Main Courses

Chicken Chili Verde

Chili verde is my favorite order at an authentic Mexican restaurant. I made this recipe using tomatillos as the base, and a fun combination of lots of green peppers at the grocery store. Be careful that you know how spicy certain peppers are before you put them into your food! You can cut back on the spiciness by roasting the peppers and removing their seeds and stems (where the capsicum is found). The roasted peppers and tomatillos in this recipe give it a great smoky flavor with a punch of acidity from the tomatillos. 

Makes: 6 servings

Preparation Time: 15 minutes      Cooking Time: at least 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

3 lbs tomatillos, husks removed
3 anaheim chiles
3 poblano peppers
2 jalapeno peppers (optional)
1/4 cup + 2 tbs vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 large white onion, medium dice
1 cup chicken stock
1 package of chicken breasts (3 large)
1/2 bunch of cilantro, stems removed
1 tbs cumin

tortilla chips
package queso fresco
1/2 cup sour cream
1 avocado, cut into a thick dice
1 lime cut into wedges
1 bunch cilantro

  • Preheat the oven to high broil.
  • Put the tomatillos, chiles, poblanos, and jalapenos on a large cookie sheet and toss with vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. If it’s necessary, put them on two cookie sheets and repeat the following step twice.
  • Put the sheet under the broiler on the second rack from the top for about 20 minutes. Rotate the peppers every 8-10 minutes, as they start to blacken. You can also grill the peppers, but I prefer to broil the tomatillos to retain their juice.
  • Remove the peppers from the oven and place the chiles and peppers in a paper bag. Close off the top and let them rest; this helps the skin peel off easier.
  • When the peppers are cool enough to touch, use the backside of a knife to scrape off the skin and to remove the stem and seeds. Finely chop the peppers, or put them in a food processor until they are thick and paste-like. The tomatillos can remain as they are in their juice.
  • In a large stock pot, saute the garlic, onion, and remaining vegetable oil over medium-high heat until they start to caramelize.
  • Add the chicken breasts and cumin, browning both sides of the breasts.
  • Add the chicken stock, scraping the bottom of the pot well with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the tomatillos back into the pot and use a potato masher to break them down. I like the chili to remain chunky, but mash to your desired texture. Add the pepper puree and use your wooden spoon to fold into the mix. Bring the chili to a simmer and reduce the heat to low.
  • Cook covered for one hour. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken breasts and roughly chop them or shred with two forks. Return the chicken to the pot along with the half bunch of cilantro and cook remaining 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve the chili with any variety of toppings. I liked it best with queso fresco, avocado, and a squeeze of lime. Shredded cheddar and warm tortillas are also a nice combination.


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