How about this weather? No really. For those of you who don’t live in the DMV, our weather has been all over the place for past couple of weeks. Just yesterday we had a high of nearly 70 degrees. Today, it’s snowing. Yes, snowing. We’ve got one foot in spring and the other is still in winter. So I decided our recipe this month would be kind of a mashup of the cozy, rich, savory flavors that we love about winter cooking while playing around with some of the lighter flavors of spring.
I started with a whole chicken and broke it down. Breast, thighs, drumsticks, wings. Knowing how to break down a chicken is, in my opinion, a vital culinary skill. It not only gives you a lot more cooking possibilities but it also saves you a lot of money! Buying your chickens whole is way cheaper than buying pieces. That being said, there’s no shame in buying a pack of chicken thighs, especially if you’re cooking for a crowd!
Where was I? Oh yes, I started with my chicken thighs and drumsticks. I’ll save those breasts and wings for another tasty recipe. I gave the chicken a sprinkle of kosher salt, black pepper, and some ground cumin. Next up, I’ve got some lovely tomatillos, a lime, a jalapeño, and a bottle of lager beer. Rounding out the cast we’ve got a carrot, some garlic, and half a red onion.
The fun thing about braising chicken is that unlike beef or pork, you can get this recipe done in a fairly short amount of time. About 1 hour, start to finish. The trick is to get lots of color on the chicken when you sear it. That will translate to lots of rich, deep flavor when the dish goes into the oven. As far as the beer goes, I used a Stella because that’s what I had on hand, but by all means, try something different. I wouldn’t recommend an ale or stout. Go for a nice crisp lager.
Once I got the chicken plated up, I finished the dish with some fresh cilantro, an avocado, some shaved red onion and carrot, and some crispy tortilla strips.
This recipe was adapted from one on the Washington Post.