Green Tomato Verde with Braised Chicken and Green Tomato Salsa




Published by St. Martins Press Griffin

This image courtesy of Staci Valentine

In the fall, when the frost is threatening to make off with your last not-yet-ripe tomatoes, pick them like mad, then make this riff on pork chile verde. It's a great Sunday supper dish, chunky and stewlike and brimming with Swiss chard or whatever other fall greens you have on hand. You can serve this over rice or slurp it straight up as a stew. Shred the chicken, and the leftovers make a great enchilada filling. If you luck into a bumper crop of end-of-season green tomatoes, freeze them, 2 1/2 pounds to a bag, so they're ready to roll for green tomato verde throughout the winter. Vary the spiciness by reducing or increasing the amount of roasted chile peppers.

NotesNote: If using frozen tomatoes, thaw them first and reserve any accumulated juices to pour into the stockpot. You can pulse the tomatoes in a food processor or puree them in a blender. The texture will be smoother, but frozen tomatoes release so much liquid, they can be tricky (and messy!) to chop.

Makes4 servings

Cooking Methodbraising, sauteeing


Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and Texturesavory, spiced


  • 2 1/2 pounds unripe (green) tomatoes, blemishes removed and roughly chopped, divided 
  • 1 cup roasted, peeled, and seeded poblano, Anaheim, or Hatch peppers (6 to 7 small or 3 to 4 large)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (about 1/2 cup, packed), leaves and tender stems, plus additional leaves for serving
  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed and fat trimmed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning chicken
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves, preferably Mexican (if using powder, reduce to 1 teaspoon)
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, spinach, or other greens, ribs removed and roughly chopped
  • Cooked rice, for serving (optional)
  • Green Tomato Salsa, for serving
  • Sour cream, for serving


  1. In a blender or food processor, puree 1 large tomato, roasted peppers, cilantro, and 1 cup of water. Set aside.

  2. Sprinkle the chicken generously with salt and black pepper. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed stockpot. Add half the chicken and sauté on both sides, flipping once, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and repeat with the remaining chicken. Set aside.

  3. Add the onion to the pot and sauté until just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the cumin and oregano, stir for 30 seconds, then add the puréed tomato-pepper mixture, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining chopped tomatoes, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot (push the chicken down into the sauce so it is well covered).

  4. Cover the pot and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes. Add the greens and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Season with additional salt and black pepper to taste.

  5. To serve, place one chicken thigh in each serving dish with rice, if desired. Spoon the chile verde sauce over the chicken and serve with the green tomato salsa, sour cream, and reserved cilantro leaves.

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