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Braised Chicken with Tomatillos

Ok, say it with me now.  Tomatillos.  Tommmahhhtiiyoos.  I can tell, even through the Internet that you can pronounce this tasty little guy way better than I!  Remember how a few weeks back I tried out my fancy Williams-Sonoma cookbook?  It went so well I decided to give it another go.  Knowing how much both Floyd and I love Mexican flavors, the Braised Chicken with Tomatillos caught my eye.  A low-cal healthy Mexican dish? Say no more.  The only problem was that I had never actually heard of a tomatillo.  What was this strange new vegetable/fruit?  Luckily thanks to Google images on my iphone, I quickly realized they weren’t next to the red tomatoes but rather the chile peppers.  This is what you call an ah ha moment. For those of you in the same boat, you can check out what they look like below.  For those of you who already know, go ahead and take a moment to smugly chuckle at the thought of me Google imaging in the produce dept.

Once home, produce in hand, this recipe was actually not too hard to make.  Sure it was a bit time consuming but one time saver was to chop up all the ingredients while broiling the poblano chiles.  Plus it made enough for plenty of tasty leftovers.   I’d much rather cook one long meal on Sunday night and get the house smelling yummy than have to worry about dinner after work on Monday!

Braised Chicken with Tomatillos

Ingredients: 3 poblano chiles, 4 tbsp. canola oil, 3 1/2 lb. chicken pieces (legs, breasts, thighs etc.), 1 large chopped yellow onion, 2 cops chicken stock, 6 minced garlic cloves, 1 1/2 lbs tomatillos (husked, washed and cut into quarters), 3 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice, salt and pepper.  Optional: Serve with warm tortillas.

Directions: Broil chiles using tongs to rotate until black on all sides.  Transfer to paper bag, close tightly and let stand for 10 minutes.  Peel blackened skin, remove stems and seeds and chop finely.  Set aside.

In large pan over medium-high, heat 2 Tbsp. of the oil.  In batches add the chicken pieces and brown them on all sides for 4-5 min.  Set chicken pieces in a bowl and set aside. Then reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining oil.  Add the onion and saute 3-5 min. Add chicken stock scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Next, add the garlic, roasted chiles, tomatillos, cilantro and cumin.  Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low.  Return chicken to the pan and summer, covered.  Turn them once so that the pieces are cooked through (approx. 20 min.). Remove chicken and place on platter.  Tent with aluminum foil.

To the mixture, add the lime juice and cook over high heat a few minutes until it thickens up a little.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve with the tortillas.  Note this is a somewhat spicy dish.  You can replace the poblanos with anaheims if you prefer a more mild taste.

Megan Yarmuth

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