Last week we harvested our first tomatillos. This is a pretty big deal because we love them and tomatillos are near impossible to get in the UK. You have to order online from specialty shops or hope they are in stock at Whole Foods in London (when I manage to get there once every 6 months if I’m lucky). So to solve this problem we grew our own. Tomatillo salsa is a fantastic accompaniment to chicken or pork. For this particular meal, we opted for chicken with a side of mexican rice. Here is the recipe straight from Casa Whiteman Cucina…

Steamed Roast Chicken

Preheat the oven to 225˚C. Place chicken in roasting tray, rub with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes at 225˚C. Reduce temperature to 160˚C and roast for 1 hour (this may vary depending on the size of the bird). Remove from roasting tray and put in a warmed pot that will fit the chicken (stock pot, large casserole dish with lid) and let cool. The steam generated will keep the chicken from drying out while resting, this also creates a poached texture making the meat the ideal consistency for shredding.

Poached roast chicken

Mexican Rice

While the chicken is resting, chop a small white onion. Then, strain off the fat from the roasting pan. Use 4 teaspoons of the fat and fry the onion until softened (this will take approx 30 min). Make sure to stir regularly so they don’t brown too much or burn.

Softening onions

Meanwhile, pour the juices from the chicken roasting pan into some chicken stock and bring to the boil.

Chicken stock

De-skin 2x plum tomatoes by immersing them in boiling water for 10 seconds, this will make the skin easier to peel away.

Tomatoes from the garden

de-skin tomatoes

Chop the tomatoes and add to the softened onions. Add chopped garlic, paprika and ground cumin to taste (1 tsp each approx). Add the rice and then the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 25 minutes. For two people, we use 1/2 cup rice to 1 cup liquid.

Mexican rice base

Tomatillo salsa or salsa verde

Roughly chop 3x tomatillos, 1x small white onion, 1x Serrano chilli, 1tbsp fresh coriander, put in a bowl, stir in juice of 1/2 a lime and pinch of salt (to taste). Et viola – Salsa is done!

Tomatillos from the garden

Tomatillo inside

Put it all together in a bowl and dig in. If you are feeling indulgent add some sour cream or greek yoghurt and serve with tortilla chips. We were being healthy, so we had it just as it was. So good! I’m going to be sad when the tomato season comes to an end.

tomatillo salsa-mexican rice-chicken