With kids returning back to school, meal planning can be a chore. This grilled Hatch chile verde with chicken is simple to prep, quick to cook and oh so easy to enjoy!
I always have mixed feelings as summer draws to a close and the kids return to school. Summer, by far, is my favorite time of the year. My family and I savor the weather, the carefree moments and the summer menu.
And of course, after a few months off of fun and sun, by the time school rolls around, the kids are restless and ready to go back. And quite honestly? I’m ready for them to return, too!
I look forward to having more free time, but I dread the hectic schedule, the carpooling, the homework battles and the weekly meal planning. Summer dinners at our house are simpler. We grill, picnic and dine out more often than we do when school is in session.
What are Hatch chiles?
As I reported in my last post, Hatch Chiles are in season. These delicious chiles come from Hatch, New Mexico (hence the name) and are only available FRESH for a short time. Hatch chiles are harvested in August, so if you are a chile lover, look for them and buy as many as you can!
Hatch chiles look very much like Anaheim chiles, which are very mild green chiles. But one major difference between the two is that Hatch chiles come in mild, medium and hot intensities. I personally feel it has more flavor than an Anaheim chile, as well.
Hatch chile fans buy their chiles by the box load and then either smoke them, grill them or roast them. Once cooked, the skins are very easy to remove. Then you can divvy the chiles up into resealable bags and freeze the chiles. Once frozen, you have all year to enjoy these smoky Hatch chiles. Until the next harvest.
What is chile verde
Chile verde is a Mexican stew made of green chiles, tomatillos and pork shoulder. It is slow cooked until the pork is fork tender and served over rice. The chiles typically used for chile verde are Anaheim and jalapeños. For my version, I used Hatch chiles.
If you are not familiar with Mexican cuisine, you may not have ever tried a tomatillo. No it is not a green tomato. It does not change color or turn red, but remains green. It is a sour jewel wrapped in its own paper. When you unwrap them, they have a sticky film around the fruit. Just wash that off and they are ready to be used.
This combination of sweet and spicy makes a wonderful marinade and sauce. The acid in the tomatillos break down the chicken, both tenderizing the meat and adding wonderful flavor.
How to make Hatch chile verde with chicken
For the Hatch chile verde marinade and sauce, I add the roasted, seeded and peeled Hatch chiles in a blender along with tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, lime juice and cumin. Pulse until everything is puréed and smooth.
I like to flatten the chicken breast prior to marinating. This not only tenderizes the chicken but it also insures that the meat cooks evenly. It also cooks up very quickly, which is a great help during the hurried school nights.
The longer the chicken sits in the marinade, the more tender and flavorful it will be. You can assemble everything the night before or the morning of the day you will be grilling. You can grill outside, or prepare indoors over the stop using a grill pan.
What to serve with grilled Hatch chile verde with chicken
I like to reserve part of the chile verde sauce before adding all of it with the chicken to marinate. I use this reserved sauce to serve with my grilled chicken because it’s such a delicious sauce.
Because this is not a traditional chile verde stew, I like to serve my Hatch chile verde chicken taco style. That means tortillas, shredded lettuce, shredded lettuce, sour cream and any other of your favorite taco condiments you love. This chicken also makes a fabulous topper for a healthy salad, if you are not fan of the tortilla carbs.
How to roast Hatch chiles at home
Again, this recipe requires Hatch chiles that are already roasted. If you don’t have a big roaster at home, no worries. My video gives you other options to roast Hatch chiles at home.
- 3 hatch chiles, roasted, peeled and seeded
- 5 tomatillos, peeled
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed
- 5 garlic cloves
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 2 TBS lime juice
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast
- Add hatch chiles, tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, lime juice and cumin into a blender and pulse until combined but still coarsely chopped.
- Reserve approximately 1/2-cup of the sauce and place the remaining sauce in a large ziploc bag.
- Place one chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and flatten using a kitchen mallet. Do not hammer so hard as to shred the chicken, just enough so that the chicken breast is evenly flat, approximately 1/2-inch thick.
- Place the flattened chicken breast into the plastic bag with the salsa verde.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the remaining chicken breasts, seal the bag and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
- To cook, heat a grill pan or any large non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
- Place chicken breasts onto the hot pan and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes.
- Turn chicken over and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until cooked completely.
- You can also grill the chicken outdoors over medium high heat.
- Place chicken onto serving platter and cover with foil. Continue cooking the remaining chicken breasts.
- Serve chicken with reserved chile verde sauce.
Serving Suggestions: Serve with tortillas, rice or over salad.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 325 Total Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 102mg Sodium: 97mg Carbohydrates: 8g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 4g Protein: 39g