A Mexican inspired dish is about to land on my dinner table. It is succulent, tender, fall off the bone, and finger licking amazing creation. Why am so confident, a thought may have crossed your mind? But I say why shouldn't I be? I am FoodInspired, artistic, and definitely savor every pleasurable moment cooking in my kitchen.
Today I made my usual weekly trip to a grocery store; I frequent many of them before I settle on the menu for the night. I wanted Mexican food but I didn't want the calories that came with it (yes, I am very vain and don't want to undo what I work so hard for every morning - a workout. That and I want to save a bit of the calories for a home brew that my husband and I make. Our current specialty is an IPA but we have dubbed in a Belgium Double as well, which is stupendously wonderful. But that's entirely another blog.)
Anyway, where was I? Ah, Mexican food for dinner.
I thought of making some chicken. It is easy, lean, can be made super moist, it is unfussy, and a lovely staple in many households (that's why I chose the chicken). It does involve some time, 2 hours and about 20 minutes for prep, but it is so worth it!
Mexican Chicken with sauted Swiss Chard
What I bought:
Whole Chicken leg, skin/bone
One breast with skin/bone
1 red chili, seeds removed
2 pounds of tomatoes (on sale, the whole box with a mix of Romas, Heirlooms, and Beefstake)
Aji Panca chili paste (it is Peruvian) but you can use Chocolaty Pasillas as a substitute (to make paste, reconstitute in hot water and some vinegar - I like rice vinegar as it is milder) and then blend into a paste with a bit of canola oil.
What I had on hand and used:
A bunch of fresh oregano
2 Bay leaves
½ cup chicken stock
What I did:
Season the chicken with salt, fresh ground black pepper, and sweet paprika, and in a well heated pot brown the chicken well on both sides. Add roughly diced fresh tomatoes, add oregano, bay leaves, and chicken stock, and chili pepper, and a teaspoon of aji panca (or the pasilla paste). Simmer on low/medium low heat for 2 hours. The chicken will be so soft when it is done and juicy. Pull out the chicken gently and set it on a plate to cool a bit. In a meantime, blend the sauce either in a blender or use an emersion blender. Once the chicken cools enough, pull it apart from the bone, discard the skins and the bones. Serve over a fragrant butter rice (add a small nub of butter at the end of the rice cooking time - you should have about ½ teaspoon of butter to the 1.5 cups of cooked rice). I also like adding sautéed Swiss chard with this meal.Plate everything, and drizzle a bit of the sauce. Stupendously delicious and deliriously yummy!