Chipotle-Roasted Chicken with Mexican Mint Marigold, Tomato Bomba

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..

Chipotle-Roasted Chicken with Tomato Bomba

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
Smoked paprika

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.

To assemble

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.

Pan-Seared Berkshire Rib-eye with Habanero Bomba, Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

Thick chops of heritage black Berkshire pigs are briefly brined in a mixture of cold, filtered water, salt, cracked pepper, Mexican oregano and a few scrapings of piloncillo before being seared in cumin oil over high heat.  Finished in the oven and served with habanero bomba (rice, chicken stock, habanero chiles, Asadero cheese) and roasted tomatillo sauce (tomatillos, garlic, fresh green chiles, white onion and cilantro)..

Pan-Seared Berkshire Rib-eye with Habanero Bomba, Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

Berkshire pigs are said to be “Britain’s oldest pig breed”, originally bred in the Faringdon and Wantage regions of the English county of Berkshire (now Oxfordshire).  They apparently became popular after being ‘discovered’ by Cromwell’s troops while they were stationed at Reading during the English Civil War.  Today’s animals descend from the herd maintained by the House of Windsor 300 years ago

Berkshire pork, prized for juiciness, flavor and tenderness, is pink-hued and heavily marbled.  Its high fat content makes it suitable for high-temperature cooking. -Wikipedia

Pollo de Campo

Pastured chicken brined overnight in smoked chile powder and annatto, then roasted with peppers, onions and a cilantro, lime & pumpkin seed pesto.

Made in a Dutch oven, this Pollo de Campo (camp chicken) is easy to prepare at home or on the trail..


Pollo de Campo

For the brine

1/2 gallon filtered water
3 oz kosher salt
5 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon sweet cinnamon shards
8 allspice berries
2 teaspoons smoked chili powder
1 tablespoon organic annatto powder
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

Bring the water to a bowl.  Stir in salt and annatto powder and stir to dissolve.  Allow to cool then add the rest of the ingredients.

For the Pesto (can be made a day ahead)

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup fresh parsley
juice of 1 small lime
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
pinch of salt
olive oil

For the Chicken

1 3-4 pound whole pastured chicken, rinsed
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
2 red Fresno or jalapeño peppers
1 teaspoon paprika
sea salt and cracked pepper

For the Rice

1/2 cup Bomba rice (a short-grain Spanish rice that holds 3x its weight in stock)
2 1/2 cups water + roasted chicken stock in situ
Roasted onions and peppers in situ


Submerge the chicken in the brine and refrigerate overnight. Remove the chicken, pat it dry and place it on a bed of chopped onions and peppers in a Dutch oven.  Roast fro 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Remove chicken from the pan and scrape the vegetable and juices into a clean pan with the rice and water.  Cook the rice 20 minutes, season to taste and hold under cover.

Meanwhile, place the chicken back into the Dutch oven and use a spoon or spatula to coat it with the cilantro pesto.  Return to oven and continue to roast until the juices run clear, about 20 minutes.

Allow the chicken to rest 10 minutes before carving and serving with the rice.