Slow Cooked Chicken and Tomatillos

This recipe comes from a flyer stuck inside a CSA box that one of my neighbors gave to my mom years and years ago. It’s one that I frequently use when having guests over for dinner because it’s unique, easy, and – most importantly – absolutely delicious.

The flyer credits the cookbook “Mexican Every Day” by Rick Bayless as the source. Let me just say, this is NOT American-style Mexican food covered with taco seasoning and lots of cheese (not that I don’t love lots of cheese!) It has a tangy flavor balanced by earthy potatoes; the chicken is always, always juicy and falls apart under your fork in just the way you want it to do.

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Slow Cooked Chicken, Tomatillos, and Potatoes (adapted from Mexican Every Day by Rick Bayless)

1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 lb (4 medium) boiling potatoes – such as white potatoes or Yukon gold – sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken (approximately 8 thighs or 3 large breasts) – increase to 2 pounds if using bone-in chicken
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1 lb tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 heaping cup canned pickled jalapeños, sliced
2 Tbsp jalapeño pickling juice
lime wedges, for serving

Spread the onion slices over the bottom of a slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt. Continue with layers of potato slices, chicken pieces, cilantro, and tomatillos, sprinkling salt over each layer. (I usually end up with 2-3 layers.) Make sure the top layer of chicken is totally covered by the tomatillos above it. Scatter the jalapeño slices over everything and drizzle on the pickling juice.

Cover and cook on high for 6 hours. Serve right out of the cooker with some of the cooking liquid, lime wedges, and chopped cilantro for passing. It can hold for 4 hours on the warm setting… but I’ve never had any last that long because everyone goes back for seconds!

If you would rather make this in the oven (why, though? slow cookers are amazing!) start by preheating your oven to 400degrees. Layer everything as described into a heavy covered casserole dish or Dutch oven. Bake covered for 45 minutes, then uncover and back 15-20 minutes longer.

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