In a stew pot heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Saute 2 minced onions and 3 cloves garlic. Add a teaspoon of salt. Continue to cook until golden without browning. Add 12 skinless chicken thighs and cook until meat gets some color; turn to cook other side.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 1/4 to 1/3 cup vegetable oil —not olive oil, please. (Each time I make this the amount of oil grosses me out, but then I remember back to all the lard that got used when I worked in a Mexican restaurant and I somehow accept what I’m doing.) As it heats up, add 1/4 cup flour and stir to make a roux. Make sure it cooks long enough so it won’t have a floury taste. Add 1/3 cup (medium-hot) chili powder and stir in 3 cups of water, stirring until smooth. Add 1–1/2 tsp salt. Add mixture back in with the chicken.
Add drained cans of pozole (a.k.a. white hominy): I used 3 29-ounce cans for this batch but I really love hominy. You can probably get by with less.
Bring to a simmer and cook covered on lowest possible heat. Stir from time to time so all the chicken gets moved around in the sauce. Make sure nothing sticks or burns. Serve with Sadie’s Spanish Rice and refried beans.
Dice one large onion and mince 2 cloves garlic. Heat oil in stew pot, saute garlic and onions. It’s okay if they brown a little. Season with salt, pepper and paprika (or cayenne, my personal preference). Push vegetables to one side of pan and chicken pieces (one whole chicken cut in pieces or use your favorite parts) in one layer. Brown on both sides. Continue until all meat is browned, lifting vegetables on top of meat. The more color the meat gets, the more flavor the dish has.
Add about 1/3 cup water, cover and lower heat to lowest possible temperature you can just get a slight simmer. Every 15 minutes. turn pieces of meat so each side of each piece gets to cook at the bottom of the pan, making sure it doesn’t dry out — but don’t add any extra water beyond the minimum needed. When the meat is tender, it’s done.
Some variations: This recipe was originally for beef, but chicken works well, or meatballs. You can add potatoes cut into large chunks just as you turn down the temperature. The recipe works well in a pressure cooker, but be careful to add enough water so you don’t risk cooking the pressure cooker dry!
Chop, clean and saute 1 large leek in some olive oil. While it softens, trim 4 cups of winter squash into 1- to 2-inch cubes. Add to pot and add a mixture of water and chicken stock to cover. Add 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne and either 1/2 tsp cumin or 1/4 tsp pimenton. Bring to simmer for 35-45 minutes (until squash is soft). If using a pressure cooker, it will need about 10 minutes. Puree in blender and strain. Add a bit of light cream and serve.
NOTE: If saving for later, reheat and then add the cream.
Heat oven to 350 F. In an overproof pot, heat oil to coat bottom and brown 6-8 skinless chicken thighs, in batches if necessary. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and remove from pan.
Over medium high heat add 1 stalk of sliced celery, 1-2 diced carrots and 1 diced onion. Season with salt and pepper, stirring until softened. Add 4 cloves chopped garlic, chopped mushrooms (see Note 1, below) and 4 sprigs of fresh thyme. Stir occasionally and cook for about 10 minutes, until all liquid is gone.
Add 1 cup white wine; raise heat and reduce by half. Add 2-3 cups chicken stock and bring to boil; add chicken, cover and place in oven for 2 hours. Meat will be so tender it falls right off the bone.
Remove meat from liquid. (You may stop at this point, see Note 2, below.) Pick meat from bone when cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, add 2/3 cup pitted black olives to sauce. (I like oil-cured Moroccan olives but I suggest you use olives that are not too salty which these tend to be.) Cook on stovetop until flavors have blended and sauce thickens a bit. Return meat to sauce and reheat. You can also stop at this point and reheat later.
Note 1: I like to use about 4 ounces of any exotic mushroom (such as Maitake or Oyster) except not Shiitake plus about 8 small Cremini mushrooms. I break or cut the caps of the exotics into recognizable pieces. chop up the stems finely and slice the Creminis finely. You could use button mushroom for a less expensive alternative.
Note 2: I often separate out the meat, drain off the liquid and leave it to cool in the freezer for a while so I can remove all the fat from the liquid, then resume the recipe 40-50 minutes before serving. This lets the final cooking happen just before serving.
In a 6-quart (or larger) pressure cooker, heat 1+ TBL oil. (Don’t use less, as it keeps the beans from foaming and causing problems later on.) Saute 1 medium onion, diced, until soft. Add 1 cup dry, rinsed black-eyed peas, 1 minced stalk celery, 1 diced large red pepper, 1 minced jalapeno pepper, 1 minced carrot, 5 andouille sausage cut diagonally into thirds, a chunk of smoked turkey meat, 3 cups canned diced tomatoes with liquid, 1/2 cup water, 1 bay leaf and 1/2 tsp dried oregano.
Cover pressure cooker and bring to high pressure following directions for your model. Cook at high pressure for 11 minutes. I let the pressure come down naturally, but if you’re in a hurry to serve it right away, you may need to cook it for a few minutes longer after you open the cooker. Once it’s done cooking, check the salt level and add salt after cooking, if necessary.
Serve with rice.
Note: I used a 12-ounce package of Bilinski’s chicken-meat sausage.
Peel 2 celery roots, trimming as needed to clean. Slice thinly across the root to make even slices and then cut these cross-wise to make julienne. (The safe way to do this is to cut the root lengthwise and then work with each half to make the thin slices.) Set the julienne aside. Despite what you might read elsewhere, they will not brown if you are going to cook with them for 3-4 hours.
When you are ready to cook them, heat some olive oil to coat the saute pan. Add the julienne and saute for about 10 minutes, or until they are soft and have some color. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with some chopped fresh parsley.
Wash off and debeard 2 pounds of mussels, discarding any dead ones. While wet, put them in a covered pot and cook on medium-high heat until they have opened; discard any that remain closed. Remove meat from all but 12 of the mussels, reserving the meat and the 12 fully-intact mussels. Strain liquid through a coffee filter to remove any sand and reserve that, too. Do this in advance of making the soup, for up to 2 days.
In a soup pot, saute a chopped onion in a little olive oil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of black pepper and some whole fennel seeds. While that’s cooking, trim off the stalks from 2 fennel bulbs, reserving a few of the wispy fronds for a garnish. Dice the fennel bulbs and mince a clove of garlic. Open a 28-ounce can of plum tomatoes; remove seeds, chop tomatoes and reserve liquid.
When the onions are soft (maybe 5-10 minutes), stir in the fennel bulbs, garlic, 2 bay leaves, 1 quart of chicken stock, the tomatoes and tomato juice, the mussels (both the one in and out of their shells) and the mussel liquid, 1/2 cup of clam juice and 3 tablespoons of Pernod. Simmer for 10 minutes and check seasoning.
Serve in bowls, placing 2 or 3 of the mussels (in their shells) on the top. Garnish with fennel fronds. This makes 4 to 6 servings.
Serves 3 people, depending on the size of the duck breast and your appetites
1 thick duck breast (magret), preferably very thick
Score the skin side in 1/2-inch diamonds, only cutting into the fat layer and not into the meat. Make a mixture of 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp ground black or green pepper. Rub the generously all over the magret.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and as it nears the desired temperature heat an oven-proof pan on medium heat. I prefer a cast iron pan. When the pan is hot, place the magret skin-side down. Cook for 7 minutes on that side. Drain excess fat and turn over magret.
Place pan in oven for 5 to 7 minutes (for rare center). Remove pan from oven, place magret on board and let rest 3 to 5 minutes in a warm place before slicing. Be sure to slice across the grain of the meat.
♦ATTN These times are for a thick magret: if yours is thinner, the cooking time will need to be reduced.
When sliced, it will make about 12-15 slices and serve 3 people.
Don't wait a for a dinner invitation. Try cooking for yourself for a change.