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.
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.
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.
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
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.