I've been keeping batches of this Chicken Chile Verde in the fridge for the past couple weeks -- it's super easy to make and it can lead to all sorts of quick, no-thinking-involved meals. Perfect!
Take a look at this pan of goodness and tell me what potential you see:
All of those are great options, but I've been using it for these Tostadas lately:
So that's a warm, crispy Tostada shell along with:
And they are wildly satisfying! So give 'em a go if they sound appealing, but feel free to get creative with your batch. You'll have loads of the delicious green sauce and everything beyond that is just a bonus, so go crazy with it!
As usual, you can cook the chicken as you see fit, but I've been doing the brine-and-bake method for the past few months and I am sticking with that for this batch.
Even a quick brine adds quite a bit of flavor to plain ol' chicken, so in the above pic that's 2 lbs. of chicken (3 chicken breasts) brining in 2 quarts of water with 1/2 cup salt dissolved into the water.
A typical brine ratio is 1 cup salt per gallon of water, so feel free to adjust to the bowl you're using.
Once brined you can pat the chicken dry and plop it in a 400F oven for 20 minutes or until the internal temp is 160F, or until the insides are no longer pink. (Note: you can bake them plain Jane because we'll be relying on the green sauce for flavor, but seasoning the breasts and dredging in some butter is a good option for other dishes that serve them up as the main course.)
I usually put the poblanos and tomatillos in the oven at the same time. What are tomatillos?
The poblanos need 25-30 minutes to fully roast, so once you remove the chicken just stick 'em back in for a few more minutes. And yes, feel free to roast the jalapeno and onion too, but I'm in the habit of keeping those ingredients raw in most dishes.
We'll combine the roasted poblanos and tomatillos in a blender along with:
4 garlic cloves
15-20 sprigs cilantro
Be sure to de-stem and de-seed the poblano. Are poblanos spicy?
Start with just a single jalapeno if you want a milder batch. You can always add additional jalapeno for a more fiery batch. I used about 2 1/2 for this recipe. You can substitute serranos if you want.
You should end up with a vibrant, delightful green sauce that has real depth from the roasted poblano.
We'll simmer the green sauce over mediumish heat and add:
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano What is Mexican oregano?
1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
freshly cracked black pepper
Let it simmer for a couple minutes and then take a final taste for seasoning.
Once you're happy with it you can add the shredded chicken. Note that you may not need to add any additional salt if you brined the chicken.
Hello Chicken Chile Verde!
I leave it kinda chunky so that the Chile Verde clings to the chicken, but keep in mind that you can always thin it out by adding 1/2 cup stock or water. And if your batch is too liquidy for your taste then just let it simmer for a few minutes and it will thicken up.
Once everything is at a uniform temperature it's ready to serve.
If you want to make the tostadas here's more info on what I used for this batch:
Some awesome refried beans that I usually keep in the fridge
But again, don't feel like you have to use that combo to have a successful meal. The Chicken Chili Verde is loaded with flavor and everything else is just a bonus, so feel free to make what sounds best to you.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge where they'll keep for a few days -- it's a real treat to have leftovers on standby for some easy, rewarding, no-thinking-involved meals. I hope you enjoy it!
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Chicken Chile Verde
- 2 lbs. chicken (I used 3 boneless chicken breasts)
- 8-10 tomatillos
- 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
Optional serving style:
- tostada shells
- refried beans
- Cotija cheese
- Pickled Serranos (or Pickled Jalapenos)
- freshly chopped cilantro
- You can 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 minutes or so. 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 chicken) and roast everything in the oven at 400F. 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 an additional 10 minutes or so. I usually cover the cooked chicken breasts with foil until I need them.
- De-stem and de-seed the roasted 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 1 jalapeno, combine, and take a taste for heat level, adding more jalapeno to increase the heat. I used 2 1/2 jalapenos for this batch and it had some zip.
- Simmer the green sauce in a dollop of oil (or lard) 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 the shredded chicken to the green sauce. Bring everything up to a uniform temp and serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge where they will keep for a few days.
- If you want to serve them Tostada style, warm up the refried beans in a skillet over medium-low heat for a few minutes, crumble the Cotija cheese by pulling a knife across a chunk of it, dice up any Pickled Serranos or Pickled Jalapenos that you're using, and chop up some freshly rinsed cilantro. Each warm tostada shell gets refried beans, Chicken Chile Verde, Cotija, Pickled Yummies, cilantro, and a final squeeze of lime.
I recently used this recipe to make some awesome Chicken Chile Verde sandwiches:
You can also make a simple Rice and Beans Chile Verde Bowl with the awesome green sauce.
And here are more options for Mexican Shredded Chicken: