Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tomatillo Ranch Chicken

I’ve never had a tomatillo before. I guess I always put them in the tomato category, and as you know, I’m not a big fan of tomatoes. Plus, tomatillos are just weird. The husk, the green color, and when you cut them open, the inside isn’t what you’d expect at all. But the photo for this recipe made me forget all my tomatillo prejudices. I saw it on Le Crème De La Crumb, and it looked absolutely mouthwatering. The sauce has this great greenish hue to it with chopped cilantro and a creamy texture. It’s a little like Ranch dressing, but more tart and with a fantastic Mexican flair. The Hubs commented that it feels a bit more like a dressing (like, for salad) than it does a sauce, and that’s true, but it was still wonderful paired with the juicy grilled chicken and served over rice. And it’s opened my eyes to the possibility that the tomatillo might be worth my time after all. I also think this would be a great recipe for kids.

1 cup mayo
½ cup buttermilk
1 package hidden valley ranch dressing mix
5 cloves garlic
1 cup cilantro
4 tomatillos, husked and chopped
½ teaspoon lime juice (or juice from 1/2 lime)
3-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

The directions are SO easy. The only difficult part is remembering to marinate the night before. I suspect it would be ok if you forget, but it really does make the chicken so juicy, so it’s very worth it. Simply put all the ingredients (except the chicken) into a blender and puree until smooth. Personally, I have trouble getting the garlic to puree, so you might want to mince that before putting it in. The garlic came through strongly, so if you’re not a fan, you might want to cut back. Put your chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag and pour in a third of the sauce to marinate them in. Marinate overnight, then remove the breasts, toss the marinade and grill until cooked all the way through (time depends on the size and thickness of the breasts). You could also bake on 375 for about 25 minutes, but the char from the grill is really nice. Serve over rice and spoon the remaining (non-marinade) dressing over the chicken. If you have any dressing left over you might try it on a salad as well!

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