Chicken Posole

Rancho Gordo Posole.

Rancho Gordo Posole.

The other day I happened to be at the Ferry Building during the day. Since there is a new Rancho Gordo store at the Ferry Building, I couldn’t resist taking a look at the products on display. Technically, I was shopping for Beans to use for Red Beans and Rice on Fat Tuesday, but I had a hard time resisting purchasing Posole.

I used to make Posole for Pasqual’s Southwestern Deli in Madison, Wisconsin back in the day, but I haven’t made it at home ever. Just seemed a little troublesome. Canned Posole kernels suck and the whole soaking and cooking thing for dried fresh hominy is time consuming.

But, we had some folks coming over for dinner, and I figured no time like the present.

I looked at a few recipes for Posole on the Internets, but didn’t see any that were exactly what I wanted to make: Chicken with fresh Poblanos and pureed dried chiles. So, I just sort of went with what I felt like making. FYI, the heat in this is mostly coming from the Poblanos, but they are highly variable. The ones I got this time were pretty zippy, but sometimes they are no spicier than green peppers. If you feel like you need some extra heat, add cayenne peppers either as powder or to the dried chile sauce.

It turned out well, so mostly writing it down here, so I don’t forget what I did, and in case someone who was over wants to make it themselves.

If anyone else is looking for something similar, and feels ambitious, give it a try and let me know what you think.

Posole, Finished

Posole, Finished

Chicken Posole

1 Chicken, Cut into quarters
1/2 Carrot, coarsely chopped
1/2 Onion, coarsely chopped
1 Stalk Celery, coarsely chopped
4 Whole Cloves
1/2 tsp Whole Black Peppercorns
4 Sprig Thyme

1 Pound Posole

12 Guajillo Chiles, stemmed and seeded
8 Dried Cascabel Chiles, stemmed and seeded

1 Carrot
1 Onion
1 Stalk Celery
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
Olive or other cooking oil

Cooked Chicken Meat, Chopped
8 Small Zucchini, Chopped and sauteed
8 Poblano Peppers, roasted, skinned, stemmed, seeded, and sliced
1 Tablespoon fresh Thyme, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh Oregano, Chopped
Salt

Cilantro, chopped
Radish, thinly sliced
Avocado, slices
Lemon or lime wedges

METHOD:

The Day Before: Soak dried posole in plenty of water. Place cut up chicken, onions, celery, carrots, and spices in a large pot. Cover with water. Bring to a low simmer and continue to cook until chicken is done. Remove chicken meat from bones, cool, and refrigerate. Return bones and skin to pot. Continue to cook as long as time allows. Strain solids out of stock, cool, and refrigerate.

Drain posole and add to large pot. Cover with chicken stock, bring to a simmer, and cook until it begins to be tender, about an hour and a half. When Posole is tender, salt generously.

While you are waiting for Posole to cook: Cover dried chiles with water, bring to a simmer, and cook until rehydrated. Puree cooked chiles in a blender or food processor and run through a sieve to catch seeds or large pieces of chile skin. Reserve chile puree. Sautee zucchini in oil and reserve. Sweat garlic, onions, celery, and carrots in oil until tender. Deglaze with dry white wine or vermouth and add to Posole pot. Add cooked and chopped chicken to Posole pot. Add Zucchini to Posole pot. Add Roasted Poblanos to Posole pot. Add Chile Puree to Posole pot. Simmer over low heat. Serve with Radish, Cilantro, Avocado, and Lemon wedges for garnish. It will be even better the next day. Makes about 5 Quarts.

Roasting Peppers.

Roasting Peppers.

Dried Chiles.

Dried Chiles.

Prep.

Prep.

Posole, Pot

Posole, Pot

Poor Man’s Cane Rosso

One of my big rules for myself is to buy chickens whole and break them down.

They are usually so much tastier and less dry.

In the summer I usually grill, but in the winter, I roast.

When, I roast chickens, I usually spatchcock them, rub with herbs and olive oil, place them on my oven’s broiling tray, and then convection roast at 375 F.

However, at a couple of Bay Area restaurants, they do a cool thing where they cook their potatoes under the rotiseries where they roast chickens. The potatoes become saturated with delicious fat and meat juices. Mmmmm…

Leaving aside any issues of cross contamination, and a lack of pan gravy, I wondered if I couldn’t do something similar. Anyway, unlike myself, Mrs Flannestad isn’t a big fan of gravy.

Roli Roti Chicken

Preheat your oven to 400F (375F if convection).
Spatchcock and rub your chicken with oil and spices as desired. Cut up your potatoes and toss with a little oil, salt, and pepper. I’ve discovered the potatoes need a bit of a head start on the chicken, so put them in the dripping pan of your broiling rack and place in the oven for 15-20 mins or until they start to cook. After 15 mins, move the potatoes around a bit and then place the chicken on the broiling rack. Put the broiling rack on top of the dripping pan and potatoes. Cook until desired degree of doneness is reached (internal temp of around 150F). Remove chicken to rest. Remove potatoes from pan, scraping to get all the good stuff, carve chicken, and serve with a salad or other vegetable.

Chicken Dinner

For bonus points, serve Persimmon Pudding for dessert with Mitchell’s Pumpkin Ice Cream.

Persimmon Pudding

Chinese Style Curried Chicken with Squash

There’s a specific kind of Chinese American comfort food which you will often find on a menu in San Francisco.

The Chinese version of “Curry” doesn’t really have much to do with the Indian version of same.

Basically, it is meat or tofu served in a curry powder flavored gravy thickened with corn starch.

Mrs Flannestad wanted stew and I wasn’t really feeling like American/European Stew.

Well, Curry is stew, isn’t it? I’ll adapt my Chicken Gumbo recipe and instead of flavoring the ‘gravy’ with ‘Creole Seasoning’, I’ll flavor it with Curry.

Cooking the Chicken

Cover a quartered chicken with water and add to the pot some roughly chopped garlic, onion, and ginger. Bring to a simmer, and reduce heat. Cook until the chicken is done. Cool enough to handle, and remove chicken from bones. Chop and reserve meat. Return bones, skin, and cartilage to liquid and continue cooking as time allows, at least an hour.

Aromatic Vegetables

Mince Garlic, Ginger, and Jalapeno chiles. Make Curry Powder*

Ghee

In a heavy pot, make a roux, about 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or Ghee) and 1/4 cup flour. Cook flour until it no longer smells like raw flour. Drain

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chop a winter squash and set aside. Chop a Turnip and set aside. Chop some potatoes and set aside. Chop a large onion. Add Minced Garlic, Ginger and Chile to roux. Cook briefly, and add chopped onion. Cook until onion is clear and wilted. Strain solids from stock and pour into roux, stirring vigorously to avoid clumping. When it reaches a simmer, stir in curry powder and check salt level. Add chopped squash, turnips, and potatoes to liquid and cook until vegetables are just about tender. Stir in cooked chicken.

Stew

Check seasonings again and serve over rice and garnish with cilantro and yoghurt. It’s better the second day.

*Curry Powder

1 tsp Whole Coriander Seed
1 tsp Whole Cumin Seed
1 tsp Whole Fennel Seed
1 tsp Whole Fenugreek
1 tsp Whole Brown Mustard Seed
4 Whole Cloves
1 Small Stick Cinnamon, Broken
1/2 tsp White Peppercorns
1/2 tsp Black Peppercorns
3 Whole Chili de Arbol
1 tsp Ground Tumeric

Toast whole spices in a dry pan until fragrant. Grind in Coffee Mill or Spice Grinder. Add Tumeric.

Girl Music Geeks

As anyone who has worked in food service will tell you, oft times you get pressed into service making Food and/or drinks for your significant other and their friends.

Mrs Flannestad has a group of friends who also are really into music, and they get together from time to time to listen to music or watch concert videos.

This time they came over to our house, so I made dinner.

Beets!

One of my favorite winter vegetables, Beets, are great, and tomatero farms had some that were so great looking at the Alemany Farmers’ Market Saturday that I couldn’t resist. Though, it is good to float them past the attendees to make sure no one has had bad experiences in the past. Like cilantro, people often have strong opinions about beets. My favorite way to deal with them is just to wash them, wrap them whole in foil, and throw them in the oven until they are cooked through. When they are done, it is very easy to rinse them under running water and just slide the outside skin off the beets.

Mirepoix

I wanted to make Israeli Cous Cous, but our local grocery doesn’t carry it, so I opted for a type of italian pasta called riso instead. It is about the size and shape of rice and can be braised, just like arborio rice.

Spatchcocked!

I can’t remember what magazine I got this chicken recipe from. It’s kind of a ‘wet rub’, not dissimilar to some Mexican preparations for grilling. You roughly chop an onion and a couple cloves of garlic. Throw them in a blender with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, salt, a couple tablespoons of vinegar, fresh Marjoram, and a generous helping of good paprika. I like to use a mix of regular and smoked paprika. Then rub this over your whole, or Spatchcocked, chicken and let it stand. Grill or roast in a hot oven. Super tasty and super easy.

Greens!

For the riso dish, you basically do it like risotto. Put some stock on a low heat. Toast the riso in a pan with olive oil. Add some mirepoix and saute. Add stock to just cover and continue to cook until it is al dente. I added some saffron to the stock and cooked some thinly sliced collard greens to add later.

Roasted Beets

When the beets are tender, and you have skinned them, you can do whatever you like with them. I tossed them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. I made a simple sauce of yoghurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, dill, and scallions to serve with them.

Roasted Chicken

The marinade does get a little dark, but it is super tasty, the onions become sweet and really tasty.

Dinner

Deglaze the roasting pan, add some flour and cook. Stir in some chicken stock and you’ve got pan gravy. Cut your chicken into serving pieces.

Dessert

I’ve been into fuyu persimmons lately, often serving them with salads. This time I opted for dessert. Before dinner, I tossed them with sugar and balsamic vinegar and left them to macerate. To serve, I put a shortbread cooking into a bowl, a spoonful of Cowgirl fromage blanc with a drizzle of San Francisco Beekeepers’ Mission Honey, and then added the persimmons with the juice that had accumulated. Super easy and super tasty.

Then we all popped some beers, sat down, and watched the new Jonathan Demme Neil Young concert film ‘Journeys’.

A great night of music geekery, food, and beer.

(Not) Borscht

This week, it was me who was sick and needed chicken soup.

Well, sometimes you have to make your own chicken soup…

From Sep 27, 2012

Chicken Soup with Beets

1 Bunch of Beets, Skinned and Chopped. Stems and leaves reserved
6 Red Potatoes, skinned and Chopped.
Broth, see below.

1 TBSP Olive Oil
Beet Stems, finely diced.
1 Onion, finely diced.
1 Carrot, finely diced.
1 Celery Rib, finely diced.
1 tsp Whole Dry Marjoram.
1 tsp Whole Dry Thyme.
Dry Vermouth or dry white wine.

Beet Greens, Sliced finely.
Chicken meat, from broth below.
Salt and Pepper, to taste.

Cucumber and Dill Raita, see below.
Dill Sprigs.

Add Potatoes and Beets to Chicken Broth and salt generously. Bring to a simmer and cook until beets are tender. Puree soup with a hand blender, in a blender, or food processor, adding more chicken broth or water as necessary. Rinse the heavy cooking pot, or a separate one and heat. Add Olive oil and saute diced onions, celery, and beet stems with herbs until tender. Deglaze pan with Dry Vermouth. Add pureed soup to pot and add chicken meat and Beet Greens. Cook until Beet Greens are tender. Check seasonings, and serve with a spoonful of Raita in each bowl and top with a dill sprig.

Chicken Broth

1 Chicken, Quartered
1 Rib Celery, chopped
1 Onion Chopped
1 Carrot, Sliced thinly
3 Whole Cloves
1 tsp Whole Black Peppercorns
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Whole Dry Thyme
Water

Cover chicken, vegetables, and spices with cold water and bring to a low simmer. Continue cooking over low heat until chicken is cooked through. Remove Chicken from water and reserve. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and add bones and skin back to water. Continue cooking as time allows, at least an hour. Strain solids from Broth and return to heat.

Cucumber and Dill Raita

1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced.
Tops of 3 Green Onions, thinly sliced.
2 TBSP Dill Leaves, thinly sliced.
1 Cup Yoghurt.
Water.
Salt, to taste.

Toss Cucumber with salt and let stand in a colander for an hour or two. Rinse Cucumber and pat dry with towels. Chop Cucumber and combine with other ingredients. Thin slightly with water, add salt to taste and chill.

From Sep 27, 2012

Pasta Wednesday, Feb 23, 2011

Wednesday is traditionally pasta and a bottle of wine night at the Flannestad Household, aka “Spaghetti Night”.

One of the dishes a coworker of mine made at Botticelli’s in Madison, Wisconsin was a pasta dish with Chicken Pieces, Chicken Stock and herbs. Ostensibly, a way to use up the chicken tenders leftover from butchering chicken breasts, I found it to be quite tasty and have been making variations on it for nigh on 20 years.

A few years ago I set about making a “green” version for St. Patrick’s day with a pureed sauce made from Dino Kale.

Tonight, I’m trying to use up some leftover grilled chicken thighs and legs from a grilling exercise a couple Saturdays ago.

Dino Kale (aka Tuscan Kale, Blue Kale, lacinato kale, and many other names) is one of my favorite greens. Actually, it’s about the only Kale I like, with great flavor and a not too long cooking time.

Stem, wash and chop the kale. Chop some mushrooms. Dice a Mirepoix and mince some fresh herbs. Saute mushrooms until tender, add mirepoix and saute until the onions are clear.

Deglaze the pan with Dry White Wine or White Vermouth. I like to use vermouth for deglazing pans, as it helps to go through bottles of White Vermouth faster. Happened to have Dolin Dry in the house at the time, which is a bit pricy for deglazing. Eric Seed likes to point out, Noilly Prat is actually preferred by the French for cooking. I have found Dolin Dry works equally well for cooking, it is just a lot more expensive. And, as Julia Child used to say, one for the pan, one for the cook. Or was that Graham Kerr?

After the wine has cooked down to a syrupy consistency, stir in a tablespoon or so of flour, cooking briefly over low heat. Stir in a cup of Chicken Stock, add the Chopped Kale, cover and cook until tender.

Enjoy a refreshing beverage and an appetizer while the Kale cooks. In this case a delightful, and quite pungent, washed rind cow’s milk cheese from Ireland. Purchased at Canyon Market it is called Ardrahan and comes to the US via Neal’s Yard.

Monty would also like some cheese, please! The stinkier the better!

Drop the pasta in boiling salted water, heat up some crusty bread, and stir some chopped chicken pieces and fresh herbs in to the dish. Open a bottle of wine and pour a glass for your sweetie and yourself. Check the salt level of the dish. Once the pasta cooked, remove it from the boiling water and stir it into the sauce. If the sauce is a little over reduced, include some of the pasta water.

If your lucky, you’ll hear the garage door open just as your plating this up, and your significant other will be greeted with a glass of wine and a delicious plate of Pasta with Kale and grilled chicken.

Saturday Night Dinner: Feb 12, 2011

We’ve had some nice weather the last couple weekends, so Mrs. Flannestad has been lobbying for grilling.

The problem being, even with the nice weather, it still gets dark really early.

This weekend was so nice, though, that I couldn’t put it off any longer, even if I was grilling in the backyard with a flashlight.

Cut up and marinated a chicken with fresh Oregano, Garlic, Lemon Juice, Mustard, and Black Pepper.

Sliced an eggplant into 1/2 inch slices. Halved some small Zucchini. Salted liberally and basted both with olive oil. Two Red Peppers.

Started the coals, I’m a huge fan of grilling over Lazzari Lump Mesquite. I start them with a chimney starter and usually have them up and going much quicker than charcoal briquettes in a starter, or with, horror, lighter fluid.

Chiffonade half a bunch of basil, minced 2 cloves garlic, teaspoon hot pimenton de la vera, splashed in olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

Grilled Red Peppers until evenly charred. Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini. Chopped and tossed with seasonings.

Made a two person batch of Cous Cous with Scallions, herbs, pine nuts and currants.

Grilled Chicken.

Pretty decent meal, served with a bottle of Emtu 2007 Russian River Vineyard Pinot Noir.

When I’ve made grilled chicken for in-laws, they have sometimes asked why my chicken turns out so well and theirs is always dry.

I don’t go in for brining. I maintain the best grilled chicken is first off, quality chicken. Best to buy it whole and cut it up yourself. I usually just quarter the chicken or maybe cut it in eighths. Then you have to leave the bones in and skin on, or it will dry out too quickly. Beyond that, just mind your fire and your meat while it is on the grill.

Bachelor Dinner, July 23, 2010

Bachelor Dinner.

Boy, I haven’t posted a Bachelor dinner for a while!

But all the recent bachelor dinners have been Jambalaya. There’s only so many times I can post that recipe.

Recently we were visiting family in Wisconsin, and I was called upon to make Guacamole.

When I was doing that, I was reminded I haven’t made any Mexican dishes for ages.

Horror!

So for this Bachelor Dinner, I decided to dig waaaaay back into my past, and make chicken in a tomatillo sauce.  And by way back, we’re talking nearly prehistoric, late-1980s, when I first discovered Diana Kennedy’s “Art of Mexican Cooking”.  I probably made this as a dinner special when I was working as a manager at Pasqual’s in Madison, Wisconsin.

This dish, with its sweet-sour, spicy sauce, when served with corn tortillas and garnished with feta cheese and cilantro is truly one of my favorite flavor combinations. Hard to beat, and the leftovers, (should there be any,) make great enchiladas.

Chicken in a Tomatillo Sauce with Chipotle Peppers

Ingredients:
8 Pieces Chicken Leg and/or Thighs (you could also use chicken breasts, but why would you?)
2 TBSP Olive (or other) oil
1 Pound Tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
1 can Chipotle en Adobo
3 Cloves Garlic
1/2 White Onion, halved
2 TBSP Pepitas (hulled Pumpkin seeds) toasted and ground
Chicken Stock (maybe)
Honey or Sugar (maybe)
Salt
Cilantro, Picked and Chopped
Feta Cheese (or queso blanco)
Corn Tortillas

Method:
You can go two ways with the Tomatillos. Either poach them or roast them. If you are a traditionalist, a la Diana Kennedy, you will probably poach them. If you are a modern cook, a la Rick Bayless, you will probably roast them. Either way, you want them to be poached or roasted until they feel like little water balloons. They will probably not all reach this state at the same time, so remove them carefully from the water or oven as they cook, and add them to a blender or food processor. If you let them go too long, they will split.  Not horrible, but you’re either losing flavor into your poaching liquid or messing up your roasting pan.  No disrespect to Ms. Kennedy, I roasted them in a pre-heated cast iron pan.

If you are roasting, also include your garlic and onion in the pan. Turn as you do the tomatillos, and remove last after all the tomatillos are cooked through. Add the onion to the blender. Peel the garlic and add it to the blender. Open the can of Chiles en Adobo and grab 3-6, depending on your preference for Spiciness. Chop them roughly and add them to the blender. Add the Ground Pumpkin seeds. Pulse until well pureed. You may need to add chicken stock, if it is particularly dry (unlikely).

While the vegetables are cooking start another straight sided saute pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the oil. Brown the Chicken on all sides and remove from the pan. Turn off the heat, but leave the oil in the pan. (It should be noted, that in traditional Mexican cooking, with its lack of oil and appropriate cookware, you would not brown the chicken.)

If your saute pan has cooled, turn the heat back on and pour the tomatillo sauce into the pan. Heat briefly and check the seasonings. If it is too tart, add some sweetener. You will need to add a fair bit of salt, as the sauce up to this point is only vegetables. Add chicken to sauce, cover, and cook at a low heat until done, turning the chicken from time to time.

When chicken is done, remove from sauce and place in warmed serving bowl. Turn the heat on the sauce up to high and reduce until the liquid level is similar to apple juice. Pour over Chicken. Garnish with Cilantro and crumbled Feta Cheese. Serve with Corn Tortillas and a side dish.

Serves 4 with a side dish.

Bachelor Dinner.

Chicken and Corn Chowder

Mrs. Flannestad has been a bit under the weather this week and requested chicken soup last night.

This is what I made…

Corn Chowder

Chicken and Corn Chowder

2 Chicken Leg Thigh Combo
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1/2 carrot, roughly chopped
1/2 celery, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
sprig thyme
few whole black peppercorns
1 whole clove

1/2 pound bacon
Olive Oil
1 onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic
Dry Oregano
Dry Thyme
Bay Leaf
1 TBSP Chili Powder
2 TBSP White Flour

2 Russet Potatoes, Peeled and diced

1 Package Frozen Corn
1 Cup Half and Half
3 Green Onions, sliced
Cilantro, Chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste

Add Chicken to a pot, add onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and thyme. Cover with water and bring to a simmer. Cook until chicken runs clear.

Meanwhile chop you veggies for the stew proper. Add the bacon to a heavy pot large enough to hold a quart or so of soup. You may need to add a touch of olive oil to get this started faster without burning the bacon. Render fat from bacon and cook until crispy. Reserve bacon. Remove most of the bacon fat from the pan and add chopped onion, bell pepper, and red pepper. Sweat over low heat until they begin to soften and add garlic and spices. Cover and sweat for a few minutes more. Add 1 TBSP bacon grease back in (or olive oil if you prefer), and add flour, stirring to cook for a few minutes. You are creating a roux.

Hopefully, before now, your chicken will be done. Pour off the cooking liquid, strain, and reserve. You should have a couple cups. If not, add extra stock to make it up. Add strained cooking liquid to the vegetables and roux above, whisking quickly. Bring to a simmer rapidly. Add potatoes and lower heat. Cook until potatoes are almost done.

Remove chicken from bones and dice. Add chicken, reserved bacon, corn, and green onions to the soup. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes stir in the half and half and check seasonings. When it again comes to a simmer, ladle into bowls and top with chopped cilantro. Serve with crusty bread.

Tasty Braised Chicken and Pasta

Oops! Rookie move, getting the shadow of the camera in the picture! Unfortunately, the others were blurry.

Kind of like “Hunter’s Chicken”

Shopping list:
4 Chicken bone-in Leg Thigh Combos
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
1 Bunch Basil, chiffonade
2 small Zucchini, halved and sliced

Pantry Items:
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Medium Onion, chopped
Olive Oil
1 tsp. Dried Thyme
Dry Vermouth or White Wine
Chicken Stock
Fettuccine
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan or other hard Italian style cheese.

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Heat a pot of water for the pasta.

Separate the legs from the thighs at the joint. Salt generously. Heat pan, heavy, oven safe pan. Add a good amount of Olive Oil. Brown thighs and legs, in batches if necessary. Remove from pan and reserve. Brown zucchini. Reserve. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and dried thyme to pan. Reduce heat and cook briefly. Deglaze with Dry Vermouth, and cook until syrupy. Add tomatoes and cook until they begin to split. Nestle Legs and thighs in with tomatoes and add chicken stock until it comes half way up the pan. Cook on top of the stove until it begins to simmer. Cover and transfer to oven.

Once the Chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan and reserve. Return the (very hot!) pan to stove top and cook on high. Boil the Fettuccine. Add the browned zucchini to the tomato and stock mixture. Once the Fettuccine reaches al dente, pull and add to tomato mixture. Add half of the basil, check seasonings, and serve in pasta dish. Place a leg and thigh on top of the pasta, sprinkle with basil chiffonade and freshly grated Parmesan. Serve with tasty red wine and crusty bread.

Serves 4