Blazing Saddles: Chili Verde
Green chili gets it tangy flavor from tomatillos, lemon, and coriander. Make it with boneless chicken or pork.
- 2 pounds boneless chicken breast
- 2 - 3 T olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 large cloves garlic
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 can pinto beans (optional)
- 1 T cumin
- 1 medium poblano chiles, seeded and chopped
- 1 large yellow bell pepper
- 1 chipoltle chili
- 1 pounds fresh tomatillos
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves Side fixings:
- 1 red onion
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 avocado
- corn tortillas
Start by cutting boneless chicken breast into half inch pieces. I cut down the length of the breast to make several long strips and then cut crossways to make the small pieces.
Now, chop a medium yellow onion.
Chop a couple of cloves of garlic.
Add 2-3 T of oil to the hot frying pan, and dump in the onion and garlic. Stir until the onion starts to glow golden.
Add the chicken to the pan, and cook, stirring from time to time, until it cooks on all sides.
While the chicken is cooking husk the tomatillos. It is really easy, the outer skin just peels off.
Put the tomatillos in a pot of boiling water for about 12 minutes. Usually, tomatillos are around the size of ping pong balls. These were unusually big, almost the size of apples, and needed slightly more time to boil. We want the skin to become semi-translucent, but we don't want them to "explode" in the pot.
While the tomatillos are boiling, add a single chipoltle pepper to the frying pan and chop it up. I used the edge of the spatula. Stir it into the chicken and onion.
Add 1 T cumin. continue to cook over a medium heat.
Chop a yellow bell pepper.
Add the yellow pepper to the mix.
By now the tomatillos are changing color. See the ones on the top are just about ready. The larger one on the bottom is still to bright green.
Add 1/8 C of tequila to the chicken, stir.
Here is just a perfect specimen of a cooked tomatillo.
Remove the tomatillos to a food processor with a slotted spoon. Note that one of the tomatillos cooked a bit too long and started to rupture.
Add a cleaned bunch of coriander (remove the stems) to the food processor.
Process the tomatillos and coriander.
Add the processed food to the chicken, and add the juice of half a lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste. If using, add the optional beans. I chose not to use them here. Another option would be to serve black beans as a side dish, instead.
I like a spicier chili, so I chopped a large poblano chili. If you like a milder chili, use a green bell pepper instead.
Add the chopped chili to the pot. Add a bit of water if needed to bring to the right consistency.
Serve with sour cream, chopped red onion, cheddar cheese, and avocado. Here we also have a side dish of rice and corn, and a generous stack of warmed tortillas.
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