November 10, 2017

... Chicken Verde Stew with Hominy

Hello, my name is Taylor.  It's been four years, four months, and seventeen days since my last blog post.  But I can promise it hasn't been that long since my last meal...

OMG, you guys!  How has it been so long??  I'm anxious to get back to posting about my favorite thing, food... so bear with me as I dust off the ol' blogging skills and try a few new recipes out on you.  

For my (re)debut, I made Chicken Verde Stew and you guys, it was everything I'd hoped it would be.  Warm for a super cold Kansas City night, filling, because well, we're trying to start watching our waistlines around here, and fun to make!  

I started by roasting Anaheim Chiles and Tomatillo Peppers - two things that I've never cooked with.  If this might be your first time, too, let me give you just a couple quick lessons learned from my experience.  First, depending on your oven, you may need more than 5 minutes to roast the Anaheim Chiles.  When I do it next time, I'll leave those babies in there just a minute or two longer to get a better char on the skin and make the skin easier to peel off.  

Second, do your research on how to buy Tomatillo Peppers.  After a quick Google search, I learned that you can peel back a little bit of the husk to make sure the flesh is firm and bright green.  Toss it back in the pile if it looks dried up or blemished.

And it certainly wouldn't hurt to throw a few extra into the bag just in case you accidentally pick up one or two that look like this one...

I'm pretty pumped to have stepped into the world of Tomatillos.  I love a good green salsa, so now I feel like I'm armed and ready to whip up some of my own.  

Here's another tip - make sure you prep everything in the recipe before you start cooking.  It seems like a no-brainer, and it's something I nearly always do.  Today, however, I had 'Friday Brain' or maybe 'I'm So Excited to Roast These Peppers Brain' that I didn't.  It's not the end of the world if you don't, obviously, but it'll make trying new recipes and cooking so much more enjoyable... and will also give you a minute to take a sip of your beverage of choice.  You know, if you like that sort of thing.  

So, chop all the veggies and get them into that pot.  I've spared you a picture of the raw chicken thighs because, well, gross.  And I think we all know what raw chicken looks like.  You're welcome.  

Before too long, you'll get this.  Look at that!  The peppers add a good bit of spice.  Nothing too hot, just a great bite and a little bit of heat.  The veggies and hominy make it almost feel a little bit like a chili and it's a little thicker like one, too, more than a soup.  I've never been a big fan of dark meat, but the thighs just have so much flavor and really take it up a notch from what I would imagine a regular ol' chicken breast might.  

Serve it with a dollop of sour cream, a side of chips (not shown because we tend to just take the bag to the table with us), and a cold Mexican beer and you've got yourself one heck of a dinner.  Shoot, there goes that whole waist-watching thing... 

serves 6

2 Anaheim Chiles
Cooking Spray
1 1/2 pounds Tomatillos
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 (29-ounce) can golden hominy, rinsed and drained
6 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream 
cilantro leaves (optional)

Preheat broiler to high.

Halve, stem, and seed chiles.  Place chiles, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; broil for 5 minutes or until charred.  Place chiles in a paper bag; seal.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  Peel and discard skins.  Arrange tomatillos on a prepared baking sheet, and broil 14 minutes or until blackened, turning once.  Combine the chiles, tomatillos, 1/4 cup cilantro, cumin, and oregano in a blender.  Add 1 cup broth; process until smooth.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add 2 teaspoons olive oil; swirl to coat.  Add onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper; saute for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in flour; saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add garlic; saute for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Place onion mixture in a large bowl.  

Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.  Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add half of chicken; saute 3 minutes.  Add browned chicken to onion mixture.  Repeat procedure with remaining chicken and 2 teaspoons oil.  Combine remaining 1 cup broth, tomatillo mixture, onion mixture, and hominy in pan over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. 

Taylor's Notes...
I didn't have a paper bag on hand to steam the chiles in, so I used a tupperware bowl with a lid.  Worked great.

I read a review on the original recipe that someone used white hominy instead of golden.  I had to buy two cans to get to the 29 ounces, so used one of each.  I liked the additional color it added - and actually, have no idea if the two taste differently or not.  Perhaps I should have tasted both before tossing them into the stew, but hey, if you ask me, it worked out!


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