
  • Jonathan Kauffman
  • San Miguel Restaurant's pepian.

SFoodie's countdown of the 92 best things to eat and drink in San Francisco, 2011 edition.

sf_92_thumb_210x208.jpg

"My mom learned the recipe from her mom," the couple's son, Justin, told SFoodie when we called the restaurant to ask about the dish. "Her mom had a comedor in Guatemala. Our style of pepian is the version from a northern region of Guatemala called San Marcos." He says the stew is made with pumpkin seeds and another seed called aruwashte, which neither he nor Google can translate.

Large pieces of braised chicken float in the pepian, as well as carrots, potatoes, and chayote, each simmered just until the crispness fades. A tuft of cilantro leaves floats on top of the bowl, the herb's floral scent melting into the steam. A high stack of fresh tortillas shrinks as it is used to scoop up shreds of meat and vegetables and soak up the liquid. And the flavor of the pepian is deep and gentle, not so much toasty as rich, bolstered by bay leaves and peppercorns. It's not a bowl you can leave easily, either in body or spirit.

San Miguel Restaurant: 3263 Mission (at 29th St.), 641-5866.

Dishes in our series so far:
92: Goat tacos from El Norteño
91: Faux shark's fin soup at Benu
90: Esperpento's alcachofas a la plancha
89: Poco Dolce's olive oil chocolate bar
88: Decantr's chicken-liver mousseline
87: Outerlands' levain bread
86: Fraîche's frozen yogurt
85: Gyro King's spinach pie
84: Tandoori fish from Lahore Karahi
83: Braised oxtail and daikon from Namu
82: Golden Gate Bakery's custard tart
81: Commonwealth's cured foie gras with umeboshi purée
80: Star Stream's Liège-style waffle
79: Mexican hot chocolate from La Oaxaqueña
78: Meatball sandwich from Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe
77: Cheesecake from Zanze's

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Follow me at @JonKauffman.
  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Jonathan Kauffman

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"