chicken stew with tomatillos, avocado, and toasted pepitas

chicken stew with tomatillos, avocado, and toasted pepitas

 

Tomatillos, those small green tomatoes wrapped in a paper-thin husk, are often found in salsa verde. Here we’ve blistered them under a hot broiler, though they’ll still impart that lovely tart punch. Then there’s heat from a poblano (they vary in intensity) and jalapeño, so make sure to add only half a jalapeño if you prefer a milder dish. No stew (or soup!) is complete without a topping. This one boasts smooth slices of avocado and crispy pepitas, still hot from your skillet. Cook, relax and enjoy!

What you’ll need:

1 poblano
1 white onion
11 oz tomatillos
2 cloves garlic
1 small jalapeño
12 oz boneless skinless chicken thighs
¼ cup pepitas
fresh cilantro sprigs
16 oz chicken broth
1 avocado
neutral oil such as vegetable or safflower
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper

Equipment:

rimmed baking sheet
small pot
immersion blender, food processor or blender
small skillet

Recipe steps:

1. Prep vegetables

Preheat broiler with rack 6 inches from heat source. Cut poblano in half lengthwise and remove stem and seeds. Cut onion into 8 wedges, remove skin. Peel off husks from tomatillos. Place all on a rimmed baking sheet along with unpeeled garlic and the whole jalapeño. Toss with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pan.

2. Broil vegetables and chicken

Place baking sheet under broiler and cook until well charred, about 10 minutes. Turn all the vegetables over and continue for cook for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.

3. Toast pepitas

Meanwhile, heat ½ teaspoon oil in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add pepitas and stir until toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in ¼ teaspoon of salt and transfer to a paper towel to drain and cool.

4. Transfer ingredients

When cool enough to handle, peel off garlic skin and remove peel from poblanos. Remove stem and seeds from jalapeno. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and scrape remaining ingredients and juices into a small pot (for less heat, use only as much of the jalapeno as you would like).

5. Purée stew

Remove thick stems from cilantro. Add leaves and tender stems to the pot along with the chicken broth. Purée with an immersion blender (or place all ingredients in a blender or food processor to puree). Reheat stew until simmering over medium heat. Season with salt.

6. Shred chicken and prep garnish

Cut avocado in half and remove pit. Cut into slices then scoop from skins. Shred chicken with two forks and stir into stew, saving a few for garnish. Serve stew ladled into bowls with remaining chicken, avocado slices and toasted pepitas. Enjoy!