Pollo Salsa Verde | Chicken in Roasted Tomatillo Sauce
This is one of my favorite chicken dishes to come out of Mexico.
Some argue that the sauce is a mole (pronounced mo-lay) that comes out of the Yucatan region and that very well may be the case but I just think of it as a simple salsa verde.
These easy steps gives you an incredibly delicious meal,
Step 1: Cook the chicken in a pot of water with chopped onions, cilantro & a few other ingredients is key to the intense flavors that follow.
Step 2: The salsa verde: There are different ways this is cooked, some simply sauté the ingredients others like me, love roasting them. Whatever you decide to do, the ingredients remain the same – lots of tomatillos, jalapenos, and onions tossed with oil and roasted until the tomatillos are blistered. All that is then pureed with freshly roasted cumin and fresh cilantro. The result is a deliciously refreshing tangy sauce.
Step 3: The chicken is simmered in for a few final minutes in the salsa verde and served with Mexican rice. Another one of my favorite dishes and recipe to follow soon.
Before you go around thinking that tomatillos are the same as green tomatoes and go buy a whole bunch ( and I can’t blame you for doing so), this green tomato lookalike has nothing to do with the family of tomatoes but is actually akin to the nightshade family, related to the cape gooseberry.
I buy them in the pounds (lbs) and cheap at the Mexican grocery store but it is more and more commonly available even in regular stores.
Either way, I think you're going to love this one.
Pollo Salsa Verde~ Chicken in Roasted Tomatillo Green Sauce
3–4-lb. whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (skin removed)
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 tbs salt
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 small yellow onions, chopped
2 bay leaves
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde:
1 lb tomatillos
1-1/2 Poblano green chiles
1 jalapeno chile
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small yellow onion
2 tsp salt
1 tsp roasted ground cumin
1 cup packed cilantro leaves
3 tbs oil
Preparation: Preheat the oven to 400 deg F.
For the Chicken:
Onions: Peel, cut, and discard ends. Chop and set aside.
Cilantro: Separate the barren stems from the leafy portions. Chop and set aside.
Garlic: Peel, chop, and set aside.
For the Salsa:
Chiles: Cut in half lengthwise. Remove seeds, membranes, and woody top. Roughly dice.
Jalapeno: Cut into ½ inch circles. Discard woody top.
Tomatillos: Remove husks and discard. Wash the tomatillos. Halve. Cut each ½ into 4 pieces.
Cilantro leaves: Separate leaves, wash and roughly chop. Set aside.
Cook the chicken: Place chicken, cilantro, salt, peppercorns, garlic, onion, bay leaf, and 3 cups water a large saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender about 30-40 minutes.
Remove chicken from saucepan and strain the liquid through a fine strainer; reserve 4 cups, and save remaining liquid for another use. Set chicken and liquid aside.
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde:
Like an 11' x 17" roasting pan with Aluminum foil. Spray with non-stick spray.
Layer the chiles, jalapenos, onions, garlic, and tomatillos in a single layer. Drizzle salt and oil all over the pan. Toss to coat with clean hands and then settle the vegetables back in a single layer.
Roast for about 20-25 minutes till tomatillos are soft and blistering.
Cool for a few minutes. Empty the contents of the pan along with the juices in a blender jar.
Add cilantro leaves and cumin into the jar. Blend till it is pureed to a smooth sauce.
Make-ahead tips: You can make the sauce the previous day for convenience.
Remove the chicken from the stock with a slotted spoon.
Simmer on medium-high until the stock reduces and only 2 cups of stock are remaining. Add the salsa verde to the stock and simmer for a few minutes to incorporate flavors.
Add the chicken and simmer in the sauce until heated through about 10 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with Mexican rice.