Imagine my surprise when my giant heirloom tomato seeds grew and grew, but did not produce anything that even resembled a tomato. Then, little green balloon-like pods started sprouting where the tomatoes were supposed to grow. It turns out my tomato seeds were actually tomatillos, and now my garden is filled with ripe bundles of joy just like this:
I guess the seed gods knew it was Grubarazzi's first birthday today so they sent me natures closest interpretation of a balloon bouquet.This strange little Mexican fruit is delicious straight from the plant, blended in to salsas, cooked in to chili, or fried like a green tomato.So many options so little time.
I also despise following the rules so instead of making a cake to celebrate one year of blogging I made spicy Chicken Chili Verde instead.
Happy birthday, Grubarazzi! You keep me feeling inspired and creative. A big thank you to everyone who has visited and commented over the last year. Without your friendship and cheers Grubarazzi would be lying in an alley somewhere, cold, shivering and alone.
Heavily adapted from Bon Appétit, December 1996)
Time in Kitchen: 3 hours
Nutrition information per serving: 250 calories, 13 carbs, 20 grams protein, 12 grams fat, 2 grams fiber
1 large red onion, peeled and quartered
7 garlic cloves
2 green bell peppers, cut lengthwise
3 jalapenos, cut lengthwise and seeded
3 fresh Anaheim chilies, cut lengthwise
15 tomatillos, husked, cut in half
Pinch of salt
Drizzle of olive oil
3 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
5 tablespoons stone ground corn meal
Pinch of salt, oregano, cumin, and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
5 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, thinly sliced (for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Arrange chopped onions, garlic, bell peppers, jalapenos, chilies, and tomatillos on a large baking sheet cut side down. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast on high heat for at least 20 minutes until caramelized. Remove and allow to cool; about 10 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables to the blender, blending until smooth. Set aside.
In a large Ziploc bag toss chicken pieces with corn meal, salt, pepper, oregano and cumin until coated. Heat olive oil in a large heavy stock pot over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken to pot and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat browning process with remaining chicken. Return all of the chicken (including its juices) to the stock pot. Add blended vegetables, chicken broth, corn, oregano, chili powder, cumin, paprika and cinnamon to pot. Bring liquid to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens and flavors blend, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours. Season with salt throughout the cooking process to taste.
Mix cilantro into chili. Transfer to large serving bowl. Garnish with slice avocado (or your garnish of choice) and serve.