Chicharron en salsa verde is a traditional Mexican dish made with crispy pork crackling simmered in a hearty green chili sauce. Serve this comforting dish for dinner along with warm corn tortillas.
What is chicharron?
Chicharrones (plural) are deep-fried pork skins very common and popular in Mexican gastronomy. They have a crispy texture and are made in two ways: One only with pork skin and the other with a little bit of meat on it.
Chicharrones can be eaten simply as they are in tacos or as a snack, but it’s also pretty common to make them simmered in a sauce to deliver a delicious stew that is served with various sides or to fill gorditas, tacos, quesadillas, and other types of Mexican street food.
There are two popular recipes for chicharrones en salsa, one is with green sauce (like the one I am sharing here) and the other is made with red chili sauce and is called chicharrones en salsa roja.
About the salsa verde
As I said before, the star of this recipe is the scrumptious and hearty green sauce from where this dish takes its name. It is so easy to make and even though you can also use store-bought salsa verde.
I recommend trying at least once making your own sauce. You will notice the difference! Let me tell you why:
- Salsa verde is made with tomatillos, a type of tomato from Mexico. In other countries you can find it canned, at any Mexican online store or Amazon.
- The spices are simple, because the pork crackling adds also lot of flavor, so keeping the sauce simple balance everything perfectly.
- Onions helps to tone down the acidity from tomatillos, so don’t skip them.
- Cilantro adds a nice aroma and taste to the sauce, but since not everyone likes it, you can remove it from the ingredients list.
- You can make the sauce with any type of spicy green chilies you find locally.
The sauce can be made in various ways. You can either boil the ingredients as I suggest in my recipe or roast them in a stove griddle or grill. And, if you made our salsa verde de tomatillo and have some leftovers, you can use that too!
How to make chicharron en salsa verde
Start by boiling your tomatillos and chili peppers. For tomatillos, you can easily remove the husks, wash them and place them into a pot with enough water to cover them.
Once the water starts to boil, set heat to medium and let them simmer for about 6 minutes, not more or tomatillos will become bitter.
Remove tomatillos and chili peppers and place them into a blender with onion, cilantro, cumin seeds, and garlic. Add 1 cup of water and blend everything until nicely combined.
Now, pour the sauce on a braising pan. Season with salt and pepper then bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
Next, add the chicharrones to the pan and pour in the chicken stock. Use a spoon to push them down so they can soak nicely. Bring to a simmer and set the heat to medium-low.
From here it depends on the quality and type of chicharrón you’re using the time it will take to cook.
It can take from 10 up to 30 minutes, so you might adjust the liquids accordingly. If you see the chicharrones are still hard, add more chicken stock and keep simmering, covered, until they will become soft.
Once chicharrones are softened, adjust seasonings. Serve this chicharron en salsa verde with your favorite side dishes.
Useful Notes & Tips
- Some people like to fry the sauce in a little bit of lard or oil. It sure adds a nice flavor, but also some extra calories. So, this is up to you.
- If you notice the sauce is too acidic, add a pinch of sugar to balance its flavor.
- If the pieces of pork cracklings are too big, cut them to make them easier to eat.
- You can adjust the spiciness in this recipe by adding less or more chiles than the recipe calls for.
- The recipe can be find in Mexico with other names, such as chicharrones con chile verde, chicharron con salsa verde, or chicharron en verde.
What to serve with chicharrones con chile verde
- Refried beans are absolutely my favorite and one of the most common side dishes for this recipe.
- Arroz Blanco (Mexican white rice) is also a good option, specially when you serve chicharron en salsa verde over it, all the sauce goodness will soak up the rice.
- Frijoles de la olla, for a hearty, comfort, and more traditional Mexican menu. You can’t go wrong with this. Add also some chopped onion on top.
- Arroz Rojo is also another good way to serve you chicharron en salsa verde. I normally do it when I have leftovers.
Make Ahead And Store
Yes! I love prep meals, they just save you lots of time in the kitchen and also satisfy unexpected cravings. This recipe is perfect to make ahead.
Place leftovers on an air-tight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Otherwise, you can also freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight then reheat as suggested above.
To reheat, place leftovers in a pan, add a splash of water or chicken stock to return some moisture to the preparation and then heat in the stove over medium heat.
Chicharron en salsa verde
- 10,5 oz chicharrones (please read notes)
- 1 lb fresh tomatillos (see notes)
- 4 serrano peppers (seeds and veins removed)
- ½ medium onion (cut into chunks)
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves (peeled)
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 to 2 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper (to taste)
Make the salsa verde
- Remove the husks from tomatillos, wash them and place them into a pot with enough water to cover them.
- Once the water starts to boil, set heat to medium and let them simmer for about 6 minutes, not more or tomatillos will become bitter.
- Remove tomatillos and chili peppers and place them into a blender with onion, cumin seeds, cilantro, and garlic.
- Add 1 cup of water and blend everything until combined (about 2 minutes). Set aside.
- Place salsa verde on a deep pan. Season with salt and pepper then bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Add chicharrones to the salsa and pour in the chicken stock. Use a spoon to push them down so they can soak well. Bring to a simmer.
- From here it depends in the quality and type of chicharron you’re using the time it will take to cook. It can take from 10 up to 30 minutes, so you might adjust the liquids accordingly. If you see the chicharrones are still hard, add more chicken stock and keep simmering, covered, until they will become soft.
- Once chicharrones are softened, adjust seasonings, turn off the heat and serve.
- If you buy chicharrones in a Mexican butchery, chances are they will weigh more because those are fresh and the texture is a little different. So just add more. About 1 1/2 lb would be enough for this recipe.
- If you use canned tomatillo, you will need about 2 cups.
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