Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chicken Chile Verde with Avocado Salsa

Green, green, and more green means deliciously fresh flavors and a warm, Latin-style dish that makes the most of beautiful, earthy chiles: poblano, serrano, and jalapeno, in this case. Charring the poblanos adds smoky depth that you just don’t get with raw peppers.

Chicken verde recipes are typically served over rice, but they don’t always include a salsa on top. I think the addition of a cool, creamy (more green) avocado-tomato salsa brings a bright, fresh taste to finish the dish.

Tip: Tomatillos may have very loose husks or very tight tusks. The loose ones are easy to peel, but the tight ones can be a little feisty. To make those easier to remove, simply hold the tomatillo under running, cold water and peel back the husk:

Loose husk - tight husk

Peel the loose husk
Rinse tight husks under water
Another tip: Make the salsa just before serving. Prepare all the ingredients, except the avocado—hold that to the end in order to prevent it from oxidizing too soon.

Serves 4


For the Chicken Chile Verde
  • 2 poblano chiles
  • 8 tomatillos (about 3/4 lb), husked and coarsely chopped
  • 2 serrano chiles, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch scallions, coarsely chopped
  • cooked white rice, for serving
Chile Verde Ingredients
Prepared Chicken 
For the Salsa
  • 2 small, firm-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and small-diced
  • 1 medium stem tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Salsa Ingredients

For the Chicken Chile Verde
  1. Place the poblano chiles on a gas burner directly over the flame until blackened and blistered, 5-6 minutes, turning often to char all sides (for electric ranges, place under a broiler, turning to char all sides).
  2. Transfer to a paper bag, close tightly, and steam the chiles 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and use a paring knife to gently scrape off the skin. (It’s okay if a few flecks remain.) Remove the seeds and coarsely chop the chiles. Set aside.
Poblanos Beginning to Char 
Charred Poblanos 
Ready to Peel 
Peeled Poblanos
Chopped Poblanos
  1. Combine the tomatillos, serrano chiles, garlic, broth, and onion in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook 10 minutes. Drain the mixture, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
  2. Transfer the tomatillo mixture to a food processor and add the cilantro and reserved cooking liquid. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Prepared Ingredients
Broth Added
Cooked Tomatillo Mixture
Drained Sauce Ingredients 
Ready to Process 
Pureed Tomatillo Mixture
  1. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, breaking into smaller pieces, 6-7 minutes.
  2. Add the scallions and chopped poblanos and cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes. Add the tomatillo mixture and cook until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes.
Chicken Beginning to Cook 
Cooked Chicken
Poblanos and Scallions Added 
Tomatillo Mixture Added
Serve the chicken chile verde over rice and dollop with salsa (recipe follows).

Chicken Chile Verde with Avocado Salsa
For the Salsa
  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir gently to combine. (Make just before serving.)
Avocado Salsa

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