Char siu translates literally as “fork burn/roast”, an ancient method of fire-roasting wild boar. While most modern Chinese BBQ uses domestic pork (and lots of red food coloring), the flavors are also well suited to chicken. Here I have marinated chicken pieces in a mixture of fermented soy, sherry, hoisin, 5-spice, local raw honey, chili and red bean paste (with organic beet powder for color), then slow-roasted (3 hours at 15 degrees) them until fork-tender. The sticky, hot, sweet and sour flavors play well with sesame-roasted asparagus on the side..
Yesterday’s leftover roasted chicken is slowly simmered in a deep red chili sauce with strips of fresh poblano, cumin and garlic, then spooned into a fried masa boat and topped with crisp white onions, fresh cilantro, avocado and bits of fresh cheese..
For the Sopes
8 oz fresh corn masa for tortillas
1/4 cup asiento (dark lard)
Using a few drops of water if necessary, knead masa and salt together into a smooth dough. Roll into a ball, wrap and let stand 1 hour. Divide dough into 2 large or 4 small balls then press into to ovals about 1/4 inch thick. Flip the dough onto a hot dry comal and cook until slighty crisp and brown in spots, then use a spatula to transfer the tortilla to a clean surface. Working quickly, use your fingers to pinch up a border about 1/2 high around the edge, forming a boat. Place the sopes into a well-greased skillet and brush liberally with melted lard. Shallow fry over medium heat until golden brown.
For the Pollo Poblano
2-3 pieces of roasted chicken, torn into long strips
2 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
4 New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 small poblano, stemmed, seeded and cut into strips
Briefly toast the chiles and cumin in a dry skillet, then transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Add garlic and pulse to combine, then slowly add water and process into a smooth, thin paste. Pour chile paste into a saucepan and add torn pieces of chicken and strips of poblano. Cover and simmer until heated through, about 20 minutes.
To serve, spoon chicken mixture into hot sopes and garnish with minced white onion, cilantro, fresh cheese and avocado slices.
The post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday!
Pastured chicken pieces are roasted with winter vegetables then baked with stock-soaked bomba rice with saffron, garlic, fire-roasted tomatoes, piquillo peppers and butifarra, morcilla and chorizo sausages..
1 1/2 pounds chicken pieces
1 large carrot, oblique-cut
1 leek, split, rinsed and sliced
1-2 bulb onions, sliced
6 cloves whole, unpeeled garlic
1 tablespoon pastured butter
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup filtered water
3/4 cup fire-roasted tomatoes
3-4 piquillo peppers, chopped
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup bomba rice, rinsed
1 quart homemade chicken stock, divided
saffron threads, crushed
1/3 pound morcilla (blood sausage), sliced
1/3 pound butifarra (white garlic sausage), sliced
1/3 pound Spanish cooking chorizo, cubed
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Melt butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in paprika, then add chicken and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, add water then roast in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and add carrot, leek, onion and garlic and put back in the oven for another 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, begin cooking rice in chicken stock with saffron threads.
Remove pan from the oven and transfer chicken and garlic to a cutting board and allow to cool enough to be handled. Transfer the vegetables and cooking liquid to a Dutch oven. Add in rice and stir to combine.
Briefly sauté the sausage then add to the pot with vegetables and rice. Stir in fire-roasted tomatoes.
Peel and chop the garlic. Pull the chicken meat from the bones and tear into chunks. Add to the pot with the vegetables and pour in 1 cup of chicken stock. Cook uncovered until most of the stock has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and parsley and piquillo peppers and allow to stand 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary and serve hot.
Paprika-roasted chicken with Spanish onion, Roma tomatoes, sweet peppers, lemon, garlic and fresh herbs, served with pecorino-safflower orzo..
For the Orzo
1 cup orzo (semolina pasta)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups filtered water
2 tablespoons safflower threads (Carthamus tinctorius), crushed
1/4 cup aged pecorino, shredded
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
Bring chicken stock and water to a boil. Stir in orzo, reduce heat, cover and cook until barely tender (about 10 minutes). Drain off all but a little water, then stir in the pecorino and parsley.
For the Chicken
2 pastured chicken breasts, cut in thirds
2 pastured chicken thighs, cut in half
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon roasted paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
1 Spanish onion, chopped
4-6 sweet peppers, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes cut into wedges
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
1 fresh lemon
Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Place chicken in a heavy skillet, brush with melted butter and season with roasted paprika, sea salt and pepper. Chop tomatoes, onions and peppers and scatter around the pan. Place in a 400 degree oven until the chicken is crisp and juices run clear, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a side dish and put the skillet containing the vegetables on a burner over medium heat.
De-glaze the skillet with the juice of a lemon, then stir in garlic and sauté 30 seconds. Stir in the chopped oregano, basil and parsley, then whisk in the butter, one piece at a time.
Spoon orzo into the center of a plate and place chicken pieces on top. Spoon vegetables and sauce over the chicken, garnish with herbs and serve immediately.
Pastured chicken, sweet peppers, sausage, fresh herbs and garlicky croûtons. One of my personal favorites..
For the Bone Broth (adapted from a recipe by Thomas Keller)
5 pounds chicken parts such as necks, bones, backs, wings and feet
1 gallon cold, filtered water
1 3/4 cups carrots cut into 1-inch cubes
2 heaping cups leeks cut into 1-inch pieces (white and light green parts only)
1 1/2 cups Spanish onions cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bay leaf
Keller writes “As with all stocks, the goal is to remove impurities while extracting as much flavor and gelatin as possible from the bones, and the maximum flavor from the vegetables and aromatics. You do this not only through gentle heat, but through gradual heat transitions as well; in other words, you don’t start with hot water, you begin with cold and bring it slowly up to heat”.
Rinse the chicken parts thoroughly under cold water to remove any remaining blood. This helps to ensure that the resulting stock is clear, not cloudy.
Put all the bones into a large stock pot and add a gallon of cold water, just enough to cover the bones. Slowly bring the liquid to a simmer and begin to skim as soon as the impurities rise to the top. Continue to simmer and skim until as much of the impurities have been removed as possible.
Add the vegetables and bay leaf and continue to simmer and skim for 45 minutes. This recipes produces a lightly-flavored, gelatinous stock suitable for soups and braising. For a stronger stock, simply continue to simmer and skim until the liquid has been reduced by 1/3 in volume.
Turn off the heat and let the stock rest 10 minutes to allow any particles left in the stock to settle to the bottom.
Ladle the finished stock through a strainer lined with a tea towel into a suitably large container, then transfer into quart jars set in a pan of ice water. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator to keep for up to 3 days.
For the Vegetables
Split a number of sweet peppers, Spanish onion and plum tomatoes in half lengthwise and place cut side down in a skillet or on a parchment paper-lined tray. Roast in a 375 degree oven until blistered but not blackened, about 30 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool enough to handle, then pull the skins off the peppers and tomatoes.
Coarsely chop the vegetables with fresh basil and oregano and set aside.
For the Chicken
Split large breasts and thighs into 2-3 pieces each and season lightly with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper. Melt a couple of tablespoonfuls of chicken fat in a heavy skillet. Add the chicken as soon as the fat is shimmering but not smoking, and brown well on all sides. Transfer chicken to a plate.
Cut 1-2 pieces of Italian sausage on a deep bias so that there is a lot of exposed surface area. Brown the sausage in the same pan that you used for the chicken.
Arrange chicken and sausage in a Dutch oven containing 1 cup of bone broth as shown below. Scatter roasted vegetables over the top, and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and place uncovered in a 375 oven until the chicken has finished cooking, about 15 minutes.
For the Croûtons
Steep a clove of garlic in pastured butter for a few minutes, then toss in roughly-torn pieces of bread and fry until golden brown. Add chopped parsley and give the croûtons one more toss before setting aside.
To assemble, arrange alternating pieces of chicken and sausage on a plate and top with vegetables. Tuck in some croûtons here and there, then drizzle all with some of the roasting juices. Garnish with additional chopped herbs and serve immediately.
This post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday