T's Tomatillo Slow Cooker Chicken

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sometimes, I find a recipe I want to make, I take a bunch of pictures with the intention of writing it up and posting it here, and then the end result is terrible. Most of the time, it's terrible because I've messed something up, but in the case of this recipe, I'm pretty sure it just needed edits.

Along that vein, do people really cook boneless skinless chicken breasts on the stove top in a pan? Sure, pound them out thin and you can get some scallopini going, but a full, juicy chicken breast? On the stovetop? And what is this tip: "Don't pull at it or mess with it until it pulls away from the pan easily." This has never happened for me. Ever. 100% of the times that I've tried pan cooking BSCBs, they have stuck to the pan and ripped, no matter how long I leave it alone to cook.

The bottom line here is this: I loved the flavors and wanted them again. I'd never cooked with tomatillos but they have such a bright green zingy flavor - kind of like green bell peppers but different. I decided to make the delicious sauce a night ahead and use it over chicken in the slow cooker. I'd promised my friend T that I'd develop a suitable Taco Tuesday slow cooker chicken for her without red salsa, so I hope this fits the bill!

Take off the papery outside covering - they're sticky inside and it weirded me out at first, but the internet assured me that it's normal and to not rinse it too hard since it adds to the overall flavor. Then, roast them whole, alongside garlic cloves and halved jalapeños. Take out the ribs (the white part inside) and seeds if you want a less spicy sauce. The first time I made it, I just went with those, but the second (successful!) time, I also used up a half red onion lounging around in the fridge. I'd highly recommend including it, I loved the flavor addition.

Our oven heating element is on the bottom, so instead of broiling I just set it to 500° and roasted the veggies on the bottom-most rack for 10 minutes, turning everything over once halfway through.

Let them cool a few minutes, then add into a blender with stock, a bit of flour, and fresh cilantro. I know that people are sometimes ANTI cilantro, so leave it out if you're on that side of things.

I did this in two batches and netted a little bit more than 4 cups of sauce - this bottle I stored it in overnight is 32 ounces and the overflow went into the random orange cup, in case you needed any reminding that I am a scrappy home cook.

I covered the orange cup with plastic wrap and refrigerated both vessels overnight. The main flavor component of the dish is now done. You could use this sauce in a ton of different ways. For one, you could simply pour the sauce over chicken breasts and bake them til they're cooked through. Or, do as I did, and cover a bunch of bone-in chicken thighs with the sauce in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 - 10 hours.

I served this dish both times over cauliflower rice. I used Gina's recipe, went WAY overboard with lime one of the times, but otherwise love this stuff. It's a good low-carb swap and we're pretty huge cauliflower fans to begin with, so this was a win-win.

Next time, I'd reserve some of the sauce from the slow cooker and reduce it on the stove top for the final plate. The beautiful green color faded somewhat in the slow cooker, but I could also remedy that with a fresh herb garnish.

All in all - don't be scared by the weird papery green tomato-lookin' things in your produce section. Try them out in this sauce!

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