Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chicken in Tangy Escabeche of Caramelized Onions, Carrots, and Jalapenos

Hopefully, this is what we're having for dinner tonight. This recipe is from our favorite American-born Mexican cuisine chef, Rick Bayless (Everyday Mexican). It's always funny to me that my husband is native Mexican, and we go to a white dude from the midwest for authentic Mexican recipes. Anyway, we love this recipe because it is easy, heathy, and has an awesome balance of sweetness, spicey-ness, and acidity. It's one of our weeknight go-to recipes. We serve this with roasted red potatoes.

1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
3 (2 pounds total) chicken breast halves, bones and skin intact
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 large white onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 large carrots, peeled if you wish and sliced 1/4 inch thick on a diagonal
4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/4 cup vinegar (apple cider vinegar is traditional)
2 to 4 canned pickled jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup chicken broth

1. In a small bowl, combine the black pepper, allspice, oregano and 1 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle half of this mixture over the chicken breasts.
2. Heat the oil in a very large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Lay in the chicken, skin side down, and cook, turning once, until richly browned, 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken to a plate, leaving behind as much oil as possible.
3. Add the sliced onion and carrots to the skillet and cook, stirring regularly, until the onion is browned, abut 7 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about 1 minute, then add the remaining seasoning mixture, the vinegar, jalapenos and broth.
4. Nestle the chicken pieces skin side up in the onion mixture, cover the skillet (a cookie sheet works if your skillet doesn't have a lid) and simmer gently over the medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 15 minutes.
5. Taste the broth, and season with additional salt if you think it’s appropriate.
6. Transfer a piece of chicken to each dinner plate, spooning a generous portion of the juicy vegetable mixture over the top. Dinner’s ready.

(Photo is from www.greatfood.ie)

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