Green Chile with Chicken

Green Chile with Chicken


I’ve loved green chile since I first encountered it many years ago in New Mexico. A meat, like pork or chicken, is cooked in a sauce rich in roasted medium-hot green peppers. And no beans are included in the chile, as they typically would be in Tex-Mex chili, though beans are often be served as a side dish.


Green Chile with Chicken
Not having easy access to the wonderful New Mexico green “Hatch” chilies (they can be bought roasted and ground, frozen, on the Internet), I’ve made green chile both at the restaurant and at home using a mixture of Poblano, Jalapeño and ordinary green bell peppers, along with tomatillos, onion and garlic for the sauce. And most recently I’ve tried not roasting these vegetables before grinding them for the sauce, rather grinding them raw in the food processor then “frying” the mixture with olive oil before adding the meat. It’s not like being in Santa Fe, but it still tastes good!


Here’s my current, much easier, recipe for green chile with chicken. It makes enough to serve six. It can be accompanied by a bean dish, rice, and/or cheese biscuits.


2 large poblano peppers

1 small green bell pepper

2 whole jalapeño peppers

3 medium-large tomatillos

1 medium-small onion

3 large cloves garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons salt, part for chicken part for sauce

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon dry oregano

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


Remove the stems, cores and seeds from the poblano and bell peppers. Cut the flesh into large chunks and place them in a food processor. Cut the stems off the jalapeños, but keep the seeds. Cut the jalapeños in half and add them to the food processor. Thoroughly puree the peppers, scraping down the inside of the processor several times. Transfer the pureed peppers to a heavy cooking pot.


Remove the outer husks from the tomatillos and twist out or cut out the small tough stems. Cut tomatillos in half and place in the food processor. Peel the onion and cut it into large chunks and add it to the processor. Peel the garlic cloves and add them to the processor. Thoroughly puree these vegetables. Add the mixture to the pot, scraping out the processor container well.


Add olive oil to the pot and cook the mixture over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot frequently.


Meanwhile, trim away any tough or fatty parts from the chicken breasts. Cut the meat into medallion-type pieces, 1-1/2 by 1 by 1/2 inch. Mix the chicken with cornstarch plus 1 teaspoon of the salt. Allow chicken to marinate until ready to add to the vegetable sauce.


Add the other 1 teaspoon of the salt plus the dry spices and herbs to the vegetable mix, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.


Bring the mixture back up to a boil and stir in the marinated chicken. Stir frequently until the raw color has fully left the chicken. Reduce the heat again, cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste the sauce and a bit of chicken and add salt to taste, if needed.


It’s best to let the chile cool, then reheat it to serve. Do a final taste-test on the salt at this time, and add a little if needed.


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