Chili Verde Tacos with Homemade Black Cornmeal Tortillas

We made tacos last night and had time to enjoy the fruits of our labor! Okay, so maybe really the tacos of our labor because not only did we make them from scratch, which was a lot of fun, but we also grew Hopi heirloom black corn last summer and finally processed the dried kernels into cornmeal! 

While this sounds like the perfect farm-to-table/garden-to-kitchen story, there was one minor setback. We were so excited to make tacos that we made the cornmeal before remembering to prep the kernels for masa harina (that will be another post down the road for those wondering how to do that). So we ended up having to make the cornmeal tortillas with added flour, which still ended up tasting super wholesome and amazing. So below is our recipe for that! You can check out more in My Story on Instagram for the tortilla making process.

Chili Verde Tacos with Homemade Black Cornmeal Tortillas

Time: Tacos: 35 Minutes; Tortillas: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Serves 10-12 people


Tortillas (Makes 30)
2 cups Hopi black cornmeal
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
12 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 cups water
1.5 tsp salt

2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
15 tomatillos
3 fresh jalapeños, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, quartered
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
4 oz pickled jalapeños, diced
1/2 large bunch cilantro
1 tbsp lime juice

For Serving
Warmed black corn tortillas
Pickled watermelon radish
Diced white onion
Sliced pickled jalapeños
Sour cream
Lime wedges


In a large mixing bowl, add black cornmeal, flour, and oil. Slowly mix in water and salt with a wooden spoon. Knead dough for 1-2 minutes, until the dough is smooth like Play Dough.

Separate dough into about 30 (1.25 inch) pieces rolled into balls, placing on parchment paper when done. Let dough rest, covered, for 30 minutes. 

Line one side of the tortilla press with a plastic quart-size zip-top bag. Place one dough ball in the middle, but slightly off center toward the closing hinge. Cover dough with another plastic quart-size bag. Close the tortilla press firmly to form a thin tortilla. Carefully peel off plastic film and cook each individual tortilla immediately on a hot, un-greased griddle for about 1 minute per side. Alternatively, uncooked tortillas can be transferred to a plate lined with parchment paper, separating tortillas between additional pieces of parchment paper. Tortillas can be stacked on top of each other once they’re removed from the pan and kept warm. 

In a medium pressure cooker, prepare chili verde sauce by combining chicken, tomatillos, fresh jalapeños, onion, garlic, salt, cumin, and vinegar. Place on high heat and stir for a couple minutes. Cover and cook over high pressure for 15 minutes. Carefully release pressure under cool water. Remove lid and return pressure cooker to stove.

Set chicken pieces aside on a plate. Add cilantro, sliced jalapeños, and lime juice to the pot. Bring to a simmer and reduce sauce until it reaches a salsa-like consistency. Return chicken to the pressure cooker for 1-2 minutes, until warmed through. 

Serve chicken pieces over black corn tortillas, topped with tomatillo sauce. Garnish with pickled radishes, white onion, cilantro, pickled jalapeños, sour cream, and lime wedges.