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Recipe: Chicken and green chile stew

Chicken and Green chile Stew

I’m pleased to report that when it comes to bringing my lunch to work, I’ve been doing great these last few weeks. {Pat on the back}. It really does help you save a boatload of money, and you have the benefit of eating something that’s a lot more healthful than what you’d probably end up shoveling down at the local deli.

Tonight I made a big dish of tuna noodle casserole (this recipe from Gourmet (RIP) is so good!); last week it was this fabulously hearty chicken and green chile stew. Actually, it was less of a stew and more of a chili, but naming this Chicken and Green Chile Chili is just silly. Really.

Though this isn’t a difficult recipe, it’s probably a good one to do on a Sunday afternoon, as roasting the Hatch peppers isn’t something I’d want to do on a weeknight (read: a little bit of stove cleanup). If you’re vegetarian, you could also omit the meat, use vegetable stock, and supplement in a few other types of beans in addition to the cannellinis. The beauty in this stew-chili is that it also gets better the longer it sits. If you make it on Sunday, it’s still delicious come Tuesday or Wednesday. You can also garnish it with whatever colorful accoutrements you favor — little cherry tomatoes, a sprinkle of heady red onion, diced avocado, some freshly torn cilantro, a dash of Tabasco sauce. And of course, the cheese. It’s essential that you don’t forget the grated Cheddar with this one.

chicken chili

Here’s the recipe:

Chicken and Green Chile Stew (Chili)

  • 2 Hatch chiles
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 organic chicken legs
  • — kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • — dried, crushed Mexican oregano, or regular dried, crushed oregano
  • 1 medium yellow onion, medium diced
  • 2 jalapenos, stemmed and cut into half moons
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 ears of sweet white corn, kernels cut from the cob and cobs reserved
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
  • Juice of two limes
  • handful of cilantro, tied together with butcher’s twine
  • 7 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup long grain white rice

Using a gas stove, a grill, or your broiler, char the Hatch chiles over the open flame until they are thoroughly blackened all over. Place the chiles in a zip top bag and seal. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes. The heat from the chiles will help the skins blister off. Once the chiles are cool enough to handle, rub the blackened skin off. You can even do this with the chiles still in the bag, using the plastic to do your dirty work, if you want.

With the skins removed, cut the tops from the chillis, then roughly dice the rest. It’ll be pretty wet and slimy. Set aside.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat. Season the two chicken legs with salt and pepper and Mexican oregano. Once the pot is very hot, and the oil shimmering, place the chicken skin side down and brown. Flip the legs over to the other side and brown. Remove the legs to a small bowl or plate, and set aside.

Add in the onion, jalapenos, the garlic, and the chopped Hatch chiles to the pot. Saute until the aromatics have softened. Add in the corn kernels and season the mixture with salt, pepper and the ancho chile powder. Continue cooking until a fond develops on the bottom of the pot — you may need to increase the heat a bit to encourage the moisture to evaporate. When you see little brown bits on the bottom of the pot, pour in the lime juice, and stir. Add in the bunch of cilantro, the chicken legs and any of the accumulated juices, the chicken stock, and the two cobs of corn. Stir very gently, then reduce the heat to medium low and cover.

Let simmer for thirty minutes.

Remove the chicken legs from the broth. Peel the chicken skin off the legs and discard. Using two forks, pull the meat from the bone and shred. Add this back to the broth, along with any accumulated juices on your cutting board. Throw in a little bit of kosher salt. Simmer for another 15 minutes. You can save the chicken bones for stock  — that’s what I did!

Pour in the cannellini beans and the rice. These both will help thicken the soup. Simmer until the rice is cooked, then remove the cobs and the cilantro bunch. It’s okay if you overcook the rice in this one. Taste the stew, and season as necessary.

Serve piping hot, with garnishes such as diced tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, chopped onion and torn cilantro.

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