Tuesday dinner: Chicken with salsa verde

Sunday’s Wegmans trip was a taste of Murphy’s Law at the grocery store. Usually, the produce department is hemorrhaging tomatillos, the sweet but ugly little fruit used to make salsa verde. Of course on the day I was looking for a half-pound of them, they were nowhere to be found. The produce manager told me that they would be on the truck that evening. So, Monday’s dinner moved to Tuesday.

The Wife likes tomatillos and will pretty much go with salsa verde (or simply, green salsa) whenever it is available. Our personal favorite is the variety dished at The Mission. It’s sweet, smokey and has just a hint of heat (they list it as a medium salsa). In the past, I’ve broiled and pureed them with other ingredients to make a traditional cold salsa as an accoutrement. Tonight, I went with a sauté.

WHAT WORKED: Goya Recaito. Bon Appetit‘s recipe was pretty straightforward, but the sauce needed cilantro. Upon further review, I didn’t have any on hand. But, I did have Goya’s cilantro cooking base in the fridge. Think of it as Mexican vegetable stock, used in the same way a demiglace or chicken base might be used.

WHAT DIDN’T: This recipe uses a lot of salt. With the Recaito involved, I cut the sodium back significantly.

WHAT DID THE WIFE THINK: Me: “I’m hogging all of the avocado. Have some.” Her: “I’m good.” Me: “I’ve avocadoed you out this summer, haven’t I?” Her: “Yup.” Sigh.

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: I doubt it. Look, it’s a fine recipe at its core, but it’s really salty and I don’t think that it carries without the cilantro in the ingredients. And, if I’m going to make this again, I would rather make a big batch of cold salsa verde that we can eat with chips and whatnot.

Chicken with salsa verde
Based on a recipe from Bon Appetit

  • 2 5 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 lb. tomatillos, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Goya Recaito
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • One serving of cooked brown rice
  • Half an avocado, cubed

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear chicken breasts until golden brown, 3–4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a serving platter. Add broth to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits.

Stir in tomatillos, onion, garlic and Recaito. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until tomatillos start to break down, about 10 minutes. Return chicken breasts to pan and continue to simmer until sauce is thickened and chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes longer. Season sauce to taste with salt, pepper, and lime juice. Serve atop rice with a side of tortilla chips (I opted for Archer Farms blue corn tortilla chips with flaxseed).

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