Suzi's Blog

Roasted Butterflied Chicken and Tomatillos from Curtis Stone’s What’s for Dinner


We have simply fallen in love with Curtis Stone’s What’s for Dinner? The range of recipes here, from simple to elegant, is impressive. Even more impressive is this: these recipes work. They have been tested and honed. Pick one, follow the directions and, voila, you will seem to be culinary guru.

Well, maybe that’s what a guru is: someone who has found the path and shares it. What’s for Dinner is organized by day of the week and Wednesday is devoted to one-pot meals. As the picture shows, one pot does not necessarily meal “everything kinda thrown together.” This roasted chicken with tomatillos is beautiful to behold, you’ll have smelled it for an hour, and everyone will be thrilled when, finally, this dish arrives at the table.

The nose and eyes eat first and Curtis is so thorough in meeting those sensory needs. There is professional care in every recipe here from Monday to Sunday.

This dish is a snap to prepare and may give you a new experience: as they cook the tomatillos soften, sweeten, but pass their inherent tang into the chicken. You find that you do not need salt here at all. This one-pot dish is superbly self-contained.

Roasted Butterflied Chicken and Tomatillos

Yield: serves 4


  • One four-pound chicken
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds tomatillos, husked, rinsed and halved
  • 1 white onion, halved and cut into ½ inch thick wedges
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped [keep the seeds for heat]
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges for serving
  • 8 whole wheat flour or corn tortillas, warmed for serving



Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Using poultry shears, split the chicken open by cutting down one side of the backbone, then cut out and remove the backbone. Place the chicken skin side up on a chopping board. Put your hand on the breastbone and press hard to flatten the chicken.

Heat a very large cast-iron or other heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the paprika, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Rub the mixture all over the chicken. Place the chicken skin side down in the hot skillet and cook for about 4 minutes, or just until the skin side is golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a large plate. Set the skillet aside.

In a large bowl, toss the tomatillos, onions, garlic, and jalapenos with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange half of the tomatillo mixture in the skillet and nestle the chicken on top, skin side up. Scatter the remaining tomatillo mixture around the chicken.

Roast for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced in the thickest part with the tip of a small sharp knife and the tomatillos are falling apart into the sauce. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

Season the tomatillo salsa to taste with salt. Sprinkle the cilantro over the chicken and salsa and serve with the lime wedges and tortillas.

Source: What’s for Dinner by Curtis Stone

Photo Information Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/2.8 for 1/60th second at ISO-3200




Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey Enchiladas with Creams Tomatillo Sauce

turkey enchiladas
I posted this recipe in early 2010, at my daughter’s request, but I’m doing it again because tomorrow you will have leftover turkey and this is just the best possible way to enjoy it. It’s not “leftovers.” It’s “delicious” and rich and different.

The enchiladas are paired with one of my favorite foods: tomatillos.  This green fruit is a staple of Mexican cuisine.  Although in the same botanical family as the tomato, a tomatillo is definitely not a tomato.  If you’ve had green salsa with a bite, you’ve enjoyed the particular intensity that only a tomatillo can supply. In this recipe that inherent tomatillo sting is muted into a voluptuous cream sauce that is an outstanding match for that distinctive turkey flavor.  Your mouth is simply going to resonate with a symphony of tones.

When I make this dish, I do follow the recipe but I am heavy handed with the amount of green onion and green chiles. And I suggest sticking with the canned tomatillos, not the salsa verde.

You can garnish the whole dish with cilantro or sliced scallions for one more level of flavor.

Turkey Enchiladas with Creamy tomatillo Sauce


2 cups shredded roast turkey
2 green onions, including tender green tops, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons cream cheese at room temperature
1 ⅓cups (5 ½ ounces) shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
2 cans (7 ounces each) salsa verde or 1 can (13 ounces) tomatillos, drained
2 tablespoons canned chopped green chiles, drained
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
⅔ cup heavy (whipping) cream
¼ cup canola oil
8 corn tortillas


Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, green onions, cream cheese, and 1 cup of the jack cheese and stir to mix thoroughly. Set aside.

In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillo, chiles, cilantro, and cream and process until smooth.

Heat the oil in a heavy, 6 -inch skillet over medium-high heat. Using tongs, carefully place one tortilla at a time in the hot oil and fry for 5 to 10 seconds just until softened. Flip the tortilla and soften the other side. Drain over the skillet, and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Place another paper towel on top and press to absorb the oil. Repeat until all 8 tortillas are softened and drained.

Divide the turkey mixture among the tortillas (about ½cup each), mounding it in a line down the center. Roll tightly and then place, seam side down, in a 7 x 11″ baking pan. Pour the tomatillo cream sauce over the enchiladas, and sprinkle the remaining ⅓cup jack cheese down the center. Bake for about 20 minutes until heated through and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Source: The New Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan