Tomatillo Chicken Parm with Avocado Crema
This fun dish is a play on the traditional chicken parmesan. Think of the basic concept of chicken parm but with a creative Latin twist.
This tomatillo salsa is fresh, a bit spicy and tart. It cuts through the breaded chicken and makes it so delicious and bright. Topped with melted cheese, the chicken cutlets soak up the sauce and cheese. To top it off, the avocado crema gives it the perfect pop of fresh! It will help cool your mouth from the spiciness and balance out any heaviness that the cheese might bring.
I love to serve this chicken with super thinly sliced crunchy tortilla strips. The tortilla strips soak up the bits of tomatillo salsa that oozes out of the chicken and also picks up the avocado crema.
Serve yourself a margarita and let’s get this party started!
This is how I made this Tomatillo Chicken Parm with Avocado Crema:
There are 4 main components to this dish. The tomatillo salsa, the crispy tortillas, the avocado crema and the chicken of course.
Don’t worry, I will show how to time them, so they are all done at the same time!
Let’s start with the tomatillo salsa.
Preheat the oven to 375°.
The tomatillos need to be peeled and washed. They peel easily, but when you remove the papery shell. they are a bit sticky so make sure you rinse them thoroughly.
Tip! The stems are sometimes stubborn to take off, but make sure you remove them as they don’t get soft when cooked.
In a large cookie sheet, toss the onion, garlic cloves, tomatillos and jalapeños with salt pepper and olive oil.
Tip! Depending on how spicy you like your food, remove the seeds and membranes. The spicier you want it the more seeds you should leave on the jalapeño. I like to remove the membranes but I do leave behind a little bit of seeds for a medium heat.
Leave one jalapeño separate from the rest of the vegetables. This jalapeño will be used for the avocado crema.
Bake for 25 minutes. Once soft and roasted, leave on the side to cool completely.
While the tomatillos cook, let’s work on the tortillas.
Cut the tortillas in thin strips. When I say thin, I mean as thin as you can possibly cut them without them falling apart. The thinner they are, the crispier they get.
Coat generously in olive oil and season with salt. Bake in a 375° oven for 25-28 minutes. It is very very important to continuously toss the tortillas to help the steam escape as they cook. So every 5 minutes or so, give them a toss around the pan so they can crisp up evenly.
Tip! You can bake the tortillas at the same time as the tomatillos. Make sure the tortillas are placed on the rack above the tomatillos. Be sure they are frequently tossed as the steam from the tomatillos will influence the cooking time and increase the moisture in the oven.
While the tomatillos and the tortillas are cooking, it is time to work on the chicken.
The chicken will be breaded in traditional chicken parm fashion, with the exception that the breadcrumbs will be seasoned with fabulous latin spices.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs and season with salt.
On a large plate, mix both types of breadcrumbs with the paprika, chili powder, garlic powder and parmesan cheese.
Tip! I love to use parmesan cheese that was thickly grated. I love how it helps crisp up the breading and adds texture.
In a large skillet, start heating some olive oil. I use enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
Breading the Chicken Cutlets
Before breading the chicken cutlets, check for any cartilage or gristle left on the chicken. If it has some, trim it and discard.
Start by dunking the chicken breasts in the eggs. Make sure the chicken is completely coated with the egg. Transfer the chicken cutlet to the breadcrumbs mixture. Coat the chicken in the breadcrumbs on all sides. Repeat with the rest of the cutlets.
Tip! I like to pat the chicken into the breadcrumbs so they can adhere properly.
At this point, the oil in the skillet will be nice and hot. Start cooking the chicken. Do not over crowd the pan as the chicken will steam instead of sear. Cook the cutlets 3-4 minutes per side until nice and golden.
Once the chicken is seared on both sides, season with salt and pepper, turn off the heat and set aside.
At this point, the tomatillos have cooked. You can let them cool on the side.
In a blender, toss in all the tomatillo mixture, minus the 1 extra jalapeño! Add the cilantro and blend until smooth. Say hello to your salsa verde!
Tip! I like to taste the tomatillo salsa a this point and determine if it needs more salt and pepper. Adjust if needed.
Pour the tomatillo salsa on top of the chicken. I like to cover the chicken but not too much that the chicken is submerged in the salsa. Add enough to coat the cutlet without covering the entire pan.
Sprinkle the mexican cheese blend on top of the tomatillo salsa and bake in a 375° oven for 10-12 minutes.
While the chicken bakes and the tortillas are almost done, let’s work on the avocado crema.
In a blender, toss the crema, the avocado, the lime juice, the roasted jalapeño and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth.
Tip! The mixture might be too thick. If that is the case, pour a little bit of water and run the blender. Adjust how much water you need depending on the thickness of the crema. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time.
Once the tortillas and the chicken are baked. It’s time to plate!
Place a handful of tortillas in the bottom of a plate.
Rest a chicken cutlet on top of the tortillas.
Drizzle a few spoonfuls of the crema on top of the chicken, sprinkle some cilantro and enjoy!
The tortillas will soak up the tomatillo salsa and the cilantro crema will cut through any heaviness of the cheese and breading of the chicken. The combination of textures in this dish with the crunchy tortillas and the tender chicken make this dish exciting to eat!
Tomatillo Chicken Parm with Avocado Crema
- Oven safe skillet
- Cookie sheet
- 1/2 yellow onion roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
- 10 tomatillos peeled, washes and quartered
- 2 jalapeños roughly chopped, seeded and deveined
- 8 corn tortillas
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup mexican blend shredded cheese
- 4 thin chicken cutlets
- 16 oz mexican crema
- 1 avocado
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- 4 tablespoons cilantro plus more for garnish
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°
- Toss the onion, garlic cloves, tomatillos and jalapeños in a large cookie sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
- Leave one jalapeño separate from the rest of the vegetables. This jalapeño will be used for the Avocado Crema.
- Bake the tomatillos mixture for 25 minutes then remove from oven and set aside to let cool.
- While the tomatillos bake, cut the tortillas into strips. Cut them as thinly as you can.
- Season the tortilla strips with salt, drizzle olive oil and toss well.
- Bake the torillas in a 375° for 25-28 minutes.
- Toss the tortillas around every 5 minutes. This helps release the steam and allows them to crisp up.
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs and season with salt.
- On a large plate, mix the panko breadcrumbs, the plain breadcrumbs, the paprika, chili powder, garlic salt and parmesan cheese.
- Start heating a large oven safe pan and pour a generous amount of olive oil.
- Toss the chicken cutlets in the eggs, make sure the entire chicken cutlet has been soaked in the egg mixture.
- Place the chicken cutlet on the breadcrumb mixture and pat so the breadcrumbs adhere evenly on to the chicken. Coat the chicken with the breadcrumbs on both sides.
- At this point the oil in the skillet will be hot. Sear each chicken cutlet until golden on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Once the cutlets are seared and golden on both sides, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
- In a blender, pour the roasted tomatillo mixture (with the exception of the second jalapeño). Add half of the cilantro and blend until smooth.
- Once blended, pour the tomatillo salsa on top of each chicken cutlet. Pour enough salsa to cover each cutlet. Do not pour too much that the cutlets are entirely covered in salsa.
- Sprinkle the mexican cheese blend on top of each cutlet and bake in a preheated 375° oven for 10-12 minutes.
- While the chicken bakes, it's time to make the crema.
- In a blender, pour the crema, the avocado, the lime juice, the jalapeño that was saved to the side and rest of the cilantro.
- Blend unitl smooth. If too thick, add water a tablespoon at a time until the crema is smooth all over and there are no chuncks of avocado left.
- To plate this dish, serve the tortillas on the bottom of a plate, serve the chicken on top of the bed of crispy tortillas and drizzle some of the crema on top. Sprinkle bits of cilantro on the top for an extra pop of color and ENJOY!
Recipe Video Instructions