Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pollo en Escabeche (Chicken in pickle)

When I got married, I knew I was choosing to spend my life with a good man. What I didn't know, was that this man came from a state in Mexico which may qualify for having the best food on earth. Yucatan is a hidden food heaven! (And the food can be tailored to be healthy too).

 Today, I prepared Pollo Escabeche for dinner. It's actually still simmering right now. What's so amazing about this chicken dish is how tender, tasty, and most important how moist the chicken comes out.

Serve with rice (mexican rice has butter, finely cut onions, and a finely cut garlic clove; I usually add a dash of black pepper), refried beans, and avocado.

 Here's the recipe, for this great authentic Mexican (Yucatican) dish:

Recipe: Pollo Escabeche (Escabeche Chicken)
5 whole legs of chicken
2 cups bitter orange (if you don't have bitter orange, squeeze valancia orange+ lemons, with ratio 1 medium lemon to 1 orange, then add a hint of white wine vinegar).
1 large whole garlic head
3 banana peppers
3 medium onions, sliced in large long pieces
1.5 tablespoon mexican meat spice (go to any mexican store, it's not spicy at all and it's color is olive)
5 bay leaves
1.5 tablespoon dry oregano
2 bouillon cubes.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 cup water
sea salt

1) Broil the banana peppers and the garlic head for 5 minutes (until brown). Set aside.
2) Mix 2/3 of the bitter orange with the dry oregano and some salt, and put the sliced onions in the mix. Set aside.
3) Mix the rest of the bitter orange with the Mexican meat spice, bay leaves, some salt, and then the chicken legs. Cover the chicken legs well in the mix, and let them stay for 5 minutes.
4) Heat the olive oil in a pan, and brown the chicken (remove the chicken from the marinate, but keep the marinate.)
5) In a large pot, mix everything together (browned chicken, leftover marinate, onion mix, banana peppers and garlic head). Add water and bouillon cubes. Simmer for 2 hours, or until chicken very soft. Do not let the sauce dry out.
6) Serve with rice, refried beans, and avocado. You can also serve in soup-style (my favorite), with generous amount of sauce.

Tip: To have a real mexican experience, you can add one step and get this Mexican SALSA! This way, you can trick anyone, and they will actually think that you spent sometime in Mexico, since nothing screams more authenticity with a mexican dish than  chile salsa:
When the chicken is done, remove the banana peppers from the mix, and crush. Add salt and lemon.

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