To serve 4
1.5lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 tsp diced jalapeno pepper
1 medium sized onion
2 cloves garlic
3 cups good stock
1/2 cup grated raw cheddar (optional)
To serve: Cilantro and Avocado
Heat a skillet
over a medium to high heat and add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. When it’s hot, add in all the chicken thighs spread enough so they’re not overlapping. Give them just 2 minutes to sear, then flip them over and do the same on the other side. When both sides have seared, carefully add in the stock (it will spit so be careful!) then cover with a lid and transfer to a preheated 320F oven.
Cook the pan of chicken for about an hour, covered, or until the chicken is fork tender and easily pulls apart with a little prod. When you pull it out of the oven, increase the oven heat to 350F.
While your chicken is cooking, prep the veggies. Chop the tomatillos in halves or quarters if they’re large and pop them on a baking sheet. Roughly chop the onion and toss that with the tomatillos. Crush the garlic, and finely chop the jalapeño and add them to the oil before spooning it over the veggies. Give everything a toss together and then when your oven has reached 350, stick the veggies in and set the timer for 30 minutes.
Your house should be smelling amazing by now! After 30 minutes, when the veggies are really soft, pull them out of the oven and leave them on the tray to cool a bit. They don’t have to cool completely but wait till they’re only warm, before adding them to the food processor (or blender) with a good pinch of salt. (Make sure you scrape the tray into the blender well and get all the tasty juices!!
Blend them together for about 15 second or until there is still texture in the sauce but no large pieces are left. When the chicken has cooled a little, remove the thighs from the broth and shred them with a fork before adding them to the sauce. Stir it together well, taste, and season as needed. Save the broth though!
Ok, now you’re ready to assemble everything. I use 10 corn tortillas
in 2 layers but you can do this how you want. The layered style is what we go for but you can alternatively fill each tortilla, roll them, and lay them in the pan. Either way, start by spreading one cup of the filling over the base of the pan to stop the tortillas sticking. Then one by one (or two by two!) lay your tortillas in the broth until they absorb a little of it and soften, then lay them in the pan so the base is covered. Remove one cup of the filling and set that aside but then add the rest over the base layer of tortillas. Now repeat what you did with the first tortilla layer. Finally spread the final cup of filling over the tortillas and if you’re using it sprinkle the cheese on top!
Now just pop that in the 350F oven for 30 minutes until the tortillas begin to brown and go crispy at the edges. Then garnish with chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) and serve with slices of avocado, and a side salad, or beans, or whatever you fancy!
With cheese for Jared, no cheese for me, and a little bowl of the chicken filling for Clayton.