Tonight, I was going to cook a recipe for my other project, Cooking my way through Nicholas - The Cookbook. In the grocery store, we started thinking about tomorrows lunch and dinner and since I had made some homemade chili powder, my wife said 'we should just make some chicken taco's tomorrow with your chili powder'. That turned into 'we should make it shredded chicken, and braise it!' (Oh, the life of a foodie). I had everything, but the chicken, so the plan was to make the chicken tonight, and then reheat it for tomorrow. Well, the dish smelled so good, that we scrapped making anything else, and ate it tonight.
We recently took a trip to Chicago, on a purely culinary getaway. Our only goal was to eat at every single Rick Bayless place, and we did. Awesome. Food. Pictures of the trip can be found here. I've been inspired by Diane Kennedy and Rick Bayless since I started learning how to cook a few years ago. Mexican flavors (side by side with Indian) are my absolute favorite.
This is one of the few recipes I can say that I 'created' myself, and I'm proud of it. I can't think of a name for it, so if anyone has any suggestions, I'm open. For now I'll call it...
'Wish I was in Oaxaca' Chicken
Ingredients - Serves 4
4 chicken breasts, on the one, skin on
2 Tablespoons of Chili Powder, divided (I made my own, I use Alton Browns recipe believe it or not!)
1 Bottle of Beer (Tecate)
2 Jalapeno Peppers, sliced with seeds
1 White Onion, sliced
3 Cloves of garlic, sliced
2 Chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
1 7oz can of Chipotle Sauce
2 14.5oz Cans of Hunts Fire Roasted Tomatoes
3 cups of Chicken Stock
1 Pinch of Mexican Oregano
3 Tablespoons of Grape seed (or vegetable oil)
Salt and Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 325. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of chili powder. In a dutch oven or large, oven safe pot, heat oil on Medium High and Brown chicken. Approximately 3 minutes each side. Remove chicken and set aside.
2. With pot still on medium high, throw onion, garlic and jalapeno in and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
3. Deglaze with 6oz of beer, scraping up all the brown bits from the pan, and drink the rest,
4. Combine the rest of the ingredients + the rest of the Chili Powder, with the onions, peppers and garlic and place the chicken in. Pour in chicken stock to just cover the chicken, if necessary, and bring to a simmer. Tear up 2-3 corn tortillas and toss into pot.
6. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside. Use an immersion blender, or carefully pour braising liquid into a blender and blend until smooth. Taste. Season with Maggi seasoning and pepper to taste.
7. Plate chicken in a shallow bowl, ladle over a spoonful of sauce, and garnish with cilantro to taste. Serve with corn tortillas.
My wife says - 'I'd serve this dish to Rick Bayless if we had him over for dinner!'...and she's damn picky. That was enough to satisfy me! It makes up for my debacle of a dinner last week where I had thought through this lamb loin dish for hours, everynight before I went to bed, only to completely fail at the dish, throw it out, and ended up going to Stage Left in New Brunswick, NJ for a burger.
As I publish this post, I just received a message from Rick Bayless. His response? "Looks Beautiful!".
I think I'll sleep good tonight...
...Knowing I have some left over for lunch tomorrow...