Chicken Chile Verde
I've been keeping batches of this Chicken Chile Verde on hand for the past couple weeks -- it's super easy to make and it leads to all sorts of quick meals!
- 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.
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.
I usually twist off and discard the bottom, thicker portion of the cilantro stems, but use the upper portion that holds the leaves together.
Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 304mg | Potassium: 546mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 765IU | Vitamin C: 31.3mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2.3mg