Emerald Flame (Chili Verde)

READY IN: 2hrs 30mins
Recipe by David J Rust

I first made this chili verde in a workplace cook-off and managed to take first prize and win $100 in the process. I love chili and also have a couple red versions that I enjoy making. Yes, some of my chili recipes have beans (I love the texture of a well-cooked pinto bean) and some do not. This recipe does not. Please enjoy!

Top Review by Mean Bean

From one David to another, this chili was AWESOME! I thought it would be too much cumin, but it wasn't overpowering at all. I roasted the de-seeded hot peppers with the tomatillos. The only thing that I changed was to not add water. I used some serrano peppers that I had dried in place of the crushed red pepper also. It was a huge hit at the UFC party! A little sour cream and cheese on top was really good. Maybe I'll try some crushed tortilla chips next time. Thanks a lot David for sharing the great recipe. I will definitely make this again! P.S. I would love to see your red version! Hint Hint!
I just made this again... I used a produce bag and a quarter of tomatillos and a whole spice jar of cumin. I also used "boiled chicken chinese style" recipe and put four bratwurst in to cook with a whole tray of thighs. I used ten cups of the broth from cooking the chicken for the liquid in the chili. I added the cooked, shredded chicken and bratwurst at the end of cooking along with the cilantro. This time I roasted whole jalapenos and four heads of garlic with the tomatillos. Mmmmmmmm.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat your oven to 450 °F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the tomatillos with half of the extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with black pepper and salt (to taste; just a few pinches) and place, cut-side-down, in a roasting dish.
  3. Separately, take a bulb of garlic, cut off its top (just exposing all of the cloves) and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil. Place this, upside-down in the roasting dish on top of the tomatillos.
  4. Put the roasting dish in the heated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the garlic is soft and the tomatillos are slightly browned.
  5. Finely dice the jalapeños and Serrano chiles. If you want to reduce the heat, remove the seeds and white membrane, inside. You can also roast the chiles (coated with a small amount of oil) along with the tomatillos. If you want it hot, just finely dice them and don't bother to roast them. Once diced, set aside.
  6. Finely dice four onions, eight green onions, and the green bell peppers and add them to the bowl with the chiles.
  7. Dice the chicken (breasts and thighs) into small pieces, just small enough so that two of them would easily fit onto a soup spoon. This would be about a half inch, cubed. Place the chicken into a bowl and set aside.
  8. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the cumin seeds and red chili flakes until they start to give off an aroma. Remove from the heat, let them cool a bit, and grind into a powder. Dust the chicken with half of the total amount of powder along with a teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of black pepper; mix the chicken with the spices to coat, thoroughly.
  9. In a deep-sided pot, heat the remaining half of the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken and, stirring, cook it until the surface is white and just starting -barely- to brown.
  10. Add the diced onions, peppers, and chiles, and stir into the chicken, adding the remainder of the ground cumin spice mixture. Cook until the onions start to become transluscent.
  11. Add the tomatillos to the pot and squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their papery husk into the pot. Stir to incorporate and cover with eight cups of chicken broth and four cups of water. Cover and bring to a low boil.
  12. Once simmering, allow the liquid to cook and reduce for about 30-45 minutes. The liquid should be about as thick as a thick stew. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Finely chop a bunch of fresh cillantro and stir into the chili. Remove from the heat; the extra heat will cook the minced cillantro.
  14. Serve hot.

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