Friday, August 13, 2010
Chicken with a savory Gravy~Pollo Guisado
"The fact is that it takes more than ingredients and technique to cook a good meal. A good cook puts something of himself into the preparation -- Pearl Bailey, 'Pearl's Kitchen"
Since our return from living in Mexico I have craved certain Mexican dishes which are not as easily found in restaurants here in the states. Some meals are just good homemade versions of things which are probably comfort foods in any culture. Any one dish meal that a cook puts their heart & special touch to has bound to be well recieved. Pollo Guisado is just that type of meal. A Mexican comfort food. Like your Grandmother's steak & gravy or Chicken & dumplings, Pollo Guisado translates to Chicken in Gravy. Simple & hearty this poultry dish is easy and hits home with the depth of flavors as well as being an all in one pot meal. Browned chicken, an easy roux and veggies are all that are needed for this Guisado.
This summer I have had a bounty of tomatoes & peppers from the garden which are an essential part of this dish. Moreover making this meal gave me reason to travel to a favorite grocery store to pick up a few extras for this dish.
On a recent trip to our local Fiesta Mart grocery store my daughter Bytes from Texas & I found Yoki Cheese bread mix (Pan de Queso) a typical Brazilian preparation for a very tasty cheese bread. There are certainly recipes I could try to locate for this bread but we had very much enjoyed the unique warm bits of bread during an evening we spent at Fogo de Chão. Upon finding the boxes of Yoki mix we added them to our shopping cart without another thought. Any foodie knows that a trip to an ethnic grocery store can yield astonishing surprises. Keep an open mind & don't miss a single aisle. We have been shopping Fiesta Mart for more years than I can count & I am always amazed by some new product I've never seen before. We will continue to scour the local stores & shops keeping up with current trends & flavors. Some of those adventures will bring us here to the New Blog, Bytes from Texas & I have started. Enjoy the last days of summer & buen provecho~
Simple ingredients can scent the kitchen with flavors that satisfy & soothe.
4 Tbsp Oil
2 lbs fryer parts, or Chicken thighs (your choice)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 large seeded, sliced red or yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
4 Tbsp flour
1 tsp ground cumino
1 tsp fresh or dried thyme leaves
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup tomato sauce*el Pato brand with chilis is preferred,
(found in Latin American grocery stores)
Sprinkle chicken parts with salt & pepper tossing so the seasonings are coating the chicken. Saute the chicken parts in oil in a deep Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown chicken for approx 15 min turning so that the pieces are evenly browned. Set the browned chicken pieces on a plate & scrape up bits which may be at the bottom of the Dutch oven. Those bits are just an additional flavoring to the roux which you make next.
Saute the garlic in the oil, browning slightly before adding in the 4 Tbsp flour & then brown oil, flour mixture till it attains a "tawny brown" color. Add the onion, peppers & fresh tomatoes. Stir continually so this mixture does not burn, scrap any pieces which stick to the bottom of the Dutch oven, cook 2-3 min.
Add in slowly 2 cups of chicken broth, mixing continually, to this add the tomato sauce, cumin & thyme. Place the Chicken pieces back into the Guisado/Gravy. Bring all of this to a slow simmer. Cook approx. 30 - 45 minutes. The chicken will be very tender & flavored with the rich gravy once it is ready to serve. If the gravy reduces, add a little more chicken stock. Skim any excess oil off the Guisado-Gravy. (Grease is not gravy) Serve this hot with either tortillas, french bread or cornbread. Enjoy!
*I cooked this dish with Chicken thighs because the moist dark meat tends to have a little more flavor for a Guisado.
Shopping a Latin American or Grocery store can yield many surprises, try something new to give a standard dish a new twist. My daughter & I frequent a large Latin American grocery store here & found easy to prepare Yoki cheese bread mixes such an great "go to" addition for a weeknight meal. (they are gluten free too!) If you cannot find Yoki Cheese bread but would like the mix you might check here.