Here’s last night’s chipotle-roasted chicken on a crisp cornmeal pizza crust with sliced red onions, fresh pineapple and some slightly burnt asadero. Fresh cilantro from the patio..
For the Crust [makes 2 7-inch crusts] (adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/3 cups warm water
3/4 cups sprouted wheat flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 cup organic, stone-ground cornmeal, plus more for pizza stone
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl
In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the warm water. Let stand until yeast is dissolved and mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
Combine flour, cornmeal, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and add the yeast mixture and oil. Slowly stir ingredients with a wooden spoon just until dough starts to come together. Turn out dough on a lightly floured work surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, 7 to 10 minutes.
Divide dough into four 4-ounce balls. Place balls in a shallow oiled bowl, turning to coat with oil; cover with plastic wrap, and let rise 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone on lowest rack. Stretch dough into 7-inch rounds. Sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel or inverted baking sheet. Place dough rounds on top, and cooked until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Slide rounds onto pizza stone, and bake until crust is crisp and golden and toppings are bubbling, 5 to 7 minutes.
Bomba is an ancient strain of slowly-maturing rice grown in fresh mountain water around the town of Calasparra in Murcia, using aqueducts first built by the Romans.
Bomba absorbs three to four times its volume in stock (rather than the normal two), yet the grains remain firm and delicious.
Plump, locally pastured chicken (Dewberry Hills) joints are brined for half a day in cold, filtered water with coarse sea salt, cracked cumin and coriander. Blotted dry, then roasted at 500 degrees until the skin is good and crisp, then transferred to a hot skillet and finished in sauce of reduced chicken stock, chipotles en adobo and a touch of apple cider vinegar. Served over stock-cooked rice with browned onions, garlic and fresh tomatoes. Garnished with freshly chopped Mexican mint marigold..
For the Brine (5%)
2 litres filtered water
100 grams coarse sea salt
1-1/2 tablesponns cumin seed, cracked
2-1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds, cracked
Bring the water to a rapid boil, then remove from heat. Add cumin, coriander and salt and stir to combine. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled. Place chicken pieces in a glass bowl and submerge in brine. Cover bowl and refrigerate 6-8 hours.
For the Chipotle Sauce
2 cups rich, homemade chicken stock
2 tablespoons raw cider vinegar
2-3 chipotles en adobo, minced
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon piloncillo (substitute high-molasses raw can sugar)
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Combine chicken stock and vinegar in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to medium, add chipotles, tomato paste, oregano and piloncillo and simmer until reduced and thickened, about 1 hour. Adjust seasoning with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
For the Rice
2 tablespoons cultured butter
1/2 cup bomba
2 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2-3 green onions, slivered, divided
1 tablespoon minced elephant garlic
1 cup fresh tomato, diced
Heat the butter in a heavy skillet and add yellow onion, garlic and 1/2 of the green onions and saute until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add bomba and stir to coat each grain with butter. Add stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat simmer, stirring frequently until tender, about 30 minutes.
For the Chicken
Assorted chicken pieces, brined and air-dried
Arrange chicken pieces skin-side up, without crowding in a large skillet. Lightly dust with smoked paprika and place into a pre-heated 500 degree oven, cooking until skin is nicely browned and crisp, about 25 minutes. Chicken should be slightly underdone at this point.
Remove pan from oven and set on burner over medium heat. Baste liberally with chipotle sauce and continue to cook, turning occasionally until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Spoon rice onto dinner plates and place chicken pieces over the top. Dress with additional chipotle sauce and garnish with Mexican mint marigold. Serve piping hot.
Smoked duck breast is shredded and slowly simmered in stock with crushed chipotle en adobo, toasted coriander and Mexican oregano, then tucked inside flaky homemade gorditas (thick corn tortillas) and dressed with fresh mango salsa and crispy fried duck skin..
For the Salsa
1 fresh mango, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 ripe tomato, cored and diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 green jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon sparkling water
1 teaspoon piloncillo or palm sugar
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and refrigerate 1 hour.
For the Duck
1 large smoked duck breast
1 1/2 cups rich chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons crushed chipotle en adobo
1 tablespoon raw cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon toasted coriander, ground
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Remove the skin and fat and reserve. Working parallel to the grain, tear the duck into thin strips, then place into a heavy pot. Cover with stock and bring to a slow simmer. Add chipotle, vinegar, oregano and coriander and slowly simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1/2 hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm.
For the Crispy Duck Skin and Rendered Fat
Pull the skin and fat from a duck breast and lay it flat on the comal over medium heat, weighing it flat with a bacon press or another smaller skillet. Cook until all the fat has rendered and the skin is crispy on both sides. Transfer to skin to a cutting board and chop into something resembling crumbled bacon, reserving the fat for frying the gorditas.
For the Gorditas
3/4 cup organic masa harina (fine corn flour)
2 tablespoons organic, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup warm, filtered water
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
3 tablespoons rendered duck fat
Heat a comal or iron skillet over medium heat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the masa and water into a soft dough. Knead in the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper, adding a few drops of water if needed to maintain consistency. Divide dough into 4 balls and cover with a damp kitchen towel.
Use a tortilla press or rolling pin to shape dough into 4-inch rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Slide a thin-bladed spatula under each gordita, carefully flipping one-at-a-time onto your open palm before laying onto the hot comal. Cook for a minute or so on each side (they will be slightly crisp but underdone), then transfer to a plate.
Just before service, melt the duck fat in the comal, then fry each gordita until golden brown and puffy (ideally, the gorditas will be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside). Transfer gorditas to a cutting board, then use a thin knife to cut a sideways slit about 1/2 way across.
Fill each gordita with shredded duck, dress with salsa and crumbled duck skin and serve hot.
This post is part of The Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday!
This post is part of The Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania!
- Chefs’ Secrets: Don Strange of Texas Gorditas (mysanantonio.com)
- Dining on a Budget: El Folklor (mysanantonio.com)
The elk is one of the largest species of deer in the world and one of the largest mammals in North America. Ranging in forest and forest-edge habitat, elk are ruminants, feeding on grasses, bark, forbs and tree sprouts. High in protein and low in fat, this animal was wild-harvested deep in the Texas hill country..
Allow one 5-7oz portion per person, depending on accompaniments
Medallions of wild elk loin, cut about 1 inch-thick
coarse sea salt
freshly-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of tallow
Season elk medallions on all sides with salt and pepper, wrap loosely in butchers’ paper and refrigerate 4-6 hours or overnight.
Remove from refrigerator, blot dry and allow to stand 30 minutes at room temperature. Pan-sear with a little tallow or grill over a wood fire until just medium-rare, then allow to rest 10 minutes before serving over chipotle demi-glace.
Crushed Chipotle Demi-Glace, Home Version (adapted from Saveur)
1/4 lb. uncured bacon, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup sprouted wheat, spelt or rye flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2-1/2 quarts beef or game stock, divided
1/4 cup good sherry (not cooking wine)
10 sprigs fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 leaves fresh sage
2 chiles chipotle en adobo, crushed
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Render bacon in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Add onions and carrots and cook until somewhat softened, about 8 minutes. Use a sifter to sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook another 10 minutes. Add sherry, herbs and 8 cups of stock and simmer uncovered until reduced in volume by three-quarters, about 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
Strain sauce, discarding solids. Return to pan with chiles chipotle en adobo and remaining stock and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 hours. Demi-glace may be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.
This post is part of Real Food Wednesday!
Old fashioned, locally ground yellow cornmeal, pastured dairy, seasonal berries, raw honey and smoky chipotle are combined in this variation of traditional skillet cornbread..
1 1/4 cups stone-ground cornmeal
1 1/4 cups unbleached, organic all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 aluminum-free teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 large pastured egg
1 3/4 cups fresh buttermilk
3 tablespoons cultured butter
1/2 pint fresh blackberries
1/2 cup filtered water
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons raw honey, more or less to taste
1-2 chiles chipotle morita
Remove the stem, seeds and ribs from one or two small chiles chipotle morita and grind into a fine powder. Place the blackberries in a non-reactive pan with the lemon juice, water and chile powder and simmer over medium-low until reduced and thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool to about 100 degrees then stir in honey to taste. Allow to cool completely.
Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the egg and buttermilk. Slowly stir the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture until just combined. Don’t over-mix.
Allow the batter to stand while you melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet in a 400 degree oven.
Swirl the cooled blackberry-chipotle sauce into the cornbread batter, leaving it streaky. Remove the skillet from the over and swirl to coat the sides with the hot butter. Pour the batter into the skillet and bake uncovered until just set in the middle, about 25 minutes.
Brush the top of the cornbread with a little more blackberry-chipotle sauce if you think it needs it, then allow to stand 5 minutes before serving.
A decidedly Tex-Mex affair, queso flameado (flaming cheese) is a mixture of assorted white cheeses with chilies, onions, garlic and homemade chorizo served bubbling hot from the oven with warm tortillas..
(informed by recipes by the Homesick Texan)
For the Chorizo
1/2 pound fatty pork, coarsely ground
1 ancho and 1 guajillo chile, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chipotle chili sauce
Loosely combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Pinch off ping pong ball-sized pieces and fry in a hot skillet until brown and crusty on the outside. Transfer to a side dish to drain.
For the Vegetables
1/2 poblano pepper, stemmed and seeded
1/2 Spanish onion, cut into wedges
1/2 small red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded
Place all ingredients in a heavy skillet and broil until blistered and partially blackened, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, cover and let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut into strips.
Combine vegetables with 2 cups of assorted shredded white cheeses such as asadero and Oaxaca in a heavy skillet. Arrange cooked chorizo over the top and dress with a little chipotle chile sauce. Place in a 350 degree oven until bubbly, about 10-15 minutes.
Spoon mixture onto warm tortillas and serve immediately.