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Chicken and Tomatillo Stew

September 27, 2009

Today was a rainy Sunday, and rainy Sundays definitely call for food that warms your insides.  I was VERY excited to find a recipe for Chicken and Tomatillo Stew on one of my favorite food blogs, Simply Recipes.  It fit the bill, as far as warming dishes go, and it was a bit more involved, which allowed me to spend some of my Sunday puttering around in the kitchen (something I very much enjoy doing).  This stew didn’t take as much time as some of the things we’ve made in the past, but it gave our blender and broiler pan a little bit of a workout — which is a nice change, too.

Chicken and Tomatillo Stew

Chicken and Tomatillo Stew

Chicken and Tomatillo Stew

Tomatillo Sauce yields 2 cups

  • 1 1/2 lbs. tomatillos
  • 1-2 jalapeno (remove seeds and ribs, if you don’t want your stew to be too spicy)
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of sugar


  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, fat removed and cut into cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 can of chicken broth (or stock)
  • 2 cups of tomatillo sauce
  • 1 tsp. dry oregano
  • 1/2 c. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Tabasco sauce or your hot sauce of choice
  1. Tomatillo sauce

    Tomatillo sauce

    Start by making the tomatillo sauce.  Remove papery husks from tomatillos (mine did not have any), and rinse well.  Cut tomatillos in half, width-wise, and place them cut-side down on a foil lined broiler pan.  Broil for 7-10 minutes, or until tomatillos are partially blackened.

  2. Place the tomatillos and any juice left on broiler pan into blender, along with peppers, garlic, salt, lime, and sugar.  Pulse into well blended (it’s up to you to determine how chunky you would like this sauce.  Normally I would have left it a bit chunkier, but since it was my first time making this recipe, it was more pureed).
  3. This can be made ahead, but should be refrigerated ahead of time.
  4. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven, or other non-stick pot, until almost smoking.  Pat dry chicken with paper towels, to ensure adequate browning.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over them.  Add a few pieces of chicken to dutch oven, so as to not crowd the pan.  Make sure there is room between pieces, so that they brown.  Do not move pieces until they are browned on one side, and flip with tongs to turn them over.  Don’t move them again until they are browned — but do not cook through.  Work in shifts, and when the pieces are done browning, put to the side to be added later.  There should be browned bits at the bottom of the pan.  You’ll scrape these up later (and you’ll love them, trust me!)
  5. Once the chicken has been browned and removed from pan, add onions, plus a bit more oil.  Add cumin and coriander and stir occasionally.  Try to scrape up chicken bits from the bottom of the pot.  Once onions are soft, add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  6. Add chicken, tomatillo sauce, chicken stock and oregano to the dutch oven.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cook with lid partially covering for at least 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Add cilantro, salt, and additional hot sauce (if desired) to the completed dish.
  7. Serve over hot white rice.  Jazz up your dish with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.  I added MORE hot sauce (yup…!), diced tomatoes from our garden and a sprinkle of low-fat cheese (which was totally unnecessary).

Sounds like a good Sunday dinner to me!

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