Tomato Tomatillo Chicken Tenders


8-10 Chicken Tenders

3-4 tomatoes

6 tomatillos

1 large or 3-4 small Leeks

4 Cloves Garlic

1 qt chicken broth

1/4 cup Half & Half

1 cup Mozzarella

Pull the husks from the tomatillos; they'll be quite sticky but only need a good rinse under the tap. The leeks may be another story because they can hold a lot of soil and grit. Rinse them and slice in rounds up to the end of the white part, then swish around and soak well in a big bowl of water to get any soil from between the layers. Let these soak while you chop the tomatillos in half and quarter the tomatoes, or eighth the larger ones. I think they're actually easiest to peel after cutting them up. The skin usually comes off in an easy single piece or two with no need to blanch them first or anything else if you peel the cut pieces.

Drain the leeks and put everything in a pot with the peeled garlic loves. Pour ust jenough chicken broth to cover, add about 1 tbs. salt, cover, and when it comes to a boil reduce the heat and let it go for about 10 minutes.   When ready, scoop the vegetables into the food processor with liquid no more than half as deep as vegetables to help keep everything moving as you process into a puree.

You'll probably end up with twice as much of this sauce as you need. It freezes perfectly in a ziplock bag, though, so save it for later! For now, just pour an even layer over the chicken tenders so they are smothered in the sauce.

Drizzle with the Half & Half. It will mix together as it cooks. Top with the mozzarella. We're baking these tenders at 350 for about 20 minutes until chicken is just cooked through, but they could be simmered in a skillet covered in this sauce as well. To brown the top it would have to go under the broiler just a minute or so. Don't wait for the cheese to brown in the oven either or the chicken could get tough, instead of tender tenders. It's better to put them under the broiler to brown the cheese if you want it that way.

Jan Burke.