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Chicken Chile Verde with Hominy

October 5, 2011

We only grew one tomatillo plant in our garden this summer.  Based on our past success with these, I did not expect that we would harvest very many fruits.  So I was dumbstruck the other day when I went to harvest.  We had so many tomatillos that I had to rally the kids to hand over their sand buckets so we could fill them with fruit.  We harvested over 4 gallons of tomatillos from one plant!

Tomatillos are a funny fruit.  The firm green fruit is encased in a papery husk that is removed before cooking.  The fruit itself is sticky to the touch, though this substance washes off easily.  Though they are sometimes confused with green tomatoes, tomatillos are actually from a different plant family.  Tomatillos are best known for their role in green salsa.  One of our favorite preparations with tomatillos is to make Grilled Tomatillo Salsa, the other is this stew.

Chicken Chile Verde with Hominy is a perfect way to celebrate the tomatillo.  Cook them up with peppers, onions, and cilantro ,then braise the browned chicken and hominy in this tangy sauce.  The stew is warm and nourishing, yet the flavors are light from the tart  tomatillos.   Do not forget a squeeze of lime over the top at the last minute for a bright, acidic note.  This stew can stand alone, but serve with a simple slaw and some warm tortillas for a complete meal.

Chicken Chile Verde with Hominy

adapted from Cooking Light

serves 4 hungry people

the sauce

2 Anaheim chiles

1 1/2 pounds tomatillos

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)

the stew

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped carrot

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons finely chopped garlic

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 (29-ounce) can hominy, rinsed and drained

the garnish

cilantro leaves

lime wedges

Make the sauce: (This can be done 1 day in advance)

Heat the broiler on high.  Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse with cool water.  Spread tomatillos and peppers on a rimmed baking sheet.  Once blackened on one side, flip and blacken on the other side.  Watch them closely, the peppers will cook much quicker than the tomatillos.

Once the peppers are done, remove from the oven and place in a covered bowl.  Let sit for 10 minutes to cool and steam off their skins.  Once they are cool enough to handle, slid off their skins.  Remove the stem and seeds.  Dice the pepper flesh.

Combine the blackened tomatillos, diced peppers, cilantro, cumin, oregano, and 1 cup broth in a blender.  Blend until smooth.

Make the stew:

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in flour and cook for 2 additional minutes.  Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then remove onion mixture to a bowl.

Toss chunked chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Add 2 teaspoons oil to the pan.  Add half the chicken.  Cook for 3 minutes or until it is browned on one side.  Flip and brown on the other side.  Add browned chicken to the onion mixture.  Add two more teaspoons of oil to the pan.  Brown the rest of the meat as you did the first batch.

Combine the remaining 1 cup broth, tomatillo mixture, onion mixture, and hominy to the pan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer covered for 45 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Taste stew and adjust seasoning as necessary

Ladle soup into bowls.  Serve with lime wedges and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro leaves.

Note:  to save time or make this stew out of season, substitute 2 cups of your favorite green salsa and 1 cup of chicken broth for the tomatillo mixture.

This stew is great the next day.  Just reheat and serve.

Print this recipe:  Chicken Chile Verde with Hominy

You may also like:

World’s Easiest Carnitas with Grilled Tomatillo Salsa

Mexican Pozole Rojo

Chicken Satay

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5 Responses to “Chicken Chile Verde with Hominy”

  1. pixilated2 Says:

    This is one fruit which I have had no success with here in the South. I grew them all the time in California, but the worms get them here in Alabama. (I don’t spray)

    Do you garden organically? How do you keep the worms from attacking under the husks? Thanks! ~ Lynda


    • Yes, I grow them organically. We have not had a problem with pests. We let the chickens rid the beds of any critters before we plant. Maybe we are just lucky and those worms you speak of do not live here in Northern California. Hopefully you can still find tomatillos at the farmers’ market!

      • pixilated2 Says:

        thanks Karen, I’ll have to see about the farmers market. I will hate to resort to canned from the grocery… but for next year it’s going to be chickens in the garden before I plant! Thanks, Lynda

  2. yummy supper Says:

    Hey Karen,
    What a bounty! Isn’t it funny what really takes off in the garden and what ends up going nowhere? I once had enough parsley to feed the masses.
    Chile Verde is one of my favorite dishes to order when we go out to eat, but I’ve never made my own. You are inspiring me to give it a try. And with this cool fall weather, your recipe is perfect!
    -Erin

  3. Hannah Says:

    I have quite a few tomatillos from our CSA box so I’m excited to try your sauce!


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