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Playing Chicken and 3-Chili Stew


For the poached chicken:
  • For the poached chicken:
  • 4 pieces bone-in, skin on chicken breast, about 3 pounds
  • 2 medium onions, root end attached, quartered and peeled
  • 1 large carrot, thickly sliced on an angle
  • 2 ribs celery with leafy tops, thickly sliced on an angle
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 orange, zest reserved, sliced
  • A handful of cilantro or flat-leaf parsley and a few stems of oregano, tied with kitchen twine
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
For the stew:
  • For the stew:
  • 2 large or 3-4 small-medium poblano peppers
  • 3-4 dried anchos, a small package, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Fresno red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/3 palmful
  • 1 teaspoon coriander, 1/3 palmful
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes or chunky crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can or about 2 cups tomato sauce or puree


Serves: 4-6


Place chicken in pot on a bed of root vegetables and herbs, such as onions, carrots, celery, garlic, sliced orange and bundle of herbs (bay, cilantro or parsley and oregano). Cover meat with water by an inch or 2 and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to keep at a low, rolling simmer and poach chicken 40-45 minutes. Remove the meat to shallow dish, cool to handle and then strain liquids.

Broil or char poblanos on stove top to blacken skins evenly. Place poblanos in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, cool to handle, seed and stem peppers and finely chop them.

Place anchos in small pot and cover with poaching liquid, about 2 cups. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer a few minutes to soften, puree until smooth in processor or blender.

Return poaching pot to stove and add EVOO, a couple of turns of the pan. Add onions, garlic, Fresno chili pepper and season with salt and liberal amount of black pepper to the hot oil and stir to soften a couple of minutes. Add cinnamon stick, cumin, coriander, tomatoes, ancho puree, poblanos, and add 2 cups more reserved stock. Pull and shred chicken, discarding skin and bones, and add shredded chicken to sauce. Simmer gently over medium-low heat 30 minutes more, adjust seasoning, then remove cinnamon stick and serve.