I've been meaning to try this Tomatillo Chicken recipe ever since I saw it in the September issue of Everyday Food magazine. Some things just take time to come together. This recipe isn't too labor intensive, although I will admit it took me longer than 15 minutes of prep.
If you've never worked with tomatillos before, you just remove the papery husk, then the fruit will be sort of sticky. I've found that barely warm water is helpful, and you can just rub the sticky stuff off with your fingers. Not too bad, just remember that tomatillos are a bit fragile so don't get carried away scrubbing.
I also had to cook my chicken in two batches (I used a couple 1.5 pound package of thighs because that's what I had). Other than that I followed the recipe, using the hominy out of curiousity, but leaving out the cilantro both because I forgot about it and also because I'm just not a fan. Sorry, cilantro.
Oh, and I also only used one jalapeño, most of the seeds removed, because I have two young boys who occasionally don't like "spicy" foods. And honestly there's no telling what will trigger the "too spicy" response for the oldest one, sometimes it's just too much plain black pepper. This from a boy who used to eat raw serrano peppers out of the garden. It boggles my mind too.
There was one thing that confused me: at the end of the recipe, during the simmer, it doesn't tell you to reduce the heat on the burner. I reduced the heat to just over low. (I could still hear the chicken simmering) I felt like they wanted me to, even though it wasn't explicitly stated.
This chicken is excellent. Tangy and delicious. Even H-Bomb liked it, and Number One and I ate more than our share. So good.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
2 pounds tomatillos (husks removed), washed and halved
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces (wings reserved for another use)
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 jalapeños, chopped
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can (15 ounces) hominy (optional), drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. In a food processor, puree tomatillos, set aside. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pot, skin side down. Cook until browned on one side, 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
2. Add jalapeños and onion to pot and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatillo puree and hominy, if using; season with salt and pepper. Nestle chicken, skin side up, in sauce. Cover pot; simmer until chicken is cooked through, 22 to 25 minutes. Stir in cilantro; season with salt and pepper.