Chili verde is a traditional Mexican dish typically consisting of pork butt, slowly cooked in a green or “verde” sauce. (You’ll see later that I usually make mine with chicken.) It is very popular in the U.S. and has long been one of my favorite Mexican dishes because it is full of wonderful flavor and also fairly easy to prepare. If you use a Crock-Pot like I do, it only takes a little bit of prep and the slow-cooker does the rest. You end up with an amazing and fairly healthy dinner.
I have been making chili verde with chicken thighs for years, rather than pork like it is traditionally made. No one even notices. I made the switch to chicken because it is leaner and healthier than pork. I’ve found that boneless, skinless chicken thighs are really good for these shredded Crock-Pot dishes. If you don’t have a slow-cooker or Crock-pot, you can get the one I use here. I highly recommend purchasing one if you don’t already own a slow-cooker. This is one of my most used kitchen appliances and it makes things really easy. Check out our previous post if you want some more Crock-Pot inspiration.
Chili verde is delicious and versatile. I like to eat it like the picture above, served over a plate of my Mexican Brown Rice, with a little cheese melted over the top. Yum! But it is also great in a taco, burrito, quesadilla or enchilada and probably any other way you could think of using it. My recipe is entirely from scratch so you know exactly what you are eating. It is also made with simple, healthy ingredients. The sauce is a mixture of tomatillos, onion, peppers, lime juice, and spices, so there really isn’t much prep work involved. This is especially true because I used canned tomatillos. (Fresh tomatillos are hard to find up here in Seattle.)
|If you have a rice cooker and a Crock-Pot you can
start this meal anytime and come back to it when you’re ready!
There is really only one semi-difficult step in this whole process and since it is something that people might not be familiar with, I want to go over it here first. I’m talking about the process of roasting peppers. There are two ways to do this so I’m going to go over both. The first is to roast your peppers in an open flame. This can only be done on gas stove-tops or on a grill/bbq but is much faster and can add some extra flavor. For this method, I usually shove a fork into the stem end of a pepper and set it right into the flame. Turn every couple minutes to ensure an even roast.
The second way to roast peppers is in the oven. For this method, you want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Rub your peppers with oil and place them on a baking sheet on the top rack in your oven. Turn every 5 minutes or so to ensure an even roast. The peppers are done when all sides look cooked and the skin is bubbly and starting to brown.
Using either method, once your peppers are roasted and while they are still hot, place them in a container with a lid or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Let them sit for about 15 minutes. This helps separate the skin from the fruit of the pepper. It also lets them cool down a bit so they are easier to peel. When they are ready, bring your roasted peppers over to a cutting board and remove the stem and seeds. Peel them like in the picture above.