Chipotle-Braised Chicken With Tomatillo Bean Salad

Time50 minutes
YieldsServes 4
A tart tomatillo-dressed bean and cucumber salad adds brightness to chicken slowly braised in a spicy chipotle broth.
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times)
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Jenny Dorsey loves to serve this chile-infused braised chicken dish with piquant pickled red onions. If you don’t have them, the tart tomatillo dressing in the bean salad will add plenty of acidity and brightness to the meal. Make the bean salad ahead of time to allow the tomatillo dressing to really soak into every part of the beans and cucumbers.


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, shallots and ginger and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the mustard seeds, cumin and tomatillos and cook, stirring, to break down the tomatillos, 2 to 3 minutes more.


Stir in the broth and soy sauce, then add the chicken pieces with their marinade and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer, cover halfway and let braise until the chicken pieces are fully cooked through and the liquid is reduced slightly and thickened, 30 to 35 minutes.


Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the cilantro over the top of the chicken. Serve hot, with the Tomatillo Bean Salad on the side.

Marinated Chicken Pieces and Tomatillo Bean Salad
Marinated Chicken Pieces:
Place two chicken drumsticks, two chicken thighs and two chicken wings in a large resealable plastic bag or bowl. In a blender, combine the following:

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole cumin
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

Blend the ingredients together into a smooth paste and then scrape onto the chicken pieces in the bag. Close the bag, squeezing all the air out as you do, then massage the paste into all the pieces. Transfer the bag to the refrigerator and marinate at least 2 days and up to 5 days.

Tomatillo Bean Salad:
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, then add 4 peeled and rinsed tomatillos. Cook the tomatillos until soft, about 8 minutes. Drain the tomatillos, discarding the cooking water, then transfer them to a blender, along with ½ teaspoon granulated sugar, 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves and 1 roughly chopped serrano chile. Puree the ingredients until smooth. Season with salt, then transfer the tomatillo sauce to a large bowl.

Add 3 cups homemade or store-bought cooked or canned beans, 3 diced Persian cucumbers and 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves, roughly chopped. Toss everything to coat with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and more sugar, if needed. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 1 day and up to 5 days.