Posted by / Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chicken with a Spicy Tomatillo Sauce

Well, fall is upon us and not many things smell better than something simmering on the stovetop, filling the house with those wonderful aromas! Toss in some roasted spicy peppers, garlic, and tomatillos and you have something that will also warm your insides!

  • 3 whole chicken legs
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4-5 tomatillos, husk removed and rinsed
  • 3 peppers (I mixed jalapeño, poblano, and Hungarian banana pepper)
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1T cumin
  • 1T rough chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • Salt & pepper

We have roasted peppers here on the blog in the past as but a simple refresher — take your peppers, tomatillos, and peeled garlic, splash with olive oil and put them under a broiler, rotating to char the skin. When finished the tomatillos and garlic can go straight into a food processor. Roll the peppers into a brown bag to cool and steam the skin for easy removal.

While the peppers are roasting, heat the olive oil in a pan and brown the chicken on all sides. Once the chicken is browned, remove to a plate and set aside. Add the onions to the chicken pan and cook until soft and almost browning. Add the chicken stock, lime juice and cumin bringing to a boil, scraping the pan to remove any bits of onion or chicken. Once boiling, lower the heat to simmer.

Remove the skin and seeds from the cooled peppers add them to the tomatillos and garlic in the food processor, pulsing several times until you have a chunky salsa-like consistency. 

Add the pepper mixture to the chicken stock and onions, bringing to a slight boil.

Return the chicken to the pan with any accumulated juices from the plate. Cover the pan and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.

You can plate the chicken and cover with the sauce to serve immediately. 

Need a dinner idea for Wednesday, I also like to make everything ahead on Sunday and put it in a casserole dish, letting it marinate overnight or for up to 2 days in the fridge, then bake it in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Don't forget to season with salt, pepper, and sprinkle with more fresh cilantro.

As I said in the beginning of the post, it's fall and the windows are open, so cook something that is going to cause a neighbor walking by to stop, inhale and say wow, that smells good! 

P.S. Got some chicken left over after the meal? Shred it into the sauce mix with added water or chicken broth to get the right consistency for a savory soup. Top with crumbled tortillas as kind of a Mexican Chicken Soup!

P.S.S. Serve it over brown rice as an easy option!

E.A.T. local E.A.T well


  1. I bet your fridge is filled with the most delicious things..

    1. Thanks Virginia and yes it typically is!

    2. Virginia thank you for sharing this recipe. I am making it tonight.

      Love mom

  2. This sounds delicious. I have pinned it. I am always apprehensive about these type dishes because I dislike cilantro, but I may try to find a workaround.

  3. The cilantro is not overpowering but you can use less or eliminate all together if you are really not a fan. I am sure it will be delicious!

  4. Ok, so I've made both salsa verde and braised chicken many times, but I've never thought to combine them! Wow, does this sound good! :)

    1. Sometimes its the simple things that you forget will go so well together! That is how the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup started right?

  5. I adore tomatillos, such an under-utilized ingredient. This looks fantastic!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. When do you add the lime juice?

    1. Thank you for catching that and I will update the post to correct this but you can add the lime juice with the chicken stock or right before you serve depending on how much of the lime you want to taste.


"Some people eat to live; I live to eat." -Tim Vidra

An avid home cook, I believe in using simple ingredients, local when possible and am inspired by the principles of supporting a sustainable food system. I’ve cultivated this blog as a way to share my passion for the preparation and enjoyment of food in a way that everyone from beginners to long time foodies can get involved in.



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