fresh spring garlic and onions
Fair Valley Farm has been offering a special on big chickens. These five plus pounders may seem like a big commitment, but in fact they can simplify your life. Here's the game plan: bring home your big chicken from the market and thaw it in a warm water bath. Then get out your poultry shears and carve it up. Grill the breasts that evening with other fresh veggies from the market. Freeze the backbone for making stock. And toss the legs and wings into a slow cooker along with some canned tomatoes, chipotle chiles, garlic, and herbs for a delicious Puebla Chicken Tinga from Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday.
Bayless' cookbook is a treasure trove of delicious slow cooker recipes, including my favorite tomatillo pork with white beans. My sister alerted me to this chicken recipe, tucked away as a variant of Chicken a la Veracruzana. It produced perfectly spiced, tender, tomatoey stewed chicken that makes a delicious taco filling. It also freezes well, so you'll thank yourself later for cooking up a big batch now.
Puebla Chicken Tinga
Adapted slightly from Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday
2 to 3 pounds chicken legs and wings
4 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo sausage (optional)
1 medium onion, sliced
28 ounce can diced tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
2 or 3 sliced seeded canned chipotle chiles and 1 Tbsp of their adobe sauce
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp each fresh oregano and thyme leaves
2 scant tsp salt
Layer the sliced onion in the bottom of your slow cooker, place the chicken pieces on top, and if using, sprinkle over sausage removed from the casing and crumbled. In a bowl, mix together the tomatoes, chipotle chiles, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, herbs, and salt, and pour over the chicken. Set the lid in place and slow cook on high for 6 hours (the dish can hold on the slow cooker's "keep warm" function for 4 more hours or so). With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken pieces. Remove the skin and bones and shred the chicken. If the sauce seems too liquid, you can reduce it by heating over medium heat. Return the shredded chicken to the sauce, adjust seasoning, and serve on soft tortillas with your favorite taco fixings such as rice, avocado, sour cream, shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro, and lime.