Crispy Skillet Chicken with Salsa Verde.
This is a dinner for those times when you want to eat something delicious, which is to say, this is a good dinner all the time. It’s easy, but more importantly it’s crispy and juicy and as spicy as you want it to be.
Lately, with four kids home all day long every day, dinner is becoming an afterthought. Just making it through the day with everyone alive and at least mostly content is what I’m aiming for. After that, dinner is whatever and bedtime is success.
I won’t lie, we’ve been eating a lot of pizza.
But, when I do pull it together enough to get a real dinner on the table so we can all sit down for a bona fide family meal, I feel so much better about myself as a single mother. Dinner on the table means we’re doing okay. This Crispy Skillet Chicken with Salsa Verde then is a real self esteem booster.
It’s delicious, the hallmark of a successful family dinner. It’s also very simple, which is entirely the point. It’s essentially just chicken, as basic as it gets, cooked to crispy, flavorful perfection in a tablespoon of coconut oil. The Salsa Verde turns a piece of chicken into dinner, spicy flavorful delicious dinner.
The Salsa Verde is easy to mix up and you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. You can adjust the spiciness to your taste buds, but here in New Mexico we like it to leave our tongues good and tingly.
Even my kids are starting to pick up on the joy of spicy peppers, so perhaps it really does come with the territory. When I made this for Sunday dinner last week, my nine year old didn’t think hers was quite spicy enough so she cut up another jalapeno and sprinkled it onto her portion. She wasn’t born here, but I think she’s a true New Mexican through and through. Bring on the chile peppers!
- Approximately 2lbs bone in, skin on chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- salt and pepper
- 1½ pounds tomatillos
- 1 to 2 jalapenos or serrano peppers, seeds and ribs removed
- a small chunk of white onion, about a quarter of a small onion
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper.
- In a large, cast iron skillet, or other heavy bottomed skillet, heat the coconut oil on high. Add the chicken to the skillet placing it skin side down and cook for about a minute. Reduce heat to medium high and continue cooking skin side down for another 12 minutes, or until skin is golden brown. Occasionally rotate the pan to ensure even heat.
- Transfer the skillet carefully to the oven and cook for another 12 minutes. Flip the chicken over and continue cooking in the oven for about 5 minutes longer, or until meat is cooked through and the skin is golden and crispy. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- Remove the husks and stems of the tomatillos and rinse. In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatillos, peppers, and onion and enough water to cover. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer until the vegetables are completely softened, about 10 minutes.
- Drain the vegetables and transfer them to a blender. Add the remaining ingredients (start with only 1 tablespoon lime juice) and pulse two or three times. Salsa will be a thick, chunky puree. Taste and adjust lime juice and salt. Can be served over the chicken right away or cooled and stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.