It might not be the prettiest meal we’ve made thus far but when I tell you the need for leftovers is real, believe me. Throughout the next day I watched the team load up their plates with last night's dinner over and over again until there was nothing left. So, if you’re looking for a meal that will last past one night's dinner, this one's for you.
Stews have been made since ancient times, with the oldest evidence dating back to the Jōmon period of Japan. Some sources feel the first 'boiling' was done by primitive man, perhaps as long ago as 1/2 to 1 million years ago! I’m not sure if googling “the history of stew,” is everyones cup of tea, but I have always found the history of food to be so intriguing. Preparing stew, in particular, is a practice that has been relatively unchanged over the course of many, many years. A few years ago, while on São Miguel island in the Azores, I couldn’t help but notice multiple mounds of steaming piles of dirt scattered across the land. The indigenous people of the Azores have been cooking cozido das Furnas, or Volcano-cooked stew, for the past 80-90 years by just burying a pot into the ground and using geo-thermal heat to prepare.
It’s a simple concept; protein, veggies, liquid base, low heat, and time. This dish is multi-regional and can be altered to whatever is available and fresh all over the world. Here in Mexico, tomatillos are like olives to the Greeks, hence forth; Chicken Tomatillo Stew.
Preparation time: 15 min
Cooking time : 1 ½ hours (plus a little patience)
- 2 lbs of boneless chicken (mixture of light and dark meat)
- If you are a red meat eater, choose a meat that is flavorful and fatty
- 2 lbs rinsed and husked tomatillos
- 1 large white onion, halved
- 2 Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 Serrano peppers, minced
- 6 Large garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 Black peppercorns
- 5 Bay Leaves
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tbs of salt, plus more to taste
- 4 tbs of olive oil
In a large pot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. Add the chicken, half the onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic, and 1½ tablespoons of salt. When seared on all sides, add a generous amount of water and cook, covered, on a high simmer until meat is tender.
Meanwhile, slice the onion and garlic and cook until translucent in a large pan (remove from pan when done). Heat the remaining oil and fry the sliced potatoes until golden brown. Add the tomatillos and cook down for about 15 min, or until a darker green and tender (stirring occasionally but be careful not to break up the potatoes). Add the chicken (cut into pieces), 1 cup of the chicken cooking liquid, the onions and garlic, and simmer until tomatillos are tender and broken down.
Serve with white rice and love,
Forward Worldwide Chef