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Chicken Green Chili

The magic in this recipe comes from the oven roasted poblano peppers and the tomatillos - so rich and delicious - you could just make that and use it as a salsa (I always save a little bowl for dipping while I'm making this chili).

This also has a secret ingredient added to boost the fiber and nutrition - cauliflower – and you would never know it was there!! A member of the cruciferous family, cauliflower adds fiber, vitamins, minerals, and also helps to give it some “body.” Cauliflower is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and sulfur – which supports the liver.

My whole family loves this one pot dinner! You could also make it in a slow cooker – but this comes together pretty quickly on the stove, so I have never done the slow cooker. You could also make the poblano tomatillo salsa ahead of time - but it is hard to resist!!

Serves 6 people.


  • 1 – 1.5 pounds of chicken thighs or breasts (can be bone-in or not)

  • 1/2 of a medium sized cauliflower (or 1 cup of frozen riced cauliflower)

  • 1 quart of free range organic chicken broth or stock (can be homemade)

  • 10-12 tomatillos

  • 3-4 poblano peppers

  • 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic

  • 1/2 onion, chopped

  • dried oregano – about 1 tsp.

  • Optional – Trader Joes 21 Spice Blend

  • 1 can of small white beans, drained (like great northern) – omit if you want a “Paleo” meal

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • chopped cilantro (optional if you don't like it)

Optional Toppings:

  • Sour cream

  • Finely chopped fresh jalapeno

  • more chopped cilantro

  • Grated cheese


Note: If you don’t have time for steps 1-6 and want a quicker and easier version – you could replace steps 1-5 with 2 jars of green tomatillo salsa – I like the Hatch chili kind at Trader Joes. But I promise - it is worth it to make it from scratch!!

  1. Heat oven to about 400 degrees.

  2. Remove the papery skin from the tomatillos

  3. Coat tomatillos and poblanos in oil (I use avocado oil)

  4. Put tomatillos, poblanos and garlic on a sheet pan in pre-heated oven for about 20-30 minutes – turning with tongs about halfway through. They should be roasted and slightly charred.

  5. Put the poblanos in a bowl and cover with saran wrap or a lid for about 10 mins. Then peel off the skins, de-seed, and chop roughly.

  6. Put the poblanos, tomatillos, and garlic (and optionally about 1/4 cup looselyu packed cilantro leaves) into a blender and pulse till blended, but still chunky. Add salt & pepper to taste (this actually makes an amazing green salsa - great to make some extra for dipping!!) Set aside.

  7. Put the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse it until it is “riced.” Set aside. (I have found that frozen riced cauliflower works just as well - and have started just using approx. 1 cup of that).

  8. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt & pepper (and any other seasoning you like – I like to sprinkle it with Trader Joes 21 Spice Blend)

  9. Put a large heavy bottomed saucepan on the stove and warm up about 1-2 tablespoons of avocado oil (or coconut oil).

  10. When oil is heated, put in the chicken thighs or breasts and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes a side, he outside of the chicken should be lightly browned. Remove chicken parts and put on a plate while you cook the onions.

  11. Add more oil if needed first – then put the chopped onions in the pan and sauté over medium heat with the lid on the pot until translucent, about 3-5 mins, stirring occasionally.

  12. Add back the chicken, along with the the broth, the cauliflower “rice”, the tomatillo & poblano salsa, oregano, about a teaspoon of salt, and any other seasonings you like (I sprinkle a little 21 Spice blend usually) – bring to a boil and then once boiling, drop down to a simmer.

  13. Simmer for about 30 minutes (stirring occasionally).

  14. Take the chicken out (check to see if it is done through) and let cool enough so you can shred it with a fork (remove bones and skin at this time – if you used skin on, bone in).

  15. Put the drained & rinsed beans in (if using) add back the shredded chicken, add in a Tablespoon or two of chopped cilantro if desired. Simmer 5-10 more minutes – taste and adjust salt and any seasonings.

  16. Put into bowls and serve with desired toppings.

  17. Save leftovers in fridge up to 3 days. Reheat on stovetop.

Recipe developed by Sara Vance. All rights reserved.

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