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[personal profile] rosefox posting in [community profile] iron_chef_csa
Which means that around here it's Mexican cooking season. We're not doing the CSA this year--the sheer quantity of produce was overwhelming--but our farmer's market is full of tomatoes, tomatillos, and a wide variety of peppers, so I expect the local CSAs are too.

This is a variation on Cook's Illustrated's French chicken in a pot.

0) Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

1) Chop coarsely: 3 stalks celery, 1 small onion, 1 medium parsnip, 1 large ripe tomato, and 1/2 large shallot. Halve 1 jalapeño pepper. Place all in bowl along with 6 strips lime zest from a well-scrubbed organic lime, 4 peeled and trimmed garlic cloves, 1 handful cilantro, 1 cinnamon stick, and 1 tbsp fresh oregano, and mix with a generous shaking of cumin and lime juice from the lime.

2) Rinse a 5-lb. organic free-range chicken and remove the innards. Season it with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.

3) In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat until just smoking. Place chicken into pot breast-side down. Scatter vegetables around chicken. Brown 5 minutes and then flip and brown 7 minutes. Remove Dutch oven from heat. Cover pot with a sheet of foil and then a tight-fitting lid. Place pot in oven. Set a timer for 65 minutes and escape to air conditioning.

4) When timer goes off, check internal temperature of thickest part of chicken breast. If it's less than 165F, keep cooking the chicken. If it's more than 165F, remove it to a board and let it sit, tented with foil, for 20 minutes. At 165F the chicken is just cooked, firm and juicy; at 175F or 180F it will be just as juicy but falling-apart tender.

5) Once the chicken is on the board, strain juices through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on vegetables to extract juices and then discarding them. Let juices sit in gravy separator for a couple of minutes and then separate into fat and jus. The fat is very flavorful (and very spicy!) and can be saved in the freezer for e.g. scrambling eggs. Add the juice of half a lime (or as much as you like, to taste) to the jus and whisk well. Once the chicken has cooled, dissect the carcass and remove the meat, shredding it as you go. Toss the meat with the jus until well soaked.


Salsa verde, straight from Cook's Illustrated. We doubled the below recipe because mmm, salsa.

1 pound fresh tomatillos (about 8), husked and washed
1/2 small onion , chopped coarse
1 medium jalapeño chile , seeds and ribs removed (seeds minced and reserved), chile minced
1 medium garlic clove , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)*
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime

* As usual, I thought this was too much garlic, while [ profile] sinboy thought it was just right.

1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Fill a medium bowl with ice water. Stir in 2 teaspoons salt and the tomatillos into the boiling water and cook until the color of the tomatillos dulls slightly and they are tender but not mushy, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the tomatillos, transfer to the ice water, and let cool, about 5 minutes.

2. Drain the tomatillos (no need to pat dry) and transfer to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and 1/2 teaspoon salt and process until roughly chopped, about 7 pulses. Season with the reserved minced jalapeño seeds and salt to taste and serve. (The salsa can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days; return to room temperature and season with salt and lime juice to taste before serving.)

[ profile] sinboy declares this the best salsa he has ever eaten, ever. I'm not used to salsa verde that doesn't have a vinegar tang--this is actually quite sweet, and very mild--but once I got past that I agreed that this version is pretty amazing.


Blister skin of 4 poblano peppers. Put in plastic bag and let steam for 5 minutes or until skin loosens. Remove skin. Cut peppers into strips. Cut 1/2 onion into half-rings. Cut 1 green bell pepper into strips. Fry up in a bit of olive oil.


Briefly warm some tortillas. Wrap up chicken, peppers, and onions with salsa, chopped fresh tomato, and optional cheese and/or sour cream. Nom with much nomming.

We also simmered some sweet corn on the cob (also from the farmer's market) for five minutes and OMG. It was so sweet it had an almost melon-like undertaste. With the salsa it was pure heaven.


Iron Chef CSA

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