Chicken Adobado Pizza

Farm-fresh chicken pieces are marinated overnight in a mixture of ancho chiles, garlic, cumin, cloves and Mexican oregano, then slow-roasted, cooled and torn into chunks.  The pan juices are reduced with chopped fresh tomatoes until thick, then spread over a rustic cornmeal crust and topped with the chicken, yellow onions, fresh green chiles and queso anejo..

Chicken Adobado Pizza

For the Chicken and Sauce (adapted from a recipe by Rick Bayless)

2-3 joints of chicken
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cloves
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon piloncillo
3 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn
2 tablespoons raw cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
sea salt

1 small yellow onion, chopped
1-2 fresh Anaheim chiles, sliced

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When hot, toast the chiles for a few seconds per side, then transfer to a bowl.  Don’t let the chiles burn or they will be very bitter.  Add 1 cup hot water to the bowl, cover and let stand 20 minutes to rehydrate the chiles.

Place the garlic, oregano, pepper, cumin, cloves, paprika, piloncillo, salt and vinegar into a food processor along with the chiles and and its soaking water.  Process into a smooth, thin sauce.

Place the chicken in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the top.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning once.

Drain the chicken, reserving 1/4 cup of marinade.  Roast in a heavy skillet in a 300 degree oven until just done, then set aside to cool, taking care to collect the juices.

Pour the reserved marinade and collected juices into a clean pan set over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Add the tomatoes and cook until disintegrated, about 10 minutes.  Add onions and Anaheim chiles, reduce heat and simmer until thick, about 20 minutes.  Taste and adjust for seasoning and set aside to cool.

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 skillet
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 two 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.

Stretch dough into 7-inch rounds.  Sprinkle cornmeal on a skillet, pizza peel or inverted baking sheet.  Place dough rounds on top, and cook in a 400 degree oven until light golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

For the Pizza

1 cornmeal crust
1 cup roasted chicken, torn into chunks
1/2 cup thickened adobado with peppers and onions
1/4 cup Anejo cheese, shredded
chopped cilantro

Toss the chicken and adobado together, then spread over the top of the cornmeal crust.  Top with cheese and bake at 500 degrees until crisp and bubbly, about 8 minutes.  Garnish with fresh cilantro, cut into wedges and serve immediately.

Spanish Kale and Chorizo Soup

Here’s a simple, nourishing soup of homemade bone broth, Spanish cooking chorizo, Arroz bomba de Calasparra, fresh garden vegetables, fennel pollen and oregano..

Spanish Kale and Chorizo Soup

Kale is extraordinarily high in Vitamin K (778%) and is an excellent source of beta-carotene and Vitamins A and C.

1 quart homemade chicken stock
1 tablespoon Spanish olive oil
1/3 pound Spanish cooking chorizo, thinly sliced
1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 Roma tomatoes, cored and diced
1/4 cup soft sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1-2 Danvers carrots, oblique-cut
1-2 celery stalks, bias-cut
1-2 green garlic bulbs & tops, thinly sliced
1 cup kale, rinsed, ribbed and cut into chiffonade
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon fennel pollen (optional)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili
1 teaspoon dried wild mountain oregano
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup Arroz bomba de Calasparra or other good paella rice
sea salt

Sauté carrots in olive oil until about 2/3 done.  Add sausage, celery, onions, fennel seed and rice and stir to coat. Sauté until onions are opaque, about 3 minutes.

Add tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and chicken stock and simmer 15 minutes.  Add green garlic, kale, chili and oregano and simmer until rice done, about 15 minutes.  Season to taste with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, then ladle into bowls and drizzle with a little olive oil. Finish with a sprinkle of fennel pollen.

This recipe can be easily adapted for a vegetarian diet by substituting vegetable stock and eliminating the chorizo.

Chicken Neeka

Paprika-roasted chicken with Spanish onion, Roma tomatoes, sweet peppers, lemon, garlic and fresh herbs, served with pecorino-safflower orzo..

Chicken Neeka

Chicken Neeka

Serves 2-3

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
melted butter
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.

To serve

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.

Grilled Cheese Soup

Simmering vegetable stock, sourdough croûtons, fresh basil, scallions, Roma tomatoes and raw cheeses..

Grilled Cheese Soup

Grilled Cheese Soup

This recipe is a riff on The Moosewood Collective’s Italian Bread & Cheese Soup

For the stock

Roast such vegetables as you have available.  At a minimum, try to include celery, onions, carrots, tomatoes and garlic.  Parsley root and celery root add extra flavor.

Place roasted vegetables into a clean pot and fill with cold, filtered water.  Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce heat and simmer until reduced in volume by 1/3 or more, about 2 hours.  Add a teaspoon each of turmeric and paprika for color if you like. Strain and keep hot.

Tear wild yeast sourdough into irregular pieces and sauté in pastured butter until crisp and golden brown.  Place in the center of a deep dinner plate.

Add diced Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced scallions, Italian parsley and fresh basil.

Add shredded cheeses.  I’m using raw cheddar and Grana Padano.

Pour hot vegetable stock over the top and garnish with additional minced herbs.  Season with a little coarse seal salt and freshly-ground black pepper.