Kitty’s Miraculous Braised Chicken and Tomatillo Stew

When it comes to creating a dynamite Veggie Fake-Out, you really need look no further than your blender or food processor.  Case in point:  Unless you were planning to dip it in chocolate and deep fry it in KFC Original Recipe batter, there is nothing short of a Blender Miracle that could make a Green Food Hating, White Castle Cravin’ Husband like mine eat something that looks like this:

But eat it he does!  Wrapped in charred flour tortillas or spooned over yellow rice, this zingy and healthy soup/chili/stew has become one of the bestest new Veggie Fake-Outs created at the My Husband Hates Veggies Headquarters.

Kitty’s Chicken and Tomatillo Stew
Makes 4 servings

6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
3/4 cup carrot, diced
3/4 cup onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 pound fresh tomatillos, papery skins removed, pureed in a blender or food processor
1 cup chicken stock or broth*
1 cup prepared salsa verde (I use Goya)
1 can small white beans
Adobo seasoning blend
fresh ground black pepper
olive oil
canola oil

1) In your favorite deep, 5 -6 quart pot, heat a couple tablespoons each of oil over medium heat until hot.  Season the chicken well with the Adobo seasoning and pepper, and lay the pieces skin-side down in the hot oil.

2) Let the chicken sizzle for a few minutes, and don’t turn until they easily can be moved.  Once they are nicely golden on each side, remove the chicken from the pan and keep aside on a plate.

3) Add the carrot, onion, garlic and jalapeno to the pot, and saute a few minutes until soft and fragrant.  Add the chicken stock, salsa verde and tomatillo puree to the pot, scraping the brown yummy bits off the bottom of the pot as you stir, and allowing the mixture to begin to bubble.

4) Nestle the chicken thighs back into the pot, (pouring any chicken juices into the pot that have escaped onto the plate), cover the pot tightly, and set the temperature to low.

5) Allow to simmer for at least 45 minutes, and check the chicken.  You want it to be fall off the bone tender.  When it is, remove it again from the pot, and allow the stew to simmer uncovered and thicken while you work on the chicken.  Discard the skin and bones from the chicken thighs, and with 2 forks, shred the chicken meat and add it back to the pot.

6) Stir in the small white beans, and taste to adjust seasonings.  When you are ready to serve, garnish with fresh cilantro.  The stew will be deliciously soupy if served immediately.

*If refrigerated overnight, the natural pectins in the tomatillos will thicken the stew, so adjust your liquids according to how hearty of a stew you desire.

Behold the power of the mighty tomatillo – packed with potassium, folic acid and vitamins A & C, as well as a whole bunch of little things called withanolides, which are known for their anti-cancer properties.  (Going gluten-free?  The naturally occurring pectin in tomatillos thickens recipes that are allowed to chill after cooking.)  Technically a fruit, and cousin of the tomato, their flavor is lemony and lightly tart, and pairs well with chicken, fish and pork, as well as a variety of beans and veggies.  Canned purees can be found in Mexican specialty markets.

The other veggies thrown into this stew certainly up the health-factor, not to mention the fiber-rich little white beans and topping of fresh herbs.  But what makes this recipe a truly awe-inspiring Veggie Fake-Out?  The fact that my Husband asks for seconds, and doesn’t have room for dessert.  It’s a Veggie Fake-Out Miracle!

On the My Husband Hates Veggies Official Veggie Fake-Out Broccoli Head Rating Scale, I give this recipe 9 out of 10 heads of broccoli.

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