A few weeks ago Liteluvr of Liteluvr’s Kitchen and Stuff dedicated a chile verde dish to Chilebrown of Mad Meat Genius. See, Chile loves chile, especially the green stuff. He searches far & wide, high & low for the best of the best. Liteluvr was inspired enough to do up his own version. I been thinking about it. I have a super badass recipe here, somewhere. I wanted to do something different though, a little off the beaten path.
Last week I was in Joya de Ceren, perusing to see what was new, different or interesting. I walked past the poblanos and thought to myself, “Hay!” Dead ahead are the whole chickens in the meat display case. That, coupled with my recent rediscovery of roasting chickens in a clay pot and it all came together. Roast Chicken Chile Verde.
Wanna come see?
This was wasn’t an easy dish to prepare. There was a lot of guess work and observing and redirecting. Clay cookers retain so much moisture from everything that you add, you rarely have to add any moisture at all. Just a few splashes of wine or stock is all you need. So, how the hell was I going to get a chile/stew and a roast chicken out of the same small crock?
Start with a good chicken, rub with kosher salt before-hand. An hour or two, or just as it goes in.
3 poblanos – fire roast and remove skins – slice to small squares
1 pound or so of fresh tomatillos – stick in broiler to darken, make soggy, whiz up and make in to a rough slurry
1 medium onion – small dice
8 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp of cumin powder – fresher the better
1/2 cup chicken broth
sugar to taste
Preheat oven to 350 – I chose this lower temperature because I wanted to give the “sauce” time to simmer and come together. I knew the browning of the chicken skin would suffer, but that’s easy to deal with.
Make that all nice and lay in the bottom of the clay pot, lay salted/trussed chicken in.
Install to oven with foil lined cookie sheet on the bottom of the oven, chicken goes on bottom rack.
Time marches on and about 1.5 hours in, the chicken was done but not browned, at all, not even remotely close. Crap. Okay, jack oven to 500 and install roaster to oven without the lid. That’ll do it!
And it did, that’s where the introductory picture at the beginning of the post came from. Sheet! It only took maybe 20 minutes, 500 degrees rules! The chicken was done and ready to come out, but the sauce needed some further simmering and reducing. I pulled the chicken to rest and put the roaster bottom back in the oven, down to 400 for about another hour. It was probably closer to 45 minutes.
Tasted fine, but needed some sugar. That helped.
Um, yeah. I don’t think this was such a good idea on several levels. First off, the slurry really needed another few hours of simmering to do it right. And most of all, it needed pork. Using a whole chicken didn’t render enough flavor/fat to make the sauce worthwhile. Tiny E wanted bacon for dinner, so decided to make enough to use some as a finishing meat. That was nice!
Was it good? Eh, it was okay, but the problem is that I know what it’s supposed to taste like. Or, what I was looking for and this didn’t meet my standards. I sat and finished up my plate and thought about it. I’m sure there are some that would have liked it, maybe even a lot. But I won’t be doing this again. I enjoyed myself though, burned my hand and my fingers (steam is hot), great testing one’s mettle from time to time.