PUEBLA CHICKEN AND POTATO STEW (for four)
“The town of Puebla, Mexico, is known for dishes full of complex flavors, especially red mole Poblano, a rich sauce made from chiles, nuts, seeds and spices. This chicken stew is much faster to prepare, but it boasts the depth of flavor for which Pueblan cooking is known.”
2 pounds chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry
1 large white onion, quartered
6 cups water
2 garlic cloves, left unpeeled
one 14 to 15 ounce can whole tomatoes in juice
4 teaspoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 link (1-½ ounces) mild Spanish chorizo (cured spicy pork sausage), finely chopped
1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾ inch pieces
2 ounces queso fresco (Mexican fresh white cheese) or ricotta salata, crumbled
avocado slices and warm corn tortillas to accompany
1. Combine the chicken, 2 onion quarters, water and 1 teaspoon salt in a 4 to 5 quart pot and bring to a boil, covered, over moderately high heat. Boil for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand, covered, until chicken is just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; reserve broth with onion.
2. Meanwhile, heat a dry small cast-iron skillet over moderate heat until hot. Add garlic and remaining 2 onion quarters and brown on all sides, turning occasionally with tongs, about 5 minutes. Peel garlic and transfer to a blender. Add browned onion quarters, tomatoes with juice, chiles, and oregano and puree until smooth.
3. When chicken is cool enough to handle, coarsely shred, discarding skin and bones.
4. Heat oil in a deep 12 inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add chorizo and cook, stirring, until fat is rendered, about 2 minutes. Carefully add puree (it will spatter and steam) and cook, stirring frequently, until thick, about 10 minutes.
5. Add potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt to reserved broth in pot, bring to a simmer, and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.
6. Add potatoes and onion to chorizo mixture, along with 2 cups broth (reserve remainder for diluting the stew the next day or for another use, if desired). Stir in chicken and simmer for 10 minutes.
7. Sprinkle stew with cheese and serve with avocado slices and corn tortillas on the side.
adapted from Gourmet Today