One of my favorite part about going to farmer’s markets when I was living in Charlottesville was finding a large variety of vegetables that I don’t normally find in my sad New Haven grocery stores. Given my proclivity towards spicy foods and Mexican flavors, I had been looking for a recipe that would use a variety of peppers. I finally found this stew, which turned out to be a perfect dinner. And you can actually find these peppers throughout the year, so this should not be a dish that you can only make seasonally.
The only issue is that this recipe does take a fair bit of time (over an hour), so if you’re looking for a quick dinner on a weeknight, this is not the recipe for you. With the amount of time taken to roast, peel and seed some pretty spicy peppers, this is more of a weekend project. And remember to wear gloves when seeding some of these peppers, especially if you wear contact lenses! As someone who has made the mistake of taking off her lenses after chopping jalapenos earlier, I can say that sometimes even soap doesn’t take off that capsaicin
Recipe courtesy Bon Appetit
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs
- 1 small bunch cilantro, trimmed, stems and leaves separated
- 2 large onions, chopped, divided
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 pound tomatillos, husked
- 4 Italian frying peppers
- 4 poblano or Hatch chiles
- 3 jalapeño peppers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Steamed rice
Preheat oven to 450°. Combine chicken, cilantro stems, 1 onion, and next 6 ingredients in a large pot. Add water to cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer very gently until chicken is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and let cool slightly; shred into bite-size pieces. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; set aside.
Transfer peppers and chiles to a a paper bag and let steam for 15 minutes, then peel and seed. Not sure how to peel roasted peppers? Click here
Combine peppers, chiles, and tomatillos in a food processor and purée, adding reserved broth from the chicken as necessary, until a coarse purée forms.
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add remaining 1 onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized in spots, about 15 minutes. Stir in tomatillo purée and remaining reserved broth; bring to a simmer.
Remove from heat and add chicken. Serve stew over rice and garnish with cilantro leaves