Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mexican Fiesta

With my brother home from school I am now cooking for 16 people rather than just 3. I'm doubling and tripling up on everything I make because my wonderful 6'4" brother consumes as much food as the three of us combined. My challenge for tonight is to fill up my brother so he's not hungry for the rest of the night. I figured that Chicken Enchiladas with Spanish Rice and a green salad would do the trick. I poached the chicken and then used the broth to make the rice with. I also made some guacamole as a yummy app to munch on.

I managed to do the impossible. I filled up my brother's massive bottomless pit of a stomach and he said he enjoyed it greatly. To warn you, the dish I make is spicy and if you need it to be a bit milder, exclude the jalapeno. This recipe is only for 4-6 people, double it if you have an extremely hungry brother, or another 4 people.

Poaching the Chicken:
1 whole chicken fryer, boned out the breasts, legs, thighs (or a whole chicken, cut into pieces, make sure it's skin on and bone in chicken)
1 onion chopped into quarters
8 cloves, 2 shoved into each onion quarter
2 large carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 stalks of celery, cut into 2 inch pieces, plus celery leaves
handful of parsley leaves and stems
10 whole peppercorns
4 garlic cloves smashed
1 tbsp salt
1 whole jalapeno (don't break the jalapeno, it will make the broth extremely spicy, trust me)
1 tbsp cumin
4 sprigs of thyme
enough water to cover the chicken

In a BIG stock pot put all ingredients and bring to a boil, turn down to medium low and gently simmer chicken for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Take out the chicken and let cook for 15 minutes or so. Drain the stock in a sieve (fine meshed strainer) and measure out 4 cups of stock.

Enchilada Sauce:
1 large onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 jalapeno finely minced
1 small can of tomato paste
2 cans of tomato sauce
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. coriander
1 tbsp. dried oregano
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro

While the chicken is poaching, saute onion and jalapeno in olive oil, once translucent, add the garlic and saute for a few more minutes. Add the tomato paste and blend in to the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Add the spices, and salt and pepper and then add tomato sauce. Let cook for a good 30 minutes on low, covered. At the very end, add the cilantro.

Enchilada sauce
8 corn tortillas
shredded chicken
1 bag of mixed Mexican blend cheese (cheddar, jack, whatever you wish)

Preheat oven 350 F. Once chicken is cool enough to touch, take the skin off and shred chicken into small stringy pieces and throw into enchilada sauce let cook and the chicken absorb the sauce for about 10-15 minutes. Once ready to make the enchiladas, set up an assembly line. Soak the tortillas in the sauce for about 3-5 minutes to make them pliable (you will get down and dirty with this enchilada sauce, embrace it). Place enough chicken sauce into the tortilla and roll it and place it in a baking dish. Do this with all of the tortillas and once all of the sauce is used, sprinkle the enchiladas with the cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.

1 onion chopped, red or yellow
1 green bell pepper chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 a can of tomato paste
1 can of chopped tomatoes, drained the liquid from the can
2 cups of basmati rice
4 cups (just under 4 cups, add the tomato liquid to make 4 cups) of chicken stock (from the stock we just made)
salt and pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Saute onion and pepper in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. After about 5 minutes add garlic and saute for a few more minutes, add saute to toast a bit. Add tomato paste and chopped canned tomatoes. Stir to combine and then add the stock. Bring to a boil and then cover and turn heat down to low and cook for 25 minutes. Do not open the lid until done cooking. Once the rice is done cooking, fluff up with a fork.

2 ripe avocados, mashed
1 juice of a lime
salt and pepper
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup of finely chopped red onion
1 tsp. minced jalapeno
1/2 tsp. siracha sauce
touch of garlic powder

Combine all in a bowl, serve with tortilla chips.

Be careful with the jalapeno. My fingers still burned when I went to sleep that night, oh and don't touch your eyes after dealing with the jalapeno, take it from experience it burns for a good 10 minutes afterward. If you don't like things that spicy, like my father, omit the jalapeno. If you want it even spicier, add some red pepper flakes.

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