Baked Chicken with Roasted Tomatillo Cream Sauce
The tomatillo is a plant of the nightshade family, related to the cape gooseberry, bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos originated in Mexico, and are a staple of that country’s cuisine.
You’ll need a sheet pan (baking sheet), food processor or blender, medium bowl and baking dish.
- 1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and halved
- 3 good-sized cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
- 2-3 serrano peppers, stemmed
- 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
- 1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro, plus more for garnish
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Preheat broiler. Spread tomatillos, garlic, peppers and onion on a sheet pan. Broil until charred and soft, turning once during cooking, about 2-3 minutes per side. Keep an eye on them. To prevent the garlic cloves from burning, I covered them with the tomatillos when I turned everything over. After you take the pan out of the oven, reduce the heat to 400.
Once the vegetables have cooled slightly, put them in a food processor with the cilantro. Pulse until finely chopped but still a bit chunky, not a puree. Add a tablespoon or two of water to get it a bit more saucy. If you don’t have a food processor or blender, just chop it all by hand and mix water in at the end. Season with salt.
In a medium bowl, stir together the tomatillo salsa and the cream. Put the chicken in a baking dish that holds everything snugly in one layer and cover with the tomatillo-cream sauce.
Bake the chicken until just cooked through, 25-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken.