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Nothing Like Chile Verde

Friday, August 1, 2008

Nothing Like Chile Verde

vegetable oil for the pan
12 ounces chicken meat, cut into pieces
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup (packed) fresh minced parsley
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and black pepper
four cloves of garlic, minced
7 ounces tomato concassé
jalapeño or other hot pepper, minced, to taste
1/2 medium yellow onion (or more, or less, or none, per your taste), diced small
1 tablespoon lemon juice
water or chicken stock
How to make Nothing Like Chile Verde
It's funny what can happen to a recipe over time. This dish is something that my family makes, except they call it "chile verde." The truth, I'm afraid, is that real Mexican chile verde is a pork dish, with an insanely delicious sauce made out of tomatillos and green chiles. The recipe that follows probably started off with pork and tomatillos, but then somewhere along the line someone substituted chicken for pork, tomatoes for tomatillos, left out the onions (and then added them back in again later)... It's total gringa food, but nonetheless very tasty, calls for ingredients that are usually on hand, and is delicious any time of the year.

Heat a small amount of oil in a saucepan or soup pot.
Add chicken pieces, in batches if your pot is small, and brown well.
Add garlic, pepper, onion and spices. Toast briefly, then deglaze pan with water or chicken stock. You'll want to add just enough liquid to cover the lot.
Add tomato and lemon juice.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until chicken is very tender. I usually give it an afternoon on the stove, if I've got the time.
Stir in parsley, season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve over white rice or with tortillas.
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