When we were in Nebraska this summer I had an awesome Mexican meal and an unusual salsa. I asked the owner of the restaurant what was in it and she told me it was tomatillos an avocado and a serrano chile blended together. Amazing flavor! My kitchen adventures have never included tomatillos but they were immediately on my “to try” list. After some internet research to learn more about this little gem I was good to go!
In Mexico they are called “tomato verde” which means green tomato and they are a staple of Mexican cooking. Although they are related to the tomato they grow and mature inside a papery husk.
Choosing -Choose the smaller ones as they are sweeter. The husk should be in tact and can range from light green to light brown. Tomatillos can by very inconsistent in flavor, with some being sour and others tasting mild and sweet. If the tomatillos are too tart for your taste, try adding a little sugar to balance the taste.
Storing - Leave the husk on until ready to cook with them. Store in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks. They can also be frozen sliced or chopped.
Prep - Peel off the husk before cooking and rinse them well in cool water as they are covered in a sticky substance.
Raw - Raw or uncooked tomatillos are often in Mexican sauces. They add a fresh citrus-like flavor.
Blanching – Blanching mellows the flavor. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the whole tomatillos (husks removed and rinsed) and boil for approximately 5 minutes or until soft. Drain and crush or puree as directed in your recipe.
Fire Roasting – Roast under the broiler, or over an open flame such as a grill. If the heat is not hot enough, the tomatillos will turn mushy before being charred. The charred or slightly blackened skins will enrich your sauces with a smoky flavor.
Dry Roasting - This will produce an earthy, nutty flavor. Place the tomatillos in a heavy fry pan (preferably a cast iron pan). Turn heat to low and roast for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
The ones I bought were about the size of fresh apricots. They are so cute!
A slow cooker recipe for Smoky Tomatillo Chicken caught my eye and seemed like the perfect recipe to begin with. It is a simple recipe with just a few ingredients and only took minutes to prep! I like easy.
Warm, smoky, garlicky with a slightly sweet undertone – it was delicious! Serve over a bed of brown rice and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. The tomatillos are easy to cook with and I am ready to try some more recipes using them.
Smoky Tomatillo Chicken – Slow Cooker
- 15 tomatillos, fresh — shucked, roughly chopped
- 1 each onion — chopped
- 2 chipotle chiles canned in adobo — chopped, remove seeds to make it milder, leave them in for heat.
- 4- 6 garlic cloves — minced
- 1/4 cup brown sugar ( or less if you don’t like sweet)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth ( I used 1 cup of broth and it was plenty)
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 pounds chicken breast
To thicken the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoon water
Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Mix the tomatillos,onion, chipotle chiles, garlic, brown sugar, broth and oregano together and pour over the chicken breast. Put the lid on the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or on high for 3 – 4 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker, shred meat using two forks. Remove the sauce from the slow cooker into a medium size sauce pan, thicken with 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed wtih 2 tablespoons cold water. Stir over medium heat until thickened. Add the shredded chicken to the sauce and stir to combine. Serve over hot rice if desired. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
Yield: 6 servings Serving Size: 1 cup
Nutritional Information (not including optional rice)
Per Serving: 253 Calories; 5g Fat; 37g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 93mg Cholesterol; 305mg Sodium. WWPP 6
If you are looking for more slow cooker recipes (or any type of recipe)be sure to click on the recipe tab at the top of the home page as it takes you to a recipe navigation page. Click on slow cooker tab and check out my tried and true recipes. Sometimes I will have two slow cookers going at the same time – they are perfect for stews, soups and roasts. Be sure to use the print function for the recipes, you can print with or with out the photo. Love that feature!
I have been getting a malware warning when I try to log onto several of my favorite blogs. Has anyone else been experiencing this?
After seeing this <3 on a few blogs I asked my daughter what it was. She told me it was a sideways “heart.” Who knew?
To your health,
Add Your Thoughts
Have you eaten and or cooked with tomatillos?
Do you have a recipe using them that you can share with me?
Do you have a slow cooker?