Pollo Verde ~ Chicken with Tomatillo Sauce

Pollo Verde

Let’s start by saying that this Pollo Verde is delicious. It’s a classic dish that’s easy to make and relatively inexpensive.  But it bears saying again, “It is oh so delicious!”
Photo - Husked Tomatillos NHF watermark - Pollo Verde - Chicken with Tomatillo SauceWhen friends come out of hibernation and start gathering together to celebrate the beginning of the warm season, it’s the perfect time for a party.  Last night, we joined our fantastically wonderful group friends for a pot luck dinner.

Theme …  Mexican!

I like authentic Mexican food. When I say “Mexican food,” I mean real food made with healthy, lively ingredients.  Distinctly fresh, light and classically delicious.

Also, many of these dishes are easy to execute as gluten-free and dairy-free meals.  Since a few of us in our group are also corn-free, Pollo Verde makes for a perfect meal!

Off to the store in search of fresh tomatillos!

Photo - Tomatillos with husks NHF Pollo Verde - Chicken with Tomatillo SauceWhile it’s used in many dishes enjoyed by Americans, some might be unfamiliar with the lovely tomatillo.

Think nightshade family (like tomatoes and eggplant) but green, or sometimes purpley-green, encased in a papery husk with a slightly tart flavor that uniquely belongs to the “Mexican Green Tomato”.

If you’ve ever had green salsa, which is served in many “mexican” restaurants, it would have been most authentically made from tomatillos.

Pollo Verde literally translates as Green Chicken.  Like so many traditional dishes, there are as many versions of Pollo Verde as there are people who prepare it.

Because this dish is so easy to make, I was almost embarrassed by the many compliments last night.  Almost 😉

Pollo Verde
Chicken with Tomatillo Sauce

8 to 12 Servings

Photo - Peeled Tomatillos NHF Social - Pollo Verde - Chicken with Tomatillo SauceWhat’s in it  …

8 to 10 tomatillos (Mexican green tomatoes), (about 2 1/4 lbs.; 1 kg)
1/4 cup (60 ml) dry vermouth or inexpensive sake
1 bunch cilantro (coriander greens)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 jalapeno, deseeded and cut into chunks (optional)
2-3 lbs (910-1360 g) boneless chicken thighs, each cut into 2 pieces
Fresh lime wedges (optional)

You’ll also need …

electric blender or food processor
large baking dish

How to pull it together …

Since tomatillos come with their own “wrapping”, the papery husks need to be removed and the tomatillos rinsed under warm running water in order to rinse some of the slickness off them.  Then, roughly chop.

Working in stages, combine and process chopped tomatillos, vermouth, cilantro, onion and garlicn in an electric blender until pureed.  I enjoy using this high performance blender that Santa brought me for Christmas last year!

If necessary, prepare in 2 batches, then mix together at the end.  It is possible you’ll need to add more vermouth as you go.

Sample the sauce the add salt and pepper to taste.  It’s important to remember that you’ll be adding salt and pepper directly to the chicken before baking.  So, it’s best to be  little light handed here.

Then, add half of the jalapeno pieces to sauce in blender and process until smooth.  Taste and add more until the sauce has about half of the “heat” that you like.  Set aside.

Very lightly sprinkle baking dish with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken pieces on top of the salt and pepper in baking dish. Very lightly sprinkle more salt and pepper over the chicken pieces.

Pour the tomatillo puree over the chicken to completely cover.  Shake the dish a bit so the sauce can work it’s way down between each piece.

Cover and bake in a preheated 325F (165C) oven, until the chicken is done, about 1 hour.

To add a light zing to your Pollo Verde, serve it with lime wedges.

This dish is tasty with …

Spanish Rice and Bloody Maria’s (substitute tequila instead of vodka in a Bloody Mary).

You’re looking at pics of the tomatillos that went into this dish last night.  Due to an urgent appetite, I forgot to take photos of the final result.  I’ll try to remember to actually snap a photo next time Pollo Verde is featured on our table!  But memory is a tricky thing when one is hungry.

Recipe Card …

Pollo Verde ~ Chicken with Tomatillo Sauce
Author:
Cuisine: Central/South American
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 8 to 12 Servings
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
What you'll need ...
  • 8 to 10 tomatillos (Mexican green tomatoes), (about 2¼ lbs.; 1 kg)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) dry vermouth or inexpensive sake
  • 1 bunch cilantro (coriander greens)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded and cut into chunks (optional)
  • 2-3 lbs (910-1360 g) boneless chicken thighs, each cut into 2 pieces
  • Fresh lime wedges (optional)
  • YOU'LL ALSO NEED:
  • electric blender or food processor
  • large baking dish
How to pull it together ...
  1. Under warm running water, peel off each tomatillo’s husk and rinse some of the slickness off the tomatillos. Roughly chop.
  2. In stages, combine and process chopped tomatillos, vermouth, cilantro, onion and garlicn in an electric blender until pureed. I enjoy using this high performance blender that Santa brought me for Christmas!
  3. Prepare in 2 batches, if necessary, and mix together at the end. Add more vermoth if needed as you go.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add half of the jalapeno pieces to sauce in blender and process until smooth. Taste and add more until the sauce has about half of the “heat” that you like. Set aside.
  6. Very lightly sprinkle baking dish with salt and pepper. Place the chicken pieces on top of the salt and pepper in baking dish. Very lightly sprinkle more salt and pepper over the chicken pieces.
  7. Pour the puree over the chicken to completely cover. Shake the dish a bit so the sauce can work it’s way down between each piece.
  8. Cover and bake covered over very low heat or in a preheated 325F (165C) oven until the chicken is done, about 1 hour.
  9. Serve with lime wedges.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 12 Calories: 178 Fat: 7.0 Carbohydrates: 4.7 Protein: 21.2

 

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