Tomatillo Chicken Tacos

Source:  I still have my newspaper clipping cut out from years ago.   Most likely from the AJC.   I can’t believe I’ve never shared this recipe before.  It is one of my family’s faves…particularly my husband.  Whenever I find fresh good looking tomatillos I buy them and make this!


  • 8 ounces (5-6 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed (see note)
  • 2 fresh Serrano chiles, or to taste, stemmed
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, depending on saltiness of broth
  • 2 cups firmly packed Swiss chard or spinach (all pieces should be about 1/2 inch wide and 2 inches long)
  • 1 1/3 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken
  • 12 warm tortillas (plus a few extra, in case some break)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbled Mexican quest fresco


  • Roast tomatillos and chiles on baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until blackened and soft on one side, 5 to 6 minutes, then turn over and roast on other side 3 to 4 minutes.  Transfer (including all juices) to a food processor fitted with the metal blade or to a blender.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.   Add onion and cook, stirring frequently until deep golden, about 8 minutes.  Stir in garlic, cook 1 minute, then scrape into food processor or blender.  Process to medium-course puree.  Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add puree and stir for about 5 minutes, until noticeably darker and thick.  Stir in broth, partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.  The sauce will be a little soupy.  Stir in cilantro and generously season with salt.  Bring sauce to a boil and add greens.  When the mixture returns to a boil, stir in chicken and simmer until greens are done.  Taste and season with additional salt, if needed.
  • Guests will spoon a portion of filling into warm tortilla, sprinkle cheese and fold it over.

Advance preparation:  The tomatillo-serrano sauce can be prepared several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator, covered.  Reheat and finish as directed.

Note:  Tomatillos look like small green tomatoes covered with a thin, parchmentlike covering.  The flavor has hints of lemon, apple, and herbs.  Choose tomatillos with dry, tight fitting hugs.

Tomatillos purchased at the First Avenue Farmer’s Market in Opelika, AL

Per serving:  134 calories, 4.8 grams fat, 17 milligrams cholesterol, 188 milligrams sodium.