Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chicken Tacos with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa

I have come to appreciate the tomatillo!  The tomatillo is like a small green tomato, "tomate verde", but it is covered with a husk.  The tomatillo has been cultivated in Mexico and Guatemala since pre-Columbian times and there has even been evidence that the tomatillo was used as food dating back to 900 BC - AD 1540!  The tomatillo or husk tomato has withstood the test of time as it is still a major part of the Mexican and Guatemalan cuisine.

While the tomatillo is primarily used in sauces frequently combined with chilies to enhance the flavor of a dish, it is also said to stimulate the appetite.  Whether you choose to use the tomatillo raw or cooked, it makes a wonderful puree to add to meat dishes.  This puree or chili sauce is commonly known as salsa verde (green sauce) and it does enliven the flavor of any meat dish!

Today, though, I used the tomatillo raw to make an Avocado Tomatillo Salsa! The salsa accompanied chicken tacos with a squeeze of lime and a cold brew!  Trust me, you want the brew...the punch thrown by the salsa (because I didn't remove membrane and seeds) was enough to knock one off the chair!  It wasn't enough, however, to keep me from having seconds!


Today is Secret Recipe Club reveal day and I was assigned The Bad Girl's Kitchen.  What I learned from perusing the blog is that the blog is an open forum, so to speak, it was established as a spot where folks may share recipes for family and friends....so far 36 cooks contribute their tried and true recipes to the blog.

I selected a recipe that one of the bloggers raved about.  She had gotten the recipe from the 2012 Food and Wine Annual Cookbook...great source for some delicious meals, I might add.   The recipe was Fried Chicken Tacos with Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa.  While we rarely fry chicken we do love to try different salsas so Mr. T. and I agreed that this would be a great recipe to prepare.

We elected to grill some boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the tacos and we were not disappointed!  The chicken was moist and tender....just perfect in thin slices for the tacos.



Chicken Tacos 
with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa

Yield:  4 servings

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
Kosher Salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (pounded to about 3/4-1 inch thickness, even cooking)

1/2 pound (3 to 4 medium-sized) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Hot green chilies to taste:  1-2 serrano chilies or 1-2 jalapeños, stemmed, (membrane and seeds removed, if desired), roughly chopped
1 small onion, coarsely chopped (I used 1/3 of a medium purple onion.)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 ripe Haas avocado, pitted, flesh scooped out and cut in a 1/2 inch dice

Large pinch of cayenne pepper
Large pinch of chipotle chili powder

Artisan Style Tortillas, Corn and Whole Wheat Blend
Lime wedges

Prepare the chicken breasts by pounding for evenness.  Combine 1/4 cup of lime juice with 1 teaspoon of salt, stirring until dissolved.  Add the chicken breasts and lime mixture to a large plastic bag, seal.  Turn to coat.  Refrigerate for two hours.

Combine the tomatillos, garlic, serranos, onion, and cilantro leaves in the bowl of the food processor or blender.  Process to a coarse puree.  Transfer the salsa to a bowl.  Gently fold in the avocado (reserving a few pieces for the top) and 2 Tablespoons of lime juice.  Add salt to taste. Place in the serving bowl and garnish with cilantro leaves, the remaining avocado dice and a slice of lime.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and lay on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle the chicken lightly with cayenne and chipotle chili powder.  Grill the chicken on a medium-high grill until done.

(If you elect to fry the chicken you should:  Combine 1/3 cup flour, the cayenne, salt and pepper and dredge the chicken in the mixture, shaking off any excess.  Heat oil in a large skillet and fry the chicken over moderately high heat until well browned and crisp.  Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.)

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and thinly slice into strips.  Serve the chicken in warm tortillas topped with salsa and a lime wedge.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


The salsa keeps for a day or two with the avocado not turning.  We managed to enjoy more chicken tacos for dinner the next day...it is way too good!  I see these appearing on the table in the future!  I might try roasting the tomatillos first next time, just for fun.


14 comments:

  1. The all green guacamole looks so pretty and fresh. Love it!
    Sam

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  2. Fresh, healthy Practical, Flexible, these all words perfect match your recipe.
    Personal Chef Boston

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  3. These tacos look amazing and that guac!!! great choice.

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  4. Oh yum these tacos look delicious!

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  5. I love all the fresh flavours in these. I just wish I could get tomatillos over here.

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  6. Kathy - The tacos and salsa both look delicious - we need to make some Mexican.

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  7. Your tacos and salsa look delicious and would be perfect on a hot summer's night! Great SRC choice!

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  8. Looks delicious, I heart tomatillos!

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  9. The tacos look great and the tomatillo salsa looks so fresh - makes me want to try tomatillos!

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  10. That salsa looks amazing, and really healthy. Yum :)

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  11. This is one of our favorites! Grilled chicken is a great alternative too.
    Glad you enjoyed the tacos!
    Min
    The Bad Girl's Kitchen

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  12. yum! I love chicken tacos and this salsa sounds awesome.

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  13. Now I am hungry. Just the kind of food my family loves.

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  14. What a great salsa recipe. I'm always looking for new ones, love the tomatillo!

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