When Brent and I first moved to Minneapolis, we lived with Neely and Steve...for TWO and a HALF MONTHS. They weren't parents yet, and still let our family of four take over
As I said, Neely is always sharing the bounty. So even now, if she makes a big batch of anything, we get surprised with the "excess". Yeehaw. Last night, I felt particularly blessed, as I was in the hospital with the kids (I'll explain later. We're fine. Don't worry.) when I got a call from Neely.
Neely: "Hey, Jen, I know you don't have any minutes, but I made this Guatemalan stew and it's more than we can eat. Can I drop it by?"
Me: (realizing it's 4pm and I haven't thought about dinner.) "YES!!!"
So, as I pull up to my house, there she is with said stew including the garnishes (an avocado, a lime and a tub of sour cream...I know...those items are a major indication this will be good!).
As I'm prone to--wait for it--take a huge whiff of my food before I eat it, I took in the most glorious aroma. (I promise you, the smelling everything thing...it's not even conscious. Do not take offense if I dine at your table and smell everything first...I'll try to stop.)
Anyway, I think I ate portion of it while heating it up. Amazing. With her permission, I'm sharing the recipe.
Oh...and by the way, she learned this at a Guatemalan Cooking class her best friend got for her as a gift. Good friend! Good Mama! Good sister!
So, without further ado, I introduce Neely the stock picking chef!!!
"I learned how to make this traditional Guatemalan stew at a cooking class by a Guatemalan chef, but I made some adjustments to take the "crazy" out of it...."
Step One: place the following ingredients in a stockpot, bring to a boil, simmer for 20-30 min.
2 lbs. turkey or chicken thighs, boneless/skinless
1 head of garlic, slice the tap nearly off; paper on.. no need to peel
1 leek, cleaned, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
32-48 oz. chicken broth/water/whatever
Step Two: place the following ingredients in another large pot and cook on low to medium heat
you can roast your own tomatoes (10), tomatillos (5) and garlic (3-4)... OR you can use the following:
1 large can of whole tomatoes, i like to use the fire roasted muir garden type
1 large can of crushed tomatoes, again, the fire roasted muir garden type
1 can of cooked tomatillos (in the mexican food aisle).. the can will have 5-10 tomatillos in it
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled/smashed
Step Three: prepare your chiles
use a pair of scissors to de-seed (empty) and cut up: 1 ancho chile pepper and 1 guajillo pepper
use some of the hot stock to cover the peppers in a bowl for 5-10 minutes in order to soften up
Step Four: blend, baby, blend
add the chilis (including the juice) and a solid handful of each cilantro and mint to the Step Two large pot of ingredients
use a really good immersion blender to puree the ingredients all together
Step Five: add the chicken and serve over rice* (i'll email my new favorite rice recipe)
cut the thighs into smaller pieces and add, along with 1-2 cups of the broth, into the stew
And for the finale... here's the official name of this stew: 'Kac Ik' (I am NOT making this up)"
Serve over Arroz con Maiz, recipe by Amalia Damgaard
1 c. rice
1.75 c. chicken broth (i use the leftover broth from the stew recipe)
1 Tbl. oil
1 garlic clove, rough chop
1 small onion, grated in your cheese grater
1 celery stalk, whole and bruised (take back of knife and bang it along the stalk)
juice from 1/2 lime
1 c. frozen corn
Bring to a boil, stir once, cover, lower heat to simmer and cook until water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Discard the celery and serve