A check-in, complete with a riff on Enrique Olvera’s salsa verde as paired with grilled chicken.

Grilled Chicken with Warm Salsa Verde

Hubris is a funny thing: leading up to our move, we didn’t do much in the way of packing because I think we were feeling a bit superstitious about all of it, and so the most I did was clear out two closets’ worth of boxes and other assorted items and move them downstairs so that they would be ready to go come that Friday afternoon as soon as we had the keys. Those were quickly transported downstairs in short order, and that started what seemed like a marathon three-week push to wrap, pack, and move all of our possessions one measly floor down in our building. We squeezed in some painting too–just a few accent walls for now–along with two trips to IKEA, but in the end we were mostly moved out by the last week in April and so we had a little time to make sure we hadn’t missed anything. (We did: an old robe I had on the back of our bathroom door was kindly left at our new door by the listing agent for the old one.) It was exhausting, but ultimately pretty satisfying, work.

Grilled Chicken with Raw Salsa Verde

There was also some hubris on my end when it came to this space. After a couple of months consistently posting here, I thought that I’d be able to stay on track and put something out once a week or so. That quickly devolved from a “oh, just a week off is OK” to basically abandoning all pretense of writing about food for the rest of the month. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, though: the Monday after we closed, Micahel headed off to Seattle for a few days for work so I was busy between moving and making dinner for myself each night while still squeezing in workouts when I could fit them. I had this whole grandiose plan to write about them in detail, but as time stretched on it felt less and less relevant to share that much minutiae.

Of course the cookbooks were among the first to be shelved in the new place. There are so many pictures to hang up/put somewhere!

Instead, I’ll use this post to talk about my favorite dish to emerge from that session. Ever since our brunch at Cosme I’ve been slightly obsessed with Enrique Olvera (can’t wait to watch his episode coming up on A Chef’s Table on Netflix later this month) and after doing a little hemming and hawing, I finally bought his cookbook Mexico from the Inside Out. It’s equal parts fascinating, aspirational, irritating, and usable; alongside seemingly out of reach recipes like a two-part mole in which an older mole is mixed with a new every couple of days, he’ll showcase three house salsas that are not only simple, but highly accessible in terms of the ingredients.

Master bedroom accent wall. Not bad for a large-scale first painting project.

What’s also really refreshing is that he’s kind of like a culinary version of Andrew Bird in that you’ll encounter several riffs on the same dish throughout the book. This is most evidenced in how he approaches salsa verde: he’ll deconstruct it into a salad, make a raw version, or have you simmer the ingredients for twenty minutes in water before blending them all together. I came across the latter style first as it was shared with Food and Wine magazine, and a couple of weeks ago I made it to go with chicken thighs so I could potentially add it to my rotation of simple weeknight chicken dinners. It was dead simple to make, even at 10 PM after moving crap all night, and even when cooked the tomatillos were still bright and acidic and really livened up otherwise ordinary chicken thighs.

And with that, I think I’m finally getting back into the blogging groove. It’s great to be back!

Grilled Chicken with Salsa Verde

  • 3-4 pounds boneless chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Salsa Verde, below

Salsa Verde
slightly adapted from Enrique Olvera

  • 1.5 pounds tomatillos, stemmed and husked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 large scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 serrano chile (optional)
  • Kosher salt

Make the salsa: add everything but the salt into a saucepan and bring to a boil, add a large pinch of salt then let simmer for 20 minutes or until the onions are soft. Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to puree the salsa into a relatively smooth sauce, let cool before transferring to a storage container or if making with chicken that night, let cool to room temperature.

Make the chicken: season the thighs generously with salt and pepper, and then grill on your preferred method until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving with generous amounts of the salsa, preferably in a bowls so then it’s a little more dignified if you want to slurp up whatever salsa you may have leftover.

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15 comments
  1. emma said:

    By 10pm I’ve usually been asleep for quite some time. Way to go! This looks phenomenal.

    • Thank you! I usually don’t cook that late either (usually I’m just lounging on the couch or getting ready for bed) but to say I was keyed up that night is an understatement.

  2. That does look simple… I’m a little late to the party, but just started watching Chefs Table. On the 2nd one. Amazing…

    Congrats on the move!

    • Admittedly, I haven’t seen any of the first season yet but I’m super-excited to see Dominque Crenn and Enrique Olvera.

  3. Sabine said:

    That salsa sounds great! Hope you´re doing alright with your move!

    • Thank you! Things are finally coming together, and as things go up on the wall or on shelves it feels much, much less claustrophobic and downright spacious in here.

  4. Ahhh man! From what I can see your apartment looks so dope!!!
    Welcome back to blogging babe, yes to all of this girl!!!

    • Thanks lady! Once things start to look more organized (i.e. we have most of the pictures hung) I’ll post more photos. I hope you had an amazing time in Puerto Rico!!

  5. Hooray for being moved in and cooking again! I’m excited to get grilling as the weather warms up. I’ve…never been one for tomatillos, but I’ve seen a bunch of recipes calling for them lately and I feel like I need to give them another shot. Especially on grilled meat. If that’s not a gateway food, what is?!

    (P.S. Your cookbook shelves look amazing! I especially love that row with the big Phaidon books–I have a very similar row 🙂 We just got a new six shelf bookshelf thinking my old three-shelf cookbook shelf would fill half of it…then it filled five of the six shelves! Oops.)

    • Isn’t how that always works? And Phaidon books are among my favorites. Give tomatillos a chance–they are really, really good!

  6. Sofia said:

    I actually did not know about salsa verde, looks good! I’ll be giving it a try! Can you put it on other food other than chicken?

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