Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hatch Chile Verde

It's Hatch Chile time in New Mexico and Texas. Restaurants and grocery stores go crazy for these little chile peppers with special menus and roasting events. So, I felt obligated to put something together since I skipped Hatch Mania last year. 

To me, the easiest thing to make with these chiles is chile verde. It's such a simple recipe and there are not that many steps.  I like to serve this with either chicken or pork, today I chose chicken because I had some in the fridge. 

Roasting the chiles

First off you have to prepare the chiles by roasting them.  Since I no longer have a gas stove top I do most of my chile roasting in the oven under the broiler. If the weather is nice and I have a fire going on the grill I'll do them over wood or charcoal.  The oven is an easy and clean way to roast and doesn't really take too long.  You will need a Chile peppers, a large sheet pan, foil, medium sized bowl and a couple of seal able plastic bags.  Here are the steps to roast the chiles:

  • Turn on your oven broiler and set it to high
  • Set your oven rack so that its about 4-6 inches from the broiler
  • Line a full size sheet pan/jelly roll pan with foil
  • Rinse and dry the peppers
  • Take a knife and poke a couple of holes into each pepper
  • Spread chiles out on the sheet pan, don't over crowd.
  • Place the sheet pan with chiles under the broiler until the chiles are browned almost all over.
  • Carefully flip the chiles over to brown on the bottom side.
  • Remove from the oven and place the chiles in a locking plastic bag.
  • Seal the bag and let sit for 30 minutes. This steams the skins right off the chiles.
  • Fill a medium sized bowl halfway with warm water...set aside.
  • Carefully peel the skins off each chile.  Also remove the stems, seeds and any stringy     pieces.
  • To easily remove the seeds, tear off the stem end, split open the chile and dip into the bowl of water.  The seeds will rinse off and sink to the bottom of the bowl. There will be a couple remaining that you can just pick off. A couple of seeds left on is not a big deal.
     That's it!

At this point you can either use the chiles in a recipe or freeze them for future use.  During Hatch season people buy boxes of these to roast and freeze. 

The Chile Sauce

8 Hatch Chile Peppers - roasted, peeled and rough chopped (7 mild, 1 hot)
     (if you can't get these then use Anaheim peppers and add a jalapeno)
1 lb Tomatillos, husked and roasted (same method as the peppers but you don't have to peel them)
1 large white onion, rough chopped
1 bunch of cilantro
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp Mexican Oregano
2 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp Kosher salt
2 cups chicken stock
Either 4-5 corn tortillas (shredded) or 1 tbsp masa harina (or flour) mixed into 1/4 cup of water until smooth.

Optional:  1-2 Jalapenos, roasted, seeded, chopped

  • Heat up a Dutch oven or covered casserole dish over medium high heat.  Add olive oil.
  • Add the onions, cumin, oregano, salt & pepper and saute until onions are soft.
  • Add the chopped chile peppers, mix around and let cook.
  • In a blender, add the tomatillos, garlic and cilantro.  Blend until smooth.
  • Pour the blended mixture into the pot.  Stir to incorporate.
  • Bring to a boil then add the chicken stock. 
  • Bring to a boil again then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. 
  • Add in the tortillas/masa-water mixture a little at a time to thicken.  You may not need to add all of it.

"Hatch" Chicken Chile Verde
At this point add in your chicken or pork. I used 3 chicken breast halves that I roasted in the oven
then with tongs broke it into big pieces. As the chicken cooked it just falls apart into the sauce. After you add the chicken or pork cover the dish and place in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. 

This made enough for 4 people to have a decent size serving over rice.  I'm using the leftovers for burrito filling.



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