Chicken Tomatillo Fajitas_1
We have Fajita Night a lot around here (since I gave Adam a panini press for Christmas a few years ago, it’s really now technically Burrito Night). Assemble your own dinners are the best, aren’t they? I make chicken most often, but I’ll throw together beef, pork, or even shrimp depending on what we’ve got on hand. In the summer when I can get good tomatoes I make fresh salsa. I have a handful of processed food vices, and one of them is Goya’s Yellow Rice. It is just delicious and satisfying on a wavelength I cannot explain, and I am unapologetic about my love for it.

Most of the time Fajita Night is quick and dirty; sauteed sliced protein with onions and peppers, salt and pepper, chili powder and cumin. Maybe some lime juice. That’s the point of Fajita Night, to me anyway. It’s kind of hands off, and I can pull it together in the 20 minutes it takes for the rice to cook.

But sometimes I do like to try new things. Proper roasted, shredded chicken is amazing but more time consuming. This recipe was worth it, though. The tomatillo sauce was just creamy and tangy and delightful. And really, the only time difference was roasting the chicken.

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I did change a few things with this Food & Wine recipe. I still can’t get Adam behind any dish with dark meat chicken, so I used skin-on, bone-in breasts instead of the original recipe’s chicken legs. And I went with our usual toppings instead of radishes. But this was amazing, and I made the full batch of sauce and froze half of it for another time.

Chicken Tomatillo Fajitas (adapted from this Food & Wine recipe from January 2014)
This version serves 2 with enough sauce leftover to make the dish again

2 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts
1/4 cup canola oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound tomatillos—husked, rinsed and chopped
1 large jalapeño, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups packed cilantro leaves and tender sprigs
Warm flour tortillas, pico de gallo, cheese, rice, and/or sour cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 450°. Set a rack over a baking sheet. Rub the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken on the rack on the baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes (**the original recipe needs 45, the breasts cooked much faster), until golden and cooked through. Let cool slightly, then discard the chicken skin and shred the meat.

Meanwhile, in a large cast-iron skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the tomatillos, jalapeño, garlic and scallions.

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Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the tomatillos are softened, about 15 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil, then simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 minutes.

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Into a blender, scrape the tomatillo mixture and add the cilantro.

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Puree until smooth and return the sauce to the skillet.

Chicken Tomatillo Fajitas_6Add the shredded chicken.

Chicken Tomatillo Fajitas_7Simmer over moderate heat, stirring, until the chicken is heated through, 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

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Serve the chicken with tortillas and all the toppings.

Make Ahead The tomatillo sauce can be refrigerated overnight (or frozen, which is what I did).