Chicken and Hatch Chile Stew
Alright, let’s get one thing straight here: I am lazy.
I am also hard pressed to actually type up any recipes I have developed. This particular recipe has been sitting here, waiting to be transcribed and written about for a whole week. I tested and developed this recipe more than a week ago, photographed it, and it has just been sitting there.
For some reason, actually sitting at my computer to type it all out, has been a challenge. I could use all of the excuses in the world: “it was a hard work week” or “It’s the fall weather, it makes me unmotivated” but the truth of it is that I am L A Z Y and just procrastinating.
But here I am! Finally typing this up and getting this WONDERFUL RECIPE to you today.
I really love soup. And I am REALLY excited that soup weather has finally arrived in full force. Just last night Seattle had a full on thunder and lightning storm, booming through the city as if saying “ALL HAIL SOUP WEATHER. I HAVE ARRIVED”. My dog was less excited for this bombastic arrival of autumn.
Anyway, for most people the end of summer has them scrambling to obtain the last of the stone fruit or get all hopped up on corn, but for me it is Hatch Chile season. Those fleeting 2-3 weeks where bright green peppers overflow at my local grocery. I had only heard of hatch chiles a few years ago, being from the PNW they aren’t grown in abundance in this part of the world.. Hatch chiles are grown specifically in the south eastern United States. They have a wonderfully light peppery taste when you eat the sweet ones, but can range to burn your face off if you get the hot ones.
Now, I feel bad, because I am getting this recipe out right at the end of hatch Chile season, so I am sorry for folks wanting to try this with the real thing. However, you can still buy canned green chiles which work JUST as well to make a delicious flavorful soup.
I preferred using skin on and bone in chicken thighs for this recipe. I felt I could control the cook on them a little more that boneless/skinless because they don’t cook through as fast. Cooking them with skin side down puts a really wonderful fond at the bottom of the pot for building flavor. However, you can definitely use boneless/skinless thighs, breasts, whatever you want!
You could absolutely use a rotisserie chicken to cut down on time for this recipe, instead of fresh meat.
Hatch Chile season is super short! In fact, I went up to my local grocery store and they no longer had fresh chiles out in the produce section - the roasted ones that they sell remained! Not to fear, you can get the canned fire roasted chiles from the canned vegetable section which taste just as good in this recipe.
If you do find some good fresh hatch chiles, roast them first following this tutorial before using them in this stew.
I would recommend adding as much hot sauce as you are comfortable with because hot sauce is life.
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 1 hour
1lb bone in, skin on chicken thighs
1 small - medium yellow onion, chopped
2 diced garlic cloves
3 roasted, pealed, and diced hatch chiles (OR two 4.5oz cans green chiles)
2 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp paprika
2-3 good shakes of your favorite hot sauce
1 sprig of thyme
1 15.5oz can white beans
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
Cilantro and sour cream for garnish
Heat a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium/high heat.
Pat dry your chicken thighs and liberally salt and pepper both sides. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to your heated pot and then place in the chicken skin side down. Cook for approximately 4-5 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and is no longer sticking to the bottom. Flip the chicken and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the heat and set aside. It is okay if the chicken is not fully cooked as it will finish when added back to the stew!
Remove all but 1-2 tablespoons of fat from the bottom of the pot, and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.
Next add the garlic, and cook for about a minute before adding the chiles, corn, thyme, paprika, and cumin. Cook together for another 5 minutes or so before adding the chicken stock.
Coming back to your chicken, remove the skins and toss them. You won’t want to add the skins to the soup because they will get soggy - nobody wants soggy skin. Use two forks to shred the meat off of the bones. Add the shredded chicken to the pot along with a couple of dashes of your favorite hot sauce.
Allow this to simmer together for about 15 minutes. Open your can of beans and rinse them under cold water to remove any of the canning liquid from them. Add the beans to your stew and cook for another 10 -15 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasoning, adding additional salt and pepper as needed.
Serve with sour cream, cilantro (if you’re into that kind of thing), more hot sauce, and a crusty loaf on bread!