Chicken with Salsa Verde

Salsa verde is the easiest thing ever. Made fresh on your stovetop in 45 minutes (including the meat), you’ll never buy the sodium-laden jars again.

Make tacos, enchiladas, burritos…or dip tortilla chips in it!

If you don’t like heat, leave the jalapeño out, because it does make the sauce spicy. Add in green bell pepper as a replacement.

As always, corn tortillas are traditional. Flour tortillas will work fine, but because they’re larger, you’ll get fewer tacos.

Garnish how you like…cilantro, lime wedges, radish slices, queso blanco…or sour cream. Or queso dip. Or all of the above. So delicious.

Chicken with Salsa Verde

Yield 10-12 tacos or enchiladas.

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken cuts (such as breast or thigh)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound tomatillos, papery shells removed, cut into small wedges
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced into rounds (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt to taste

garnish with:

  • chopped cilantro
  • radish slices
  • queso blanco
  • sour cream
  • hot sauce
  • lime wedges

Heat oil in a large fry pan (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat; generously salt and pepper chicken, and add to pan. Brown meat 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan to a plate.

Add chicken broth and scrape up the brown bits in the pan. When broth is simmering, stir in tomatillos, jalapeño, onion, and garlic. Simmer on medium-high heat 15-20 minutes, or until tomatillos soften. Using a potato masher or a wooden spoon, crush the tomatillos.

Add the chicken back and simmer 10-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and cut into slices; squeeze lime into sauce and season with salt if needed.

For enchiladas: heat tortillas, covered with a damp paper towel, in the microwave a few at a time, 15-20 seconds. Fill middle with a few slices of chicken, roll and place seam side down on a plate. Spoon verde sauce over the top. If desired, top with cheese and place under broiler for a few minutes to melt cheese. Finish with desired toppings.

For tacos: heat a dry skillet over high heat and lightly brown tortillas (corn only- heat flour tortillas using the microwave method above) until firm. Lay flat on a plate and add chicken, sauce and toppings as desired.

Enjoy!

Adapted from Bon Appétit’s Chicken with Salsa Verde

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Cuban-Style Enchiladas

I have this amazing cookbook called Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America.

Contained in its nearly 900 pages is the life’s work of chef and restaurateur Maricel Presilla, the result of a 30 years long trip that took her to the kitchens of families all over Latin America. I have learned so much from these recipes, and occasionally make one my own. The book got the James Beard Award, for heaven’s sake.

This recipe is my take on a Cuban enchilado recipe in Gran Cocina Latina originally meant for seafood. Certainly this would be great with shrimp or fish – I used chicken in this example. The sauce is very much like making a Spanish sofrito but I use a few shortcuts and omit or add some ingredients. The seafood and sauce is eaten over rice but I thought it would make great enchiladas!

It is mildly spicy, very garlicky and deliciously savory. This sauce over steamed mussels would be absolutely divine.

But today, let’s make enchiladas!

By the way, you could certainly take the extra step of pureeing the sauce with a stick blender until smooth so it looks more like enchilada sauce.

Cuban Style Enchiladas (sauce pureed)

 

Cuban-Style Enchiladas

Adapted from “Cuban-Style Shrimp in Enchilado Sauce”, Gran Cocina Latina cookbook

  • 1 pound chicken, cut into strips
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • juice of 1/4 lime

 

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes and chiles, mild or original
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch

 

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded colby or Mexican 4-cheese blend
  • fresh cilantro and sour cream, for garnish
  • 8-10 corn tortillas

In a zip-top bag, combine the chicken, 4 chopped garlic cloves, salt, and lime. Seal, toss to coat, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (I allowed 2 hours).

When the chicken is ready, take it out and clean it so no garlic is left. In a large saucepan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook 5 minutes or until soft.

Add the rest of ingredients except cornstarch and add a little salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Measure cornstarch out one teaspoon at a time, adding slowly and whisking to combine.

Put chicken in the sauce mixture, and spoon more over the tops to cover. Cover pan and let simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes, turning once.

Preheat your broiler on high.

Remove chicken to a plate and shred with 2 forks (if it doesn’t shred easily, it isn’t ready). Add a few tablespoons of the sauce to the shredded chicken and toss. Set aside.

Heat the stack of tortillas wrapped in a damp paper towel in the microwave until warm, 15-30 seconds.

One at a time, put about 1/4 cup chicken down the center of the tortilla; roll up and place seam-side down in a shallow baking dish. Repeat until all the filling is gone, pushing enchiladas snug up against each other as you go.

(Puree the sauce now, if desired.)

Now pour the pan’s contents over the enchiladas; top with shredded cheese.

Broil 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve with fresh cilantro, sour cream, and maybe some Cholula hot sauce! Enjoy!

Cuban Style Enchiladas


Fresh Pico de Gallo

Pico de gallo is such a great, fresh topping for so many dishes.  I like to use it where the taste of salsa is wanted, but without all the liquid and with more texture.

It is so simple and despite what you might read about pico only lasting the day it’s made, mine usually lasts through the next day as well.

Roma, or plum, tomatoes work best here, because they’re less watery.  But any tomato you have will work.

Top any Spanish/Mexican/whatever dish with this.  Eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Just kidding.

But really – top burritos, quesadillas, pork roasts, tacos.  Add it to wraps with turkey, veggies, and queso blanco.  Then make more so you can keep eating it!

tacos

Fresh Pico de Gallo

Yield 2 cups.

  • 3 Roma (plum) tomatoes
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 1/4 bell pepper (any color)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 limes
  • dash of cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Dice first 6 ingredients and add to a bowl.  Top with cumin, salt and pepper, and squeeze the juice of the limes over the top.  Stir gently to incorporate.

Serve with a variety of dishes, including tacos, quesadillas, roasted pork, or add to wraps.  Eat it on tortilla chips too!  Tightly covered, the pico will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.  If you have leftover pico the next day, make it into salsa by pulsing in a food processor or blender to give it new life.  Enjoy!