Chicken Chilaquiles with Roasted Tomatillo and Poblano Salsa

The best American name for this vegetable would probably be “Mexican green tomato”, but they actually taste nothing like regular tomatoes, In fact, the tomatillo is not a tomato at all. The tomatillo has a tart, lemony flavor that is enhance when cooked (especially roasted) and is an excellent base for salsas. While salsa (salsa verde) is the most popular way to enjoy tomatillo, they can be used in other ways. Tomatillos contain high amounts of vitamin A&C. Tomatillos are our #2 sales item!

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1 3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 (16-ounce) package of corn tortillas (I use white corn), cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican
1 3/4 cup chicken stock
4 cups (about 12 ounces) shredded cooked chicken
6 ounces Chihuahua cheese, grated (Monterey Jack can be substituted)
2 3/4 cups Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (recipe follows)

Mexican crema or sour cream
Queso fresco
Chopped cilantro

For the salsa:
2 medium white onions, skin left on and halved
2 large poblano peppers
10 tomatillos (about 2 pounds), husked and washed
1-2 jalapeños (optional)
4 large garlic cloves, whole with skin left on
1 cup chopped cilantro or to taste
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Kosher salt to taste


Serves 8.

Preheat oven to 375º F.

In a large heavy pan, heat oil to 350º F. Fry a handful of tortilla strips at a time until golden brown and crisp stirring lightly with metal tongs to keep from sticking together, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined rack. Continue with remaining strips. Carefully pour off all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the hot skillet. Add the onion to the remaining oil and sauté until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the cumin and oregano and sauté another minute. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to 2/3 cup, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken and 2 3/4 cups of the salsa and bring the mixture to a boil.

Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the cheese and tortilla strips and toss to combine. Transfer the mixture to a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Bake uncovered until the top is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Serve with crema, crumbled queso fresco, chopped cilantro, and remaining salsa. Enjoy!

Roasted Tomatilo-Poblano Salsa:
makes about 5-6 cups

*The salsa can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated, covered

Preheat the broiler and position an oven rack in the highest position. Place the halved onions cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet along with the poblano, tomatillos, jalapeños, and garlic. Broil the vegetables, rotating as necessary until the skins have blistered and are slightly charred on all sides. Keep a close eye on them as the onions and garlic will cook faster than the peppers and tomatillos. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow them to cool until they can easily be handled. Remove the skin from the onion, trim the top and root end and roughly chop. Peel the garlic and chop. Rub the skins off the peppers, discard the stems and seeds and roughly chop. Place the onions, garlic, peppers, and tomatillos in a food processor and pulse until blended, but still chunky. Add the cilantro and lime juice and pulse until almost smooth. Season generously with salt to taste.

Source: Adapted from Gourmet Today by Ruth Reichl, via