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  • Emily Van Eck, MS, RDN

Chicken and Tomatillo Stew

Ingredients for tomatillo stew

Having a few Latin-inspired recipes in your toolbox is smart. I always think to make something like this for a casual dinner gathering and/or when I'm craving margaritas - not super uncommon. Fish tacos and chicken enchiladas are my other go-to's for homemade Mexican. Chipotles in adobo - need I say more?

Never bought tomatillos? They're usually available at your regular grocery stores; I've seen them a couple times at Whole Foods; and are certainly always at your local Hispanic market. They come with husks, just peel them and rinse them before you begin. Here's a great bio on the many ways to use them, which includes a recipe for tomatillo margaritas! Yes, please.

This recipe is an ode to my brother in law, Gardy. I lived with him and my sister when I was in grad school, and while this was occassionally challenging, I did learn a few things from him (her too, but that's another story). Some skills I thank Gardy for:

1. How to make kombucha

2. How to make the simplest and most delicious tomatillo stew

All you do is throw the pictured ingredients into a food processor, then slow simmer some chicken thighs in the bright green mixture. It literally could not be easier. Serve it with some brown rice (cooked with salt and bay leaf), and top with a dollop of yogurt. You'll have a satisfying, healthy, and easy weeknight meal. This recipe makes a batch big enough for a family and freezes well, although I have no problem eating this for 3 days straight.

Blended tomatillo mixture

Chicken and Tomatillo Stew

Serves about 4


  • 1 medium onion, ends trimmed and very roughly chopped

  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • 10 tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, and quartered

  • 2 jalapeños, quartered

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, washed and ends trimmed about 2 inches

  • 1 lime, quartered

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice (or red rice)

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)


Make rice according to package instructions, or a basic 1:2 rice to water mixture, with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a bay leaf. The bay leaf is certainly not necessary but I've taken to always having them on hand and throwing one in the pot of grains as it cooks - just adds a little something.

Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, cumin, and salt in a food processor and blend until smooth. If you're using a blender, you may need to do this in two batches.

Place chicken thighs and tomatillo mixture in a large pot and cook on low for 45 minutes to an hour.

Serve on top of rice. Alternatively, you can tear up the chicken with a tongs after it's cooked and make tacos! I highly recommend Ezekiel Sprouted Corn Tortillas, but any will do. Top with more cilantro, lime, and a dollop of yogurt and sesame seeds, if desired.

Thanks, Gardy. xo

#chicken #leftoverchicken #stew #easy #simple #healthy #dinner #lunch #leftovers #mexican #latin #batchcooking

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Emily Van Eck Nutrition

Meet the author

Emily Van Eck, MS, RDN 

Here on the blog, I use the intuitive eating principles to dispel oppressive diet bs and make cooking easy and joyful. I want food to be pleasurable for you! 

As a registered dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor in Austin, Texas, I helps my clients find joy with food, peace with the kitchen, and feel comfortable in their bodies. 

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