Okay. So, I wrote about the coolness of my sis Neely and the deliciousness of the stew she gave us a few weeks ago. I included the recipe, knowing full well it looked a bit complicated (read: lots of words). Plus, there was no personal testimonial or pictures to encourage you fine readers.
So, I had to make it myself to see if it was as easy as Neely said it would be. I found out this past weekend when we trekked up to the northern suburbs to dine with Sara and Josh that, indeed, it was novice-friendly.
It only has 10 different Ingredients. You can do that! Check it out...
40 oz. chicken broth (I use bouillon granules and water)
1 leek cleaned and trimmed, sliced in half lengthwise (I'm tempted to use a large white onion next time...I really think you could cheat here and go with the onion. If you do that, just cut it in half and toss it in like you would that silly ol' leek.)
6 -8 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless whole
1 Tbls minced Garlic (If you must, go ahead and use fresh garlic...overachiever!!! purist!!!)
10 Fire Roasted Roma Tomatoes (canned or do this quickly at home*...it's EASY.)
5 -7 Tomatillos, canned
1 1/2 Tbls. minced Garlic (I'm stickin' w/the stuff from the jar. It's easy. And clean.)
1 dried ancho chili (Latin aisle) de-seeded, cut up a little bit (I only de-seeded)
1 dried guajillo chili (yup. Latin aisle) de-seeded and cut up a little bit, too
1 handful (or 1/2 cup) cilantro
1 handful (or 1/2 cup) mint
Ready? Here we go...
Put your chicken, leek (or onion), broth and garlic in a pot and bring to a boil. Then simmer on low for 20 to 30 minutes. (It's thighs, people...they won't dry out, so if you forget about them, don't worry. Quite honestly, I have no idea how long I simmered these thighs.)
After you get that going, put your tomatoes, tomatillos and garlic in another pot and simmer on medium-low for awhile...maybe 20 minutes as well. (Don't worry. Think: Chili. You can't ruin it.) See chicken on the left, tomatillo mixture on the right. Oh...and that's rice in the back left. I started that after I got the tomatoes going. You can do it all at once, pretty much. Nice. Easy.
Okay, so after the chicken/broth mixture has simmered awhile, throw those dried chilies in that broth to soften up. I don't have a picture of this, so here's me. Looking at the pots. Swell, huh? (or should I say swollen?!)
After the chilis soften up, use a slotted spoon to transfer them the tomatillo mixture. If you're using a leek, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to the trash. I didn't know that and used it, but it was a little stringy. If you're using a white onion, put that bad boy in with the tomatillo mixture. While you're at it, transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board. You'll cut them up later, but not yet. Go ahead and add some of that broth to the tomatillo mixture, too. Oh...And now's about the time you add those delicious herbs. See how pretty?
I thought I was going to hate this next part, but it wasn't so bad. The tomatillo mixture goes in the blender (or food processor if it can handle soups). This was Sara's blender. It had a "veggies" setting. I alternated that with "crush ice". Remember, I put those leeks in there, so I needed the extra chopping power. But even without the leek, you want your chilis and herbs to blend thoroughly.
Return your blended mixture to the pot. The chicken should be cool enough to chop coarsely. Heck, you can shred it if you want. I don't care how big your chicken pieces are...that's your business! shoot. (okay. i'm getting punchy...let's wrap this up!!!) Okay...stir in your chicken. Now you're pretty much done!!!
Do we look stressed out? No. This recipe is totally do-able.
Sara was the first to taste it. I put her on the front lines, just in case it was horrible...or deadly. (I'm really kidding. I'd probably tasted it fifty times already.) She looks a little serious here. That's because awesome food is serious business.
Thanks to Sara's quick thinking at the grocery store and creative culinary skills, we had delicious black beans and corn bread to go with (or was it spoon bread? or both? anyway, it was awesome). Oh, that rice recipe is easy to follow and it was at the bottom of this post. It's really fun to make and would be a good addition to any Latin dish!
oh...almost forgot to tell you, we garnished with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.
Kid friendly? You bet!! Avery was the first one done!
Even Jillian approved.
And look at the joy on that face. That's right, Josh! That bite WILL be delicious.
This concludes my Guatemalan Stew propaganda. If I've convinced just one person to try this recipe, then I will have done my job.