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Sometimes I feel like little kid in a grocery store being told she can’t have that juicy, colorful, sweet piece of candy that she want’s so badly. If you suffer from food allergies that may have surfaced as you’ve gotten older, you understand the feeling. And although most of the items we are allergic to become most unappealing after months or years of  belly aches, it’s not easy to forget the taste of those things you cherished the most.

As a child, I spent a good amount of quality time with my Godparents from Chihuahua, Mexico. The taste of simple foods such as beans, rice, corn tortillas, and fideo became forever embedded into my soul as comfort food. It was these simple, bland foods I would turn to when my stomach was giving me grief and my world was, in a sense, turned upside down when I realized it was these things that were making me sick. No more smothered burritos from La Frontera twice a week on my lunch break? What ever was I going to do? No joke, this was what I was thinking.

It wasn’t until a recent stroll through Whole Foods that I ran into a Chicken Chile Verde dish at the hot bar that actually looked, what we like to call, “legit.” The ingredients were extremely simple and extremely “Jodi friendly!” Could it be? Ever since, I have been literally dreaming of the stuff and I just had to put it into action. Here’s what I came up with. It’s no La Frontera but it’s daaaarn good.

Crock Pot Chicken Chile Verde (or stove top)
(corn free, gluten free, soy free, dairy free and can be vegan)

15-20 tomatillos diced

2 large tomatoes grated into a puree or diced

4 green chile’s of your choice chopped (use Anaheim chiles for a milder spice)

1 or 2 jalapeno diced

1and 1/2 med-large brown or yellow onion diced

6-8 garlic cloves crushed or diced

1 bunch of cilantro chopped

1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne pepper

4 heaping Tbls cumin

3 Tbls sea salt or to taste

5-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs or 4 breasts (I like thighs because of the tenderness but chicken breasts or pork should work too. If vegan, omit meat.) Pork is delicious too.

1/2 box of chicken or veggie stock (I use veggie stock because I have yet to find a chicken stock without preservatives or “natural flavors.” If you have a corn allergy, you know these things can be detrimental to the tummy. My favorite stock is Pacific Natural Foods Organic Vegetable Broth.)

Crock Pot instructions: Combine all veggies and spices in Crock Pot and top with chicken thighs. Add box of stock(or about 1 quart stock if using canned) to cover ingredients. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Puree about 1/2 of the sauce in a blender (depending on how chunky you like your mixture) and return to pot. Add shredded chicken and change setting to high for another 30 min – 1 hour. Serve over rice or with your favorite Mexican fixin’s.

Stove Top instructions: follow crock pot instructions but simmer mixture on medium heat for one hour (stirring occasionally) before shredding chicken and blending sauce.

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