Chicken Chile Verde Tortas
I've been pulling Chicken Chile Verde from the fridge all week and whipping up these fiery, delicious sandwiches -- so good!!
For the Chicken Chile Verde:
- 2 lbs. chicken (3 boneless chicken breasts)
- 8-10 tomatillos
- 1-2 poblanos
- 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:
- 6 sandwich rolls
- pickled jalapenos
- avocado slices
- Chipotle Mayo
If you have leftover Chicken Chile Verde, you can simply reheat in a saucepan over medium heat and jump ahead to making the sandwiches.
To make the Chicken Chile Verde from scratch, I usually start by brining 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, de-stemming them. 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 4 jalapenos for this batch and it had some serious 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. If you brined the chicken you probably will not need to add salt at this stage.
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.
To make the sandwiches, I usually start by pulling out and discarding some of the extra bread inside the rolls. Put a few slices of cheese on each roll (I used Jack) and give them a few minutes in a 400F oven. Once the cheese is melted you can take the rolls out and add the fixings: the warm Chicken Chile Verde, pickled jalapenos, avocado slices, and Chipotle Mayo. Serve immediately.
Alternatively, you can add Chicken Chile Verde and cheese to a bread roll and smoosh it in a skillet panini style. I put parchment paper on top and press down with a casserole dish to mimic a panini press. Give it 3-4 minutes per side over mediumish heat. You can optionally add some butter or lard to the skillet to crisp them up even further. Once cooked, open it up, add all of your desired fixings, and serve immediately.
Store leftover Chicken Chile Verde in an airtight container in the fridge where it will keep for at least a few days.
Kosher or sea salt are typically recommended for brining as they don’t have any additives. It's also usually recommended to brine meats in the fridge.
Here's the Chipotle Mayo recipe if you want to make it -- it's super easy and keeps well in the fridge.
Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 421mg | Potassium: 564mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 751IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 4mg