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Salvadorian Chicken Patties and Tomatillo Salsa

Since spring is a wakeup call for me to reevaluate my physical fitness and yes the ugly D diet word comes into play I want to cook some lighter dishes.  So far I have lost 17 pounds but still have quite a ways to go.  I simply want my clothes to fit better and feel lighter on my feet.  Every pound I lose, I feel more spunky and energized.  I want to go slowly since I love food and like to taste everything and am only willing to cut back a little at a time.  For me that means cutting back on portions and making wise choices.  So here I go with more fish and chicken for main courses, cut back on dessert, and step up my gym schedule.

Coincidentally, Lucy, my assistant, was telling me how her son’s mother-in-law (la consuegra) makes these wonderful little chicken patties or Tortitas de Pollo and Salsita de Tomatillo or Tomatillo (they look like green tomatoes wrapped in a husk) Salsa.  The salsa is practically calorie free and the chicken is pan fried chicken breast patties with no breading.  These dishes sounded like fewer calories to me, so I prevailed on Lucy to show me how and we made a plan. [1]

I picked up the ingredients at the store and we had some fun making the Tortitas and salsa and one other dish which I will share in my next post.

Yield 20 to 24 patties

Serving size 3 to 6 patties per person

2 pounds ground chicken breast

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

1/ 2 large onion, finely chopped

3/ 4 cup cilantro; finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon New Mexico chili powder

2 eggs

1/ 2 cup panko (bread crumbs)

Safflower oil

[2]Place ground chicken in a large bowl.  Add in, red bell pepper, onion, cilantro, salt, cumin, and chili powder.  Add in eggs and panko.  Lightly mix the chicken and vegetables together with your hands. [3]

Heat a large sauté pan.  Add safflower oil to about 1/ 4 inch deep.  Maintain pan with oil on medium high heat.  Form thin patties while pan is heating, about 2 inches in diameter. [4]  Slip patties into hot oil and fry, turning only once.  Patties should be golden brown on both sides.  Drain patties on a paper towel covered dish.  You may find it easier to wet your hands slightly to form patties since ground chicken is sticky. [5]

[6]Green Tomatillo Salsa:

Yield: approximately 2 to 3 cups

12 tomatillos, peeled

2 Serrano Chilies (these are quite hot)

2 small garlic peeled garlic cloves

1/ 2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

Place tomatillos, chilies, and garlic in a medium saucepan.  Cover vegetables with water and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Boil about 3 minutes and drain vegetables.  Reserve cooking water. [7]

[8]Place boiled chilies, garlic, and tomatillos in the bowl of food processor.  [9]Pulse until ingredients are the desired level of chunkiness or if you like, until a smooth puree.  You may need to add a little of the cooking liquid to achieve the right texture.  Add cilantro sprigs and chop a moment more to incorporate cilantro.  The reason for adding the cilantro at the end is so that it stays in little bits of contrasting green.  Season salsa with salt.

[10]This salsa is quite bold, maybe even a little hot but it is so delicious with the Tortitas and any other South of the boarder dish.  Salsa keeps refrigerated for a few days.





3 Comments (Open | Close)

3 Comments To "Salvadorian Chicken Patties and Tomatillo Salsa"

#1 Comment By Greek Girl from Queens On June 1, 2012 @ 9:13 AM

Mmmm….you’ve just sorted out my Friday night dinner dilemma, Linda. I have chicken and all the rest of the ingredients in my cupboard, but up until just now and reading your delicious post did I consider the option of cooking up a batch of these beauties. Thanks for that – I can’t wait to try this recipe. Have a lovely weekend! – June

#2 Comment By Norma On June 6, 2012 @ 6:25 PM

Hi Linda,

I made this recipe tonight and it was delicious. I substituted regular chili powder for the New Mexico chili powder and jalapenos for the Serrano peppers.

My only problem was I didn’t make the patties thin enough, and some were undercooked. Your instructions do say thin patties, and I will correct this the next time. Meanwhile, I simply put the undercooked patties in the microwave.

I have never had the tomatillo salsa before, and have quite a bit left. What other dishes would it be good for?

Thanks for sharing this healthy dish with us.


#3 Comment By Linda Capeloto Sendowski On June 6, 2012 @ 10:44 PM

Hi Norma, Tomatillo salsa is great on any kind of grilled meat or fish, a topping for omelettes, fat free salad dressing, in tacos, anywhere you would use a salsa go green! How about dipping sauce for crudites?