My First Chicken

Today I cooked my first free range, organic chicken and it was amazing.  To be honest, before this I’ve never even cooked a whole chicken.  I followed this recipe over at Local Kitchen, with only minor adjustments.  I used fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme and just regular milk.   I even had to chop off it’s neck.  It sounds a lot worse than it was.  I honestly was gearing myself up for it the entire day before, but the chicken and I made our peace and it came off quite easily.

So the consensus?  It was good.  Really good.  The main difference was the texture of the meat and the durability of the bones.  You’re eating muscle that was actually used.  It really makes you realize how bad the other chickens must be if you can break their bones in half with your bare hands.

I wish I could show you a pretty picture of this after it was plated with an amazing cauliflower puree and delightfully rich gravy, but it was devoured within seconds of hitting the plate.  I’m surprised we even used forks.

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Chicken Tomatillo Stew

I’m kind of embarrassed to post this. This is not gourmet, and really this recipe is the shortcut of all shortcuts. But sometimes the simple things are just so darn good, and this recipe is share-worthy.  So here’s the deal… the main ingredient is jarred salsa.  There, I said it.  I probably could roast tomatillos and serrano peppers, but I live in southwestern PA and it’s just not that easy to find the amount of tomatillos I would need to make this.  Just kidding, I’m just really that lazy.  Who wants to roast and peel peppers when I could just pop open a jar of salsa?  Me.  Don’t judge.

I’ve made this about a million times and this is my favorite salsa:

It’s not only the perfect balance of heat and flavor, but this is the ingredient list:  tomatillos, onions, serrano peppers, iodized salt, and cilantro.  That’s it!  No phosphorus sulfate or cfhjihfvivhid (things I can’t pronounce), so it makes me feel better about using jarred salsa.

This makes a huge batch, because we like leftovers.  You will probably want leftovers too.

Chicken Tomatillo Stew

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 1/2 cups salsa verde (or 3 16 oz jars)
1/2 large onion, chopped
4 -5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon oregano
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil

Cut chicken in 1 inch chunks.  Pat dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium soup pot over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, brown chicken on both sides.  Don’t worry about cooking it all the way through, only 1 -2 minutes per side, add more oil as necessary.  Set chicken aside.  Add onions to pot and saute until translucent.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 -2 minutes.  Add salsa and chicken to the pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Add cumin, cinnamon, and oregano.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.  Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Serve plain or over rice.