Are you looking for your St. Patrick’s day meal tomorrow but corn beef and cabbage just isn’t your thing? (I’m not bashing corned beef here. I absolutely love brown-sugar-and-mustard-glazed corned beef with cabbage.) This chili verde (green chili) might be just what you need to change up the green menu.
I first tried salsa verde a few years ago at the urging of my husband, who did a two-year service mission in Ft. Worth, Texas among the Spanish-speaking population before we were married. I tried it from a bottle, and it was okay, but not life-changing. Then a few months ago I made a from-scratch version, and guess what I found out? Salsa verde is amazing. I could taste all the flavors that make up a salsa verde–tomatillo, jalapeno, lime, garlic, cilantro, onion…and ever since I’ve been looking for new ways to sneak that magic flavor combination onto the table.
This fresh chili is a perfect showcase for the classic flavors of salsa verde, made hearty with creamy great northern beans and chicken. Roasting the vegetables really brings out the depth of their flavors, and then they simmer together with a roux-thickened chicken broth and seasonings for a rich chili, topped off with a splash of fresh lime juice. With a whole jalapeno, you’ll have a spicy chili; reduce the amount of jalapeno if you want it milder. If you’re getting ready for a chili cook-off and need something that will stand out, this is it. It makes a great fresh-tasting contrast to classic brown and red chilis.
Enjoy this veggie-packed, delicious chili verde for dinner on St. Patty’s day, and then dig in to all those green-inspired desserts!
- 1 lb tomatillos, husks removed and washed
- 3-4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1 small yellow or white onion, peeled and quartered
- 1/2-1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and membranes removed and cut in half lengthwise
- 1 green bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed and cut into several pieces
- 1 TBS canola oil
- 2 TBS butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- juice of 1/2 a large lime
- 4 cups of cooked great northern beans, or 2 cans
- 2 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
Preheat oven to 500*. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut any large tomatillos in half and place on the baking sheet along with the garlic cloves, onion quarters, jalapeno, and bell pepper pieces. Drizzle oil over the vegetables and toss them with your hands to make sure they are thoroughly coated. Bake the vegetables for 10-15 minutes, or until they are just starting to char.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. When melted add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook and stir over medium heat until it begins to smell like cooked pie crust, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the chicken broth, whisking constantly. Add the oregano, coriander, and salt to the pot. When vegetables are done, carefully transfer them and the juices on the baking sheet into the pot, squeezing the garlic cloves out of their peelings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add the green onions, cilantro, and lime juice to the chili.
Carefully process with an immersion blender until smooth. (Or, transfer to a blender jar and process in batches, being careful to allow the steam to escape while blending. ) Add the beans and chicken to the chili and stir to combine. Serve warm with shredded cheese, avocados, sour cream or Greek yogurt, and tortilla chips.