Update 11/23/15 – After a bit of reader feedback, we’ve moderated the recipe to include a bit more liquid. But not to worry; it really is one of those recipes you cannot mess up.
Here’s an easy, do-ahead, un-holiday-ish dish which may be just what you’re in the mood for after all those sweet potatoes.
Bonus No. 1: It’s a great use for leftover turkey.
Bonus No. 2: It’s a way to get husbands and children to eat vegetables without realizing it. Just between us chilies.
Bonus No. 3: Freezes beautifully, taking (at least some of) the stress out of figuring out what to make that does not involve a stick of butter, a box of brown sugar, condensed milk, or Aunt Myrtle’s congealed salad mold.
Does anybody still make congealed salads? Does anybody under 40 even know what they are?
Serve it alone, or with warm tortillas or rice, and a salad. You can sling on a little hot sauce and call it a day, or gussie it up with salsa, sour cream, sliced jalapenos, cilantro, shredded cabbage, or grated cheese. That’s more of a production, but more festive, too. Olé, baby.
- 4 poblano chilies (or equivalent canned)
- 1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed (or equivalent canned)
- ½ bunch cilantro, plus extra for garnish
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, 2 sliced, 2 minced
- 1 tablespoon minced oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed, whole
- 4 cups chopped cabbage
- 4 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 cups zucchini, diced
- 6 cups chicken stock, +/- to reach desired consistency
- 4 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
- 1 ½-2 teaspoons salt
- 10 turns of pepper
- 1 bunch of spinach, cleaned and chopped
- If using fresh chilies or tomatillos, preheat grill or oven broiler to high, and have at the ready two bowls and plastic wrap.
- Rub chilies and tomatillos with about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and place on grill or in greased pan under broiler. (You can also do this on the open flame of a gas burner.)
- For the poblanos, turn to blacken all sides, then put them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave until chilies are cool enough to handle, then peel, seed, and slice into ¼ inch strips. Set aside.
- For the tomatillos, broil until lightly charred and slightly soft, turning once during cooking. Place them in bowl to cool, then puree in blender with 2 cloves of sliced garlic and the ½ bunch of cilantro. Set aside.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the remaining 2 ½ tablespoons of oil. Sauté the onion, minced garlic, jalapeño, cumin, and minced oregano for about 2 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
- Add cabbage and stir for an additional minute.
- Add cauliflower and zucchini and stir and cook a few minutes more.
- Turn heat to high, and add tomatillo purée and poblano strips.
- Add 6 cups chicken stock and the cooked chicken, and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add spinach and simmer at least 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve alone or with warm tortillas and/or rice. Garnishes may include salsa, guacamole, sliced jalapeno, grated cheese, cilantro, or shredded raw cabbage.
- A whole poached chicken will yield about 4 cups of meat and extra stock for later. Use any vegetables you like, or omit the chicken altogether and replace it with potatoes and butternut squash for a vegetarian version.