Saturday, November 16, 2013

Chicken in tomatillo sauce

Yes, another crock pot / slow cooker recipe.  This is one of those random - throw things together and luck out it was good.  I know each time I use different spices, but somehow the BF states it tastes exactly like the last time.   I'm just going to say it must be the tomatillos.

If you google tomatillo and chicken, it appears to be a pretty common combination.  Perhaps I read on of these posts and then got the idea... or had chili on the brain. But, this has become one of my go-to recipes for chicken because it's quick (to set up) and easy.

I like to use whole chickens - mostly because that is what we have in our freezer (yea CSA!) and because I like white meat and the BF like dark meat.  And, this way we can have both - and I can hide the dark in the white meat when I eat my share.  Yes, exactly like when I hide the kale in something so the BF is able to eat it.  (is that a boo CSA?)

So, the night before - I cut up the chicken and store it in the fridge.  Legs are left on the bone, breasts and back meat is deboned and cut into large pieces.  Say half each breast bone as you don't want to loose the white meat while cooking.  The left over bone and associated parts (liver, heart, gizzard, etc) is placed in a zip lock bag and put in the freezer for stock making day(s).

Chicken in Tomatillo Sauce

  • 1 whole chicken cut into parts (or pre-cut chicken)
  • 2 cups tomatillo (or a can)
  • 2 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle pepper powder (or whatever you use for making chili)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves (or more) of garlic
 Take the tomatillo, onions, cumin, chipotle and place into crockpot/slow cooker.  Give it a good stir.  Place a handful of onions.  Layer chicken legs and then breast pieces.  So that most of the heat is focused on the legs which are bone on so that the sauce is nice and rich.   Toss in the rest of the onions and the garlic. Cover and cook on low.  About 8 hrs (or longer).  I do not know if shorter is possible as I tend to work long hours.  I'm thinking you are good at about the 5 hr mark.  But, you will have to test the chicken.

When I get home, I pull out the chicken.  Put the sauce in a pan to cook down.  Shred the chicken and toss it into the thickened sauce.  YUM!

If you have fresh cilantro or some diced avocados, they make a lovely addition.  In the early fall, I've made a nice salsa fresca as the tomatoes are so good that time of year.  Guacamole would be good as well.  It has a nice southwestern feel.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Yemeni Style pot roast

I'm not really sure of the authenticity of this Yemeni spice blend - but I'll take my book's word that this is a Yemeni Spice blend.  In looking up origin, it seems from the flavors that this is a Mughlai-style Indian than a Middle Eastern style blend.   Either way, real or made up, it's a tasty dish and a new flavor for pot roast.

The original recipe was a bit peppery - so I've cut down the amount of pepper.  You are more than welcome to add more  - if you wish for that pepper pop.   And be warned, the next day - if you have this as left overs - the pepper flavor comes out more intensely. 

This site had some great pictures of Yemeni food and even though I just ate, my mouth watered looking at the pictures!

Speaking of pictures, I didn't take any.  It looks like a pot roast - just tastes different.   We shredded ours so that we could use up more of the sauce.  But, if you eat bread - I think this would taste great as a sandwich with a bit of cheddar cheese and some onions.

Yemeni Spice Blend

  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground caraway 
  • 1 teaspoon (a good pinch) saffron threads
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (be careful of this spice as it dyes everything yellow)

Pot Roast

  • a nice size pot roast, mine was about 2.5 pounds
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 cup beef stock (or chicken or water)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small green chili (optional)
Rub the spice blend on your meat and cook.

If you are using a crock pot/slow cooker - you can just put everything in the pot in the morning.  Set it to low and when you get home - just shred / cut and eat.  If you are motivated, you can even brown your meat before placing it in the crock pot.

If you do this on the stove, please follow your normal cooking process for pot roast.  I sometimes will do mine up in the oven at 275F for 3 hours or so, depending on size. But, now that I've discovered the crock pot - well, the oven seems like a waste of fuel.  And, I don't have to mind the crock pot!