In the move to cook healthier food, I started making a green chile and chicken “stew” that was lighter and healthier than my favorite red chili with 3 kinds of meat (pork, ground beef and filet mignon). I still love that recipe, and will make it this Fall for sure, but the lighter version has become my standby and my personal fave. I had a crowd over for dinner this past Saturday after a full day out and about, so cooked this up since it’s relatively simple and great for feeding a large group. I happen to have some New Mexican green chiles (from Hatch) in my freezer, thanks to friends in Santa Fe, so used those rather than the canned diced green chiles. Yummy!!! Love that smoky flavor that the Hatch chiles add to this dish, but it’s good regardless.
Here is my recipe, which takes about 90 minutes to make, start to finish (with about 1 hour of cooking time). This serves about 4 people, and can be doubled.
1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ cubes
3 Tbsp flour
5 Tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups chopped yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 fresh pablano or anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped**
2-3 jalapeno chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped**
2 cups corn kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn or frozen
2 cups chicken broth
6-8 fresh tomatillos, husked and coarsely chopped
2 15-oz cans white beans
1 small can (5 oz) of mild diced green chiles
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1/2 Tbsp cumin
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
Additional chopped cilantro
Crumbled feta cheese or queso fresco
**Roast and peel the chiles first. If you have a gas stove, put the chiles right on the burners over a high flame. If not, put on a baking sheet under the broiler in the oven. Either way, allow outside skin to char, turning completely black, rotating to char on all sides. Place chiles in a brown paper bag and close. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. You will then be able to peel the skin off with your hands very easily (wear gloves!). Get rid of the stem and seeds, and chop the chiles.
Sprinkle the flour on the chicken pieces, or place in a ziploc bag with flour and shake until pieces are well coated. Heat oil in a large pot or casserole over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add the chicken in a single layer (do in multiple batches if needed) until well browned on all sides. Remove to a bowl.
In the same pan, add the onion and garlic, and saute until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped fresh chilis, the chicken broth, oregano, cumin, tomatillos, beans, canned chilis and the browned chicken with any accumulated juices. Mix well and allow to come to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until thickened and flavors are well blended, about 45 minutes to an hour. Stir in the corn and cilantro.
Taste for seasoning, and add salt, pepper and lime juice if desired. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream, sprinkle with chopped scallions and cilantro, crumbled cheese and serve with lime wedges. I like to serve this with cornbread, freshly baked and served with honey and butter, and an arugula salad lightly dressed with a sweetened white wine vinegar dressing.