Braised Chicken with Tomatillos

Recipe adapted from Kate McMillan and Leite’s Culinaria
Serves 6


2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 pounds assorted chicken pieces, bone-in (skin removed) or boneless and skinless
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cups homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
3 fresh poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, and finely chopped (in a pinch, 1 or 2 jalapeños will work)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, plus more to taste and whole leaves for garnish
2 to 3 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or more to taste
Cooked white rice, quinoa or flour or corn tortillas, warmed



  1. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces on all sides. Pour olive oil into a large sauté pan or cast iron stockpot and set over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the chicken until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, add onion to the pan, and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the stock or broth, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the roasted chiles, garlic, tomatillos, chopped cilantro, and cumin. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Return the chicken plus any juices that have collected on the plate to the pan, cover, and simmer, turning once, until the chicken is at an internal temperature of 165º, about 20 to 30 minutes. (Smaller pieces of chicken, boneless pieces, and white meat will cook more quickly than larger pieces, bone-in pieces, and dark meat.) Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. Add the lime juice and extra cilantro to the sauce remaining in the pan and simmer over medium-high heat until slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning as necessary with salt and pepper. If a smoother sauce is desired, pulse all or half the sauce in a food processor or blender until the desired consistency
  4. Meanwhile, shred the chicken, if desired, discarding any bone.
  5. Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces or shredded chicken on the platter and garnish with the whole cilantro leaves. Serve with rice, quinoa or tortillas on the side.