Braised Chicken in a Tomatillo Sauce

So, I’ve rearranged a few priorities in my life.

Oh, no no – listening to Wilson Phillips on repeat is still at the top. As well as honing my breakdancing in a giant eggshell costume craft. I’ve not gone off the deep end or anything, YOU GUYS.

I’ve just decided to braise things more often. Chicken thighs, pork chops, beef tips, elephant trunks, rusty nails. I’m gonna get BRAISY CRAZY.

Please don’t close out your browser just yet.

The other day I braised these here chicken thighs in a tomatillo sauce. Which by the way, don’t even get me started on the forgotten treasure of the tomatillo. Oh, and hominy too. Seriously, I would go hominy bobbing in a barrel of tomatillo sauce every other hour if I needed to. I would.

It became clear to me at that very moment. Braising. Nestling pieces of whatever in a shallow simmering sauce until it’s fall apart art in your mouth hole. It’s genius.

I might change the name of this blog to Bev Braises. What do you think?

Okay, you can close out your browser now.

Braised Chicken in a Tomatillo Sauce:

(adapted from Everyday Food)

Oh! BA: Braisaholics Anonymous. I’ll be team captain! Or whatever.

What it took for 4:

* 2 (12 oz) cans whole tomatillos, drained
* 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of any excess fat
* 2 jalapenos, minced (leave the seeds in for more heat)
* 1/2 medium onion, diced
* 3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 (15 oz) can white hominy, drained
*1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
* juice from 1/2 lime
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
* 2 cups cooked jasmine rice

Throw the tomatillos into a food processor and pulse until combined.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high. Add the chicken breasts and sear until browned on both sides, 6 minutes total. Remove from pot and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the pot if needed, then toss in the jalapeno and onion. Saute until softened, about 4 minutes.

Add the garlic and bloom for 1 minute.

Stir in the the tomatillo puree along with the hominy. Season with salt and pepper.

Nestle the chicken back in, along with the collected juices, cover the pot and simmer until chicken is cooked all the way through, 20 to 25 minutes.

Toss in the cilantro and the lime juice. Taste one more time. Season accordingly.

Serve with jasmine rice.

Seriously, you’ll flip out.

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35 Responses to Braised Chicken in a Tomatillo Sauce

  1. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm #
    I just used a tomatillo for the first time ever a few weeks ago in a salsa. Ah-mazing. Love those little things!
  2. Kat @ Sensible Lessons January 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm #
    Gorgeous! Braising is the way to go! I want to be a member of BA!!
  3. Em (Wine and Butter) January 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm #
    MMMM - Ive never had hominy (and HOPE you can get it in the uk because...) I think it might be time to try. Im also on a major tomatillo kick at the moment. Also on a semi detox (trying to avoid TOOO much bread and sausage) so this could work very well. And im big on braising too!
  4. Kathryn January 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm #
    What an ace idea, I'm not sure I've ever seen hominy here but I will have to keep an eye out for it!
  5. Laurie {Simply Scratch} January 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm #
    Tomatillos are fricken awesome and I bet this tomatillo sauce is the shizzy. I can't wait to make this one Bev!
  6. Cassie January 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm #
    Nothing wrong with braising. Those tomatillos look amazing. Love this spicy-sounding sauce!
  7. kelley January 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm #
    Braise on, sista, braise on.
  8. Heather January 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm #
    Drooling right now. I had Mexican last night and I distinctly tasted tomatillo...the tomato's forgotten little sister, womp. Did you use a cast iron dish to braise the chicken? I've been searching for a good one!
    • Bev Weidner January 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm #
      I actually just used a regular old non-stick skillet! But you could absolutely use cast iron!
  9. Deborah January 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm #
    Yeah, I don't braise nearly enough. This definitely makes me want to get into the kitchen!
  10. Sara {Home is Where the Cookies Are} January 12, 2012 at 3:54 pm #
    I just braised for the first time last week (*cringe*), but I loved the results! Now I can't stop thinking about what else I can braise, and how much wine I can include in the sauce. . . . Love this little recipe you have here. Can't really go wrong with fall-apart-chicken and salsa!!
  11. Katie January 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm #
    I think tomatillos are the prettiest things eveeerr. I need to make this just so I can stare at them.
  12. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray January 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm #
    This looks amazing. Love the addition of hominy.
  13. Jennifer | Mother Thyme January 12, 2012 at 6:46 pm #
    Fabulous! You have inspired me to get some braising on here! I could eat that sauce alone, delicious!
  14. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga January 12, 2012 at 6:51 pm #
    You have a knack for making warm, soft comfort food look totally amazing on camera! I need your skills. Mine never quite turns out that well. Lol
  15. Deanna B. January 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm #
    My mom made a dish like this but she did it the lazy way. Her base was a can of green enchilada sauce since it was faster for a weeknight meal. And I like Bev Braises.
  16. Kevin January 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm #
    Nice, Bev. If you want a different take on it, check out this recipe I got from Pati's Mexican Table:
  17. Norma January 12, 2012 at 9:25 pm #
    Do you know that tomatillos are a member of the gooseberry family? If you like them and hominy together, I have a crockpot/slow cooker recipe for pasole you might like. This is a Mexican soup. It is made a little different that what you will get in MX but I can get all the ingredients for it in rural MO. it can have other meats in it in MX but I use chicken breast and cook on the top of the stove. Can't wait to eat it. I do share recipes. Norma email and I will send it
  18. DessertForTwo January 12, 2012 at 10:53 pm #
    I will bobb for hominy in a vat of tomatillo sauce with you. Like for life. FOR LYFE. 4LYF!
  19. Britt @ The Magnolia Pair January 12, 2012 at 11:18 pm #
    Ohh this looks so yummy !! XO. Britt The Magnolia Pair :)
  20. Alison @ ingredients, Inc. January 13, 2012 at 1:56 am #
    wow I love this! When can I come over?
  21. kelsey January 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm #
    um yum.
  22. jill January 14, 2012 at 2:12 am #
    Where did you find your canned tomatillos? I couldn't find them in my grocery store..did you go to a specialty shop? Thanks! (looks delicious :0))
    • Bev Weidner January 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm #
      Hey, Jill! I found them in the aisle with all the beans and tomatoes. They were specifically next to the chipotle peppers in the adobo sauce and all the salsas. I hope that helps!
  23. Susan January 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm #
    I've never used canned tomatillos before....did you drain them first before you processed them?? thanks!
    • Bev Weidner January 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm #
      Yes, you do drain them! I just updated the instructions to reflect that. Thanks so much!
  24. Susan January 15, 2012 at 6:56 pm #
    thanks! the recipe reminds me of the pozole i make, but that has tomatoes instead of tomatillos....I am going to try it this week!
  25. Stephanie @cookinfanatic January 17, 2012 at 5:39 pm #
    this recipe looks absolutely delicious! i love using hominy and am always on the look out for a great recipe to include it in, paired with chicken thighs and tomatillos this one looks so good!
  26. Jena February 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm #
    I make this dish alllllllll the time! We totally love it! I made a few changes though.... Instead of buying canned tomatillos I buy 2lbs of fresh ones and 3 jalapenos, chop em up, drizzle with olive oil and roast them in the oven for about 30minutes until soft. Then I throw it all in the food processor and continue the recipe as stated. Oh and instead of using hominy I use canned chickpeas! Thank you for the wonderful recipe! We really enjoy it!
  27. Brittany September 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm #
    Yum! Can't wait to try! Could you possibly sub the hominy with garbanzo beans?
  28. Sara November 6, 2013 at 5:59 am #
    I have made this dish once before and we loved it! I want to make it again tonight! I was wondering, besides rice, do you serve anything else with it? Like a vegetable?
  29. Jennifer J April 27, 2016 at 11:17 am #
    Hey Bev - pulled this recipe out of the back of the rack last night and the BF went nuts for it again. Was hoping for some leftovers tonight but I am pretty sure he will be finishing it up at lunch time before I get home. We love the tomatillos (especially fresh) so hoping for some other ideas/recipes on the blog in the future! Take care!
  30. Jane September 18, 2022 at 4:54 am #
    I just made Martha Stewart's Tomatillo Chicken, which you adapted from. I have sauce left over and I found a similar recipe, but shrimp is used instead of chicken parts. I, like you, used thighs, but left the skin on and bone in for flavor then removed both skin and bone before serving. I am now thawing shrimp to add to the sauce that was left over. Think about doing shrimp next time you make it. I added yellow hominy and chopped avocado from two fruits, but I am on a new diet, so next time for me, it will be chic peas instead of the hominy.


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