Bonus Guatemalan Chicken Recipes

Earlier this year, School Nutrition introduced a new regular Food Focus feature: “Kitchen Wisdom Says…” is a highlighted recipe that has been reviewed, modified and/or tested by members of the magazine’s new corps of “Kitchen Wisdom” volunteers. These SNA members graciously have offered School Nutrition their K-12 operational expertise on the practical preparation and application of selected recipes. The Bonus Web Content below showcases two suggested modified versions of the highlighted recipe featured in the print edition.

If you enjoy exploring new recipes, we welcome more volunteers to join the Kitchen Wisdom panel! If you are an SNA member and work in a school or district foodservice operation, contact Assistant Editor Cecily Walters, or (800) 877-8822, ext. 142, for more information.

Guatemalan Chicken and Mushrooms in Tomatillo Sauce

Modification #1

YIELD: 24 servings 

  • Vegetable oil—2-3 Tbsps.
  • Onions—1 lb. + 2 ozs.
  • Onions, green—2 cups + 2 ozs.
  • Peppers, red, sweet—1 lb. + 2 ozs.
  • Peppers, jalapeño—1 cup
  • Tomatillos—3 lbs.
  • Cumin, ground—2 Tbsps. + 3/4 tsp.
  • Chicken stock, brought to a boil—3 qts.


  • Vegetable oil—1/4-1/2 cup
  • Chicken breast halves—24
  • Mushrooms, fresh, white or Crimini—3 lbs. + 6 ozs.
  • Lime juice, fresh—1/2 cup
  • Tortillas, corn—6
  • Cilantro, fresh—4 1/2 cups
  • Lime slices—optional garnish
  • Cilantro sprigs—optional garnish


  1. Vegetable mise in place: Coarsely chop the onions. Thinly slice the green onions. Cut the red peppers into 1-in. squares. Finely chop the jalapeño peppers. Quarter the tomatillos. Quarter the mushrooms. Cut the tortillas into 1-in. squares. Chop the cilantro.
  2. Chicken mise en place: Bone, skin and lightly pound the chicken breast.
  3. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan. Sauté the onions and peppers for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatillos and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cumin and stock. Heat to boiling.
  6. Remove the sauce from heat and reserve.
  7. To prepare the chicken: Heat the oil in a large fry pan. Sauté eight chicken breast halves over medium heat, turning once, until the chicken is done and the juices run clear, about 8 minutes. Remove from the pan. Repeat two more times until all 24 chicken breast halves are sautéed.
  8. Add 1 Tbsp. of oil. Sauté 18 ozs. of mushrooms until browned but crisp. Add 8 cups of sauce to the pan and reheat, scraping the fond from the bottom of the fry pan. Stir in 1/2 Tbsp. of the lime juice, a few tortilla squares and 1/4 cup of cilantro.
  9. Spoon over the chicken. Serve with lime slices and cilantro sprigs if desired.

*Note: If making the sauce one day in advance, sauté the mushrooms and add them to the sauce instead of sautéing them after preparing the chicken.

Modified recipe: Michael McEvoy, School Nutrition Program Manager, Peachtree Ridge High School, Suwanee, Ga.

Modification #2

YIELD: ~20 servings

  • Vegetable oil—1/2 cup
  • Onions—1 lb.
  • Onions, green—1 cup, diced
  • Peppers, bell, sweet, red—2 medium
  • Peppers, jalapeño—1/2 cup, diced
  • Tomatillos—1 lb.
  • Cumin, ground—3 Tbsps.
  • French bread—3 cups, cubed
  • Chicken stock—2 qts.
  • Chicken, white, diced—2 lbs.
  • Mushrooms, jarred—2 4.5-oz. jars
  • Tortillas, corn—3
  • Cilantro, fresh—5 cups, chopped


  1. Coarsely chop the onions. Thinly slice the green onions. Cut the red peppers into 1-in. squares. Finely chop the jalapeño peppers. Quarter the tomatillos. Dice the bread.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan. Sauté the onions and peppers for 3 minutes
  3. Push the vegetables to the side and add the tomatillos. Sauté lightly for 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cumin, bread and stock. Heat to boiling.
  5. Add the chicken, mushrooms, tortillas and cilantro.
  6. Heat while stirring occasionally to warm the mixture through.
  7. Serve with rice on the side.
  8. For each serving: Portion with a #10 scoop.

Modified recipe: Chelsea Wickson, RD, Dietitian, Spring Independent School District, Houston, Texas

Original recipe: Mushroom Council,

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