Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pollo Pulquero {Slow-Cooked Chicken with Tomatillos, Potatoes, Jalapenos, and Cilantro}

 This is a spicy little slow cooker recipe that is perfect for a busy spring day.  Onions, potatoes, chicken, cilantro, tomatillos, and pickled jalapenos get layered in a slow cooker until all their flavors meld into one succulent and spicy little dish.  The chicken is fall-off-the bone tender and the heat from the jalapenos is just the right amount of heat without being overwhelming.  In fact, all the flavors here are just spot on.   The potatoes really help to make this a very satisfying but light spring meal that fills you up without weighing you down.  I'd definitely make this one again.

Slow-Cooked Chicken with Tomatillos, Potatoes, Jalapenos, & Cilantro
(Pollo Pulquero)
Adapted from Mexican Everyday 
by Rick Bayless
Serves 4

1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
medium (about 1 pound total) red-skin boiling or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
8 skinless chicken thighs (bone in or out 1-1-1/2 pounds)
1 cup (loosely packed) cilantro leaves or 1/3 cup epazote leaves
1-1/4 pounds (8-12 medium) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup sliced canned pickled jalapenos
2 tablespoons jalapeno pickling juice

Spread the onion over the bottom of a slow-cooker.  Sprinkle with salt.  Continue with layers of the potato slices, chicken thighs, cilantro or epazote and then tomatillos, sprinkling salt evenly over each layer before moving on to the next.  (This is the only salt in the dish, so make sure to add enough.)  Scatter the jalapeno slices over everything, then drizzle on the pickling juice.  Cover and slow-cook on high for 6 hours (the dish can hold on the slow-cooker's "keep warm" function for 4 more hours or so).

Carefully transfer a portion of your pollo pulquero onto each dinner plate.  If there is a large amount of juice in the cooker, tip or ladle it into a saucepan, set it over high heat and boil quickly to reduce to a rich consistency.  Taste and season with more salt if it needs it, then drizzle over each serving.  If you have any cilantro in the refrigerator, chop some to sprinkle over each portion. 

A Quicker Oven Version:  Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Layer the dish as described in a medium-large heavy pot, preferably a Dutch oven.  Set the lid in place and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove the lid and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer to reduce the juices.  Spoon directly from the pot onto plates.
Theme: From the Earth


  1. Kim, I really like this crock pot dish. The use of tomatillos is really a nice change. I have been wanting to use tomatillos too. Thanks for the idea.


  2. Oh, I love the sound of this. And it looks delicious. Adding it to my "list"!

  3. I always want to use tomatillos more but never really know what to do with them....I love that the slow cooker turned them into a delicious sauce!

  4. Love the idea of the tomatillos and cilantro. Together they give anything incredible flavor.

  5. I need to find me a good tomatillo source! Or a bad tomatillo source! Or any tomatillo source! This looks delicious. I love slow cooked dishes.

  6. We actually have a few tomatillas on the counter. They were meant to be used in a tomatilla and papaya salsa (which goes well over fish) but they have yet to be used.
    Crock pots meals are always good but yours gets an A+

  7. Who knew that Rick Bayless had crock pot recipes? Not me, obviously! I think I need this very soon. It'll probably be eaten over rice ;-)

  8. Really, I am so annoyed I gave my slow cooker away when I see recipes like yours, Kim. Looks so good. Can't go wrong with Bayless!

  9. I agree with Natasya. I really have to find myself ANY tomatillo source! This slowcooker dish looks so good.

  10. I am finding that I am a little bit in love with tomatillos after roasting them for the salsa that went into my last two weeks' of recipes. So good! I need to try them in a slow cooker next--this looks so hearty and full of flavor.

  11. This looks great! I love the flavor combo and that it is done in a slow cooker:)

  12. This looks delicious! I have yet to find any tomatillos around here! Getting some of the Mexican ingredients are extremely difficult! I would love to get my hands on some tomatillos!

  13. I love slow cooker recipes.....They are so easy to make perfect for a week meal!It looks delicious and the pictures are fantastic1

  14. You have combined some of my favorite flavors-- especially tomatillos and cilantro. Beautiful photo, my friend.

  15. This looks pretty tasty. Fabulous flavors and made in a slow cooker to boot.

  16. This looks amazing and I love your photos!!!

  17. Tomatillos and jalapenos! Yum, that is right up my alley! I like the speedy version you give too, I could do that on the Egg.


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