Well, I don’t know what the weather is like where everyone else is, but here brother … it’s rainy. Another damn weekend on the inside looking out. My kitchen is still half painted, my awning that covered my grilling area blew away and my hardwood floors need attention. Can I work on any of those projects? No. You know why? That’s right, it’s raining. Time for a little cheffing.
I knew I had a nice free range chicken in the fridge and felt the need for something Mexicanny. Let’s see if Rick Bayless has anything to say about it. Sure enough, page 226 of Mexico One Plate at a Time revealed Pollo Adobado Con Papas. YEAH !!! I even had the little sweet & juicy golden potatoes. I was set.
First off you have to make the Adobo marinade. I got started late in the morning, this way the chicken could marinate all afternoon. Rick says you can do it a day in advance, maybe next time.
I only had 3 of the 6 Ancho Chiles needed, so I made up the volume with California Red chiles.
Slit them down one side and remove the stems, seeds and those darned veins. Flatten.
A cast iron skillet is great for searing chiles. Most non-stick fry pans won’t allow high heat, which is what you need. Sorry. Put a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil into the hot skillet and sear your chiles, maybe 3 to 4 seconds a side. Watch out for that chili smoke, it can give you some grief if you aren’t careful.
Boil 2 cups of water and put in a bowl. Add the chilis, cover with plate to hold them down. Let them sit for 20 minutes.
Here’s what you’ll need:
6 medium Ancho Chiles
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp of Mexican dried oregano
1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp of fresh ground cumin
1/8 tsp of fresh ground cloves
1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
Get out your blender, vita-mix or food processor. Add the chiles with the water and the above ingredients. Whiz until they’re a smoove puree. Press through a medium-mesh strainer set over a bowl, just to make sure you get any non-processed chile skins out. You’re looking for a consistency like steak sauce or so.
See how the sauce covers the spoon? Taste it, it’s good. See if it needs any more sugar or salt. It shouldn’t though. Mine came out fine.
Rick wants us to flatten the chicken. This seems like a nice idea considering it needs a foil tent and wants to sit on a bed of taters. Cut out the back with shears or a sharp knife, save for stock some other day. Set the bird, breast side up with the legs and thighs underneath, like it would sit IF it had a back. Give it a Karate CHOP just like Austin Powers would. This breaks the breast bone and allows it to go flaterrer.
Oh and make sure after you wash your chicken the darned thing gets patted dry with a paper towel. Wet meat gives splotchy browning results and marinades tend to not cover as well. DRY THINE BIRD FOO !!!
Schmear 1/2 the marinade over the bird and let it sit in the fridge from 1 hour to a day or so.
When you’re about ready, clean and oil your taters. I really suggest smaller potatoes for this recipe. Maybe about the size of a golf ball or so, give or take. Just not huge russets, you know? Line the 18″ x 13″ roaster with your potatoes, sprinkle with good salt. Set your marinated chicken on top.
Add a 1/3 cup of water into the roaster and cover with foil. Since 20 minutes ago you turned on your oven to 375 you should be all set, right?
Bottom rack she goes for 1 1/4 hours. Rick wants you to stir the taters so they cook evenly. Well, that’s too damned impossible. Peeling back that foil every 15 minutes to “stir” potatoes doesn’t happen in my kitchen. Sorry.
After the 1 1/4 hours, pull it and schmear on the rest of the marinade, even over the potatoes. Put back in to the oven for another 10 minutes to brown the chicky a bit.
Here you go. Since the chicken spent most of its time under foil, the meat is still very juicy. The Adobo has the nice hint of the vinegar tang, the chiles round out the flavor with a warm glow and the potatoes melt in your mouth. You could serve this with fresh cilantro, white onion and other fine goodies.
I served it with brocolli because our 8 year old son needed some dark green vegies.