I’ve probably told this story a million times, but here it is again.
The story of how I fell in love with chile verde. How it screams everything warm and comforting to me.
So, here goes the story…
I used to live with two guys and a girl in a house right near the beach in California. It was beautiful and everything you’d imagine living in LA would be. I ran on the beach almost every single day. I biked to Santa Monica and rode the Ferris wheel. I ate all the good food Los Angeles offered and nearly went broke doing it. And admittedly, I also found my passion for blogging there. It holds a special place in my heart, one I’m not sure I could ever forget.
Chile verde became one of my favorite meals during my time in LA. My roommate Danny and I loved to cook together. We’d spend hours at Costco on Saturdays sampling food and chatting about what recipes we’d make next. We noshed on his lemon-dill salmon weekly and I baked cookies almost every other day. This was the good life.
Alas, out of all the meals we made together, chile verde stands out for good reason. We cooked it as an experiment one afternoon; roasting chiles and loosely following recipes on the Internet — the house smelled spicy and my nostrils inhaled garlic and sweet onions. Magical, really.
After our first successful batch of chile verde, it became our Sunday house tradition. Boozy Manhattan Beach brunches, then we’d head back to the house to start on our chile verde dinner plan so that it could simmer with love all day long.
If you’re not familiar with chile verde, the traditional version calls for pork. I’ve never been a huge fan of pork; so this time I subbed juicy and moist chicken thighs and let them cook in the slow cooker. The flavors blend together and create the utmost perfect chicken chile verde you’ll ever taste. And quite frankly, I love that it’s healthier and easy to make, too. This just means there’s more room for corn tortillas, rice and beans — obviously.
Now you might be wondering why chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts? While chicken breasts are certainly leaner, they can often times become dry and rubbery when cooked in the slow cooker. I highly recommend trying out the Just BARE Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs — I promise you’ll fall in love with the tenderness of the chicken.
Hope you love this comforting recipe as much as I do. xo!
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Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde
- 2 pounds tomatillos, husked (paper skins, removed) and cut in half
- 4 Poblano or Anaheim peppers
- 2-3 jalapeños, depending on your spice preference
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 - 4 oz can diced green chiles
- 1 bunch of organic cilantro
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 pounds Just BARE Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
Place tomatillos cut side down, poblano peppers, jalapeños and unpeeled garlic cloves on a foil-lined large baking sheet. If necessary you can use two baking sheets. Place in the oven under the broiler setting for 8-10 minutes or until the tomatillos and peppers begin to roast and blacken. If you don't have broiler in your oven, you can put the oven at 425 degrees F (this option may take longer).
Transfer the poblano and jalapeno peppers to a plastic Ziploc bag and zip it tight (leave the tomatillos and garlic on the baking sheet for now). This allows the peppers to steam in the bag and after 5-10 minutes you should be able to remove the skin, stem and seeds off the peppers. It's okay if you don't remove the skin completely -- the most important part is removing the seeds and stems.
While the peppers are steaming in the bag, add tomatillos to a blender. You'll notice that they probably got juicy during the roasting. That's okay; you'll want to add all those juices to the blender too! Peel garlic cloves and add them to the blender along with the peppers, green chiles, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and chicken broth. Blend the ingredients until they are well combined.
Add chicken thighs and diced onions to slow cooker, pour tomatillo-chile sauce all over the top of the chicken and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7 hours.
Before serving, remove chicken with a slotted spoon and shred with a fork. Add back to slow cooker and mix in with a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve with brown rice, corn tortilla, tortilla chips, and/or beans. Serves 6.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Just BARE Chicken. All recipes, text and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting AK and the brands that help make this site possible!
Recipe by: Monique Volz / Ambitiosu Kitchen
Photography by: Sarah Fennel / Broma Bakery