How To Make Chicken Chile Verde Burritos
I still default to the brine-and-bake method for shredded chicken. The quick swim in some saltwater will give you a noticeable bump in flavor.
But you are welcome to cook the chicken as you see fit -- you could even use rotisserie chicken if that's what you have available as you'll be getting loads of flavor from the Chile Verde sauce.
I plopped 3 boneless chicken breasts in 2 quarts of saltwater (1/2 cup salt). Even a half hour swim will improve the flavor of your chicken, but when I have time I try to give it an hour or so.
The core flavor of the Chile Verde sauce is built from tomatillos, poblanos, and jalapenos.
You'll need a single large poblano for this recipe, or two smaller ones. And of course, if you roast this green beauty it will really enhance its flavor. Are Poblano Peppers Spicy?
The old school will roast this poblano over an open flame, but since the oven is on we'll be using that and it works just as well.
When the chicken is done brining you can pat it dry and add it to a baking sheet along with the tomatillos and poblano.
The chicken will need about 20 minutes in the oven (400F) to fully cook.
The tomatillos and poblano prefer a bit longer, so I usually remove the chicken and put the rest back in the oven until I need it.
When it's time to build the Chile Verde sauce you can add the following ingredients to a blender:
the roasted poblano(s)
the roasted tomatillos
4 garlic cloves
15-20 sprigs cilantro
I like Chicken Chile Verde spicy so I used 3 jalapenos! Consider using less if you want a milder version.
Combine well and cook this beautiful green sauce in a glug of oil (or lard) over medium heat for a couple minutes.
We'll also add some aromatics:
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano What is Mexican oregano?
1/2 teaspoon cumin
freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
You probably won't need to add much additional salt if you brined the chicken.
Bring the Chile Verde sauce up to temp and add the shredded, cooked chicken.
But don't eat it all yet!
Now's a good time to make the Salsa de Aguacate if you're dousing your burritos with it.
This is a light, creamy sauce that works great when paired with bold, spicy meats. I use it on Beef Birria and lately I've been using it with spicy batches of Chicken Chile Verde 🙂
Simply add the following ingredients to a blender and combine well:
the flesh of a single avocado
4-5 sprigs cilantro
the juice of a single lime
1/2 garlic clove
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Give it a taste but keep in mind that you're only tasting half of it! It has a light flavor out of the blender, but when you combine it with spicy meats it acts as the perfect dance partner.
For the burritos I added plenty of cheese along with a thin layer of cooked white rice.
And then I rolled these up and cooked them in thin layer of bacon drippings over medium heat. How To Roll A Burrito.
In the past I've used lard for this step, but lately my fridge has bacon drippings more often than lard and that works just as well!
It doesn't take much fat to give your burritos an ultra-crispy, savory exterior so if you're new to this step please try it out!
Once your burritos are crispy you can slice 'em in half and serve them up next to the Salsa de Aguacate.
It's a real treat to coat each bite with the cool, creamy green goodness. So good!!
I hope these Chicken Chile Verde Burritos find their way into your kitchen!
It's such a simple recipe, and when you make a big batch you'll have loads of quick, satisfying meals coming your way for the rest of the week 🙂
Chicken Chile Verde Burritos
- 2 lbs. chicken (I used 3 boneless breasts)
- 8-10 tomatillos (approx. 1 lb.)
- 1 large poblano (or 2 smaller ones)
- 1-4 jalapenos
- 1/2 onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 15-20 sprigs cilantro
- 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 6-8 flour tortillas, burrito sized
- 1/2 lb. cheese (I used Jack)
- 2-3 cups cooked rice
- lard, or bacon drippings (optional)
For the Salsa de Aguacate:
- 1 avocado
- 4-5 sprigs cilantro
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 garlic clove
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup water
- Feel free to cook the chicken any way you want, but for this batch I brined and baked it. To brine the chicken, add 1/2 cup Kosher or sea salt to 2 quarts of water in a mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve the salt and add the chicken breasts, letting them brine in the fridge for 30-60 minutes. If the chicken isn't fully submerged then add a bit more water. Once brined, pat dry the chicken and add it to a baking sheet.
- Pull off the husks of the tomatillos and give them a good rinse. I usually de-stem them too. Add the tomatillos to the baking sheet along with the rinsed poblanos and the brined chicken. Roast everything in the oven at 400F.
- If you're cooking rice from scratch for your burritos now's a good time to start it. Add a single cup of uncooked white rice to a saucepan along with a glug of oil. Let the rice cook over medium heat until it's turning opaque and light brown in color, stirring occasionally. Add 1.5 cups water (or stock) along with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook until all the liquid is absorbed. Once cooked set it aside on the stove and let it sit in its own steam for a few minutes, covered.
- Cook the chicken until it registers 160F or until the insides are no longer pink -- this usually takes 20 minutes but sometimes it will take a couple extra minutes if there was an extensive brine. Remove the chicken once cooked and let the poblanos and tomatillos roast for a bit longer or until you need them. I usually cover the cooked chicken breasts with foil and let them rest a bit before shredding.
- Once roasted you can de-stem and de-seed the poblanos. Add the roasted poblanos and tomatillos to a blender along with 1/2 onion, 4 peeled garlic cloves, 15-20 cilantro sprigs, and 1-4 rinsed, de-stemmed jalapenos. If you want a milder batch start with a single jalapeno, combine, and take a taste for heat level, adding more jalapeno to increase the heat. I used 3 jalapenos for this batch and it had some zip!
- Simmer the blended green sauce in a glug of oil (or lard, or bacon drippings) over mediumish heat. Add 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano, 1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional), 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional), and some freshly cracked black pepper. Taste for seasoning. Note: if you brine the chicken you probably won't need to add much additional salt.
- Use two forks to shred the chicken breasts and then add it to the Chile Verde sauce. Combine well over medium heat. Once everything is up temp it's ready to serve.
- To make the Salsa de Aguacate, add the following ingredients to a blender or food processor: the flesh of a ripe avocado, 1/4 cup water, the juice of 1 lime, 4-5 sprigs of cilantro, 1/2 peeled garlic clove, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Combine well. If it's not combining readily simply add another splash of water. Note: don't fret if the Salsa de Aguacate has a subtle, light flavor out of the blender as it will come alive when paired with the chicken.
- To build the burritos, start by warming up a flour tortilla. Add a thin layer of rice, cheese, and plenty of Chicken Chile Verde to the tortilla. Roll tight. Crisping up your burritos is a must so no skipping this step! You can crisp them up in dry skillet over medium heat if you want. But for this batch I added a drizzle of bacon drippings to the skillet to help crisp them up even further. Give them a minute or so on each side, or until they are turning medium brown in color. You could also use lard in place of the bacon drippings.
- Serve your crispy burritos immediately along with plenty of the Salsa de Aguacate.
- Store leftover Chicken Chile Verde in the fridge where it will keep for days at a time. The Salsa de Aguacate won't last as long but I usually get a couple days out of it when there are leftovers.
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