Green Chili Day Date in the current year: December 16, 2024

Green Chili Day Green Chili Day is observed annually on December 16. It celebrates a variation of chili con carne made with green chili peppers.

Green chili (chili verde) is a moderately to extremely spicy variation of chili con carne made with pork, roasted green chili peppers, green tomatillos, garlic, and chicken broth. Green chili is especially popular in New Mexico cuisine, noted for its extensive use of the chili pepper cultivar known as New Mexico chili or Hatch chili.

Green (unripened) New Mexico chili has a distinctive deep green color, crisp texture, and lightly pungent flavor with sweet, spicy, and smoky notes. Green chili may also contain other chili cultivars such as poblano, jalapeño, serrano, and occasionally habanero. Different chili peppers are used to adjust the spiciness of the dish.

Like other types of chili con carne, green chili can be eaten on its own with various toppings and accompaniments (diced onions, grated cheese, sour cream, cornbread, corn chips or tortilla chips, corn or flour tortillas, etc.), or used as a topping/filling for burritos, enchiladas, tamales, and hamburgers.

The origins of Green Chili Day, occasionally referred to as National Green Chili Day, are unclear, but it shouldn’t stop you from celebrating. You can go out to the restaurant that serves the best chili verde in town, cook green chili for lunch, invite your friends over for a potluck dinner or a chili cook-off, or teach someone to cook green chili. And don’t forget to post about the holiday on social media using the hashtags #GreenChiliDay and #NationalGreenChiliDay to spread the word.

If you’ve decided to celebrate Green Chili Day with a bowl of homemade pork stew, here’s a green chili recipe you can try. Husk and quarter 1 pound green tomatillos, toss them with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Broil the tomatillos for about 5 minutes.

Cut 4 pounds boneless pork butt into 1-inch chunks (don’t forget to trim extra fat first), season with salt and black pepper. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Brown half the pork, add 1 tbsp olive oil and brown the remaining pork. Set the meat aside. Dice 1 medium yellow onion and cook in the pot until softened. Remove from heat.

In a blender, combine the broiled tomatillos, 12 ounces canned diced green chilies (undrained), 2 cups cilantro, 4 garlic cloves, 2 seeded jalapeños, 1 tbsp dried oregano, 2 tsp cumin, and 2 cups chicken stock. Blend on high speed to get a smooth puree. Dice 15 ounces fire-roasted tomatoes.

Combine the puree, diced tomatoes, browned pork, and 2 cups of chicken stock in the pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid, and let simmer, stirring occasionally. The key to making a flavorful green chili is to cook it very slow; it usually takes 3 to 3,5 hours to cook. If the chili thickens too much while cooking, you can add more chicken stock. The dish is ready when the pork becomes tender and starts to shred.

Serve your chili while it’s hot. You can top it with minced cilantro, sour cream, or tortilla chips.

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Green Chili Day, food days, observances in the US, unofficial holidays, chili verde, New Mexico cuisine