It’s Hatch chile season. Perhaps you’ve heard? These mild green chiles are an abundant, delicious, and extremely seasonal treat, whether they’re official Hatch chiles (grown in New Mexico) or the related Anaheim chiles (grown elsewhere). How best to make use of them before they disappear again until next year?
With apologies to our western neighbors, this is a Texas Chicken Green Chili. It’s based on the tenets of Texas red chili but developed to highlight the flavors of fresh green chiles. That means it’s mostly just meat and chile, and you’re probably going to want to eat it with rice, cornbread, or tortillas, and load it up with garnishes.
This recipe is all about making the bright, vegetal flavor of green chiles shine. I almost always pair green chiles with apple: there is something about the round sweetness of apples that gives green chiles a backbone, making the flavor stand up a little straighter. Here, apple is used twice: apple cider for body instead of water or stock, and apple cider vinegar for acid. You’ll barely taste either in the finished product, but they amplify the other flavors in the chili tenfold. Similarly, I used chicken instead of beef or pork so as not to overwhelm the dish. The result is a lovely, spicy, dare-I-say light chili that appeals even in the thickest part of summer.
I used Hatch chiles for this recipe, one pound mild and one pound hot, but you can use Anaheim or even poblano, if you like. You can also used canned chiles if you must—and you must, if you want to make this any other time of year—just make sure you drain them first.
Otherwise, this is a relatively easy chili. It only takes fifteen minutes at high pressure. I don’t recommend using the Instant Pot’s “Keep Warm” feature for chicken dishes, as it turns succulent bits of meat dry and flaky. Either make it when you’re ready to eat, or cool it down and reheat whenever you’re ready. This would make a great dish for the dawn of football season, just set out a nice spread of toppings for people to compose their own bowls.
Texas Chicken Green Chili with Cider
1 28-ounce can tomatillos
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds green chiles (Hatch, Anaheim, poblano, whichever you prefer) roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded, and diced (see note)
1 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon salt
Optional garnishes: chopped cilantro, lime wedges, shredded cheese, sour cream, sautéed seasonal vegetables (corn, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, okra), crumbled tortilla chips, or avocado slices.
Add the tomatillos to a food processor and pulse until chopped but still a little chunky. Alternatively, pour them into a bowl and break up the tomatillos by squeezing them with your hands. Set aside.
On the medium sauté setting, sauté the diced onion in the oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more, until fragrant.
Add the tomatillos, green chiles, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, chicken, and salt to the Instant Pot. Set to cook on high for 15 minutes, manually release the pressure, and serve with garnishes as you see fit.
Note: This time of year, some supermarkets will sell chiles pre-roasted. If you buy fresh, simply broil or grill the chiles until they are black, then put them in a heat tolerant dish with a lid and wait until they cool. You might want to wear gloves to peel and seed the chiles, especially if you have sensitive skin.