Consider this easy, breezy recipe a little bit of comfort food with Latin flair for a howling winter night. Nutritious pumpkin seeds are an ideal thickener for the bright sauce. And you can transform the dish into taco night by slicing the cooked chicken and stuffing into warmed corn tortillas and then dolloping on the sauce.
Tomatillos have a papery covering or husk and look like a small green tomato. If you can’t find tomatillos in your local produce store or canned at your grocers, you can substitute with the same quantity of underripe tomatoes and add a squeeze of lime juice.
2/3 cup (160 mL) shelled pumpkin seeds
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
1 shallot, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) fresh cilantro
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups (500 mL) spinach
6 fresh or canned tomatillos, husked (see Tip)
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
2 tsp (10 mL) grapeseed oil or sunflower oil
1 1/4 lbs (550 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cups (500 mL) sodium-free chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups (500 mL) cooked brown rice
1 avocado, diced
In large skillet over medium heat, toast pumpkin and cumin seeds until pumpkin seeds are golden and puffed, about 2 minutes. Remove to bowl of food processor to cool down. Grind seeds to the texture of coarse sand. Add shallot, cilantro, serrano or jalapeno pepper, garlic, spinach, tomatillos, lime juice, oregano, and salt to container; process until smooth.
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high. Add chicken and sear for 2 minutes on both sides. Pour in tomatillo mixture and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 F (74 C), about 15 minutes.
To serve, spoon chicken and sauce over rice and scatter on avocado.