Introduction: Chicken Chile Verde Tacos

My friend Christian taught me this recipe. It was a revelation for me to learn about deglazing and saucing up a pan.

Step 1: Ingredients

  • Chicken thighs
  • Tomatillos
  • Garlic
  • Jalapeños
  • Onion
  • Cilantro
  • Limes
  • Tortillas

Step 2: Prep

Start by chopping garlic and jalapeño pepper to taste - I like a lot of garlic and a medium amount of spiciness.

Step 3: Prep (cont.)

Also prep your toppings, a diced white onion, cilantro and lime.

Step 4: Browning and Deglazing

The recipe requires a cast iron skillet. Heat the skillet to medium heat before putting in the chicken thighs. Brown them on the skin side, pouring off some of the fat and taking care to deglaze the pan often with a wooden spoon. Beer works well for this purpose.

Step 5: Add Tomatillos and Seasoning

When the chicken thighs are browned on one side, flip them and deglaze the pan again. Then add the tomatillos - use at least one per piece of chicken, maybe a few more. Add some garlic and jalapeños, sprinkling it on top of the chicken so it doesn't burn.

Step 6: Caramelize Tomatillos

Caramelize one side of the tomatillos, constantly deglazing the pan. Your goal is to brown and caramelize everything without burning anything or letting it stick to the pan - it's labor intensive, but worth it. Sometimes I will move the chicken to the edges of the pan or even stack it on top of the tomatillos so it doesn't burn or stick.

Step 7: Sauce Up the Pan

Once the tomatillos are browned on one side, flip them and pop them. Their juices form an excellent saucing medium. Keep deglazing, adding beer as necessary. Add more garlic and jalapenos.

Step 8: Break Up the Chicken

When the chicken is cooked on both sides, break it up with your spoon, flip it and break it up again to get some of it off the bones.

Step 9: Reduce Heat and Simmer

Reduce heat and simmer until the chicken and sauce are fully incorporated.

Step 10: Heat Up Tortillas

While it's saucing up, heat up some corn tortillas on the burner.

Step 11: Serve and Enjoy

Serve your chicken chile verde tacos with onion, cilantro and lime. I have heard that this is the way it's done in Baja California, without tomato-based salsa or a lot of peppers.My friend Cesar says go easy on the lime so it doesn't overpower the sauce. It's pretty good with avocado and a dollop of sour cream, too.