Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My "Missing New Mexico" Green Chile Stew

When I talk about being homesick, I mean one of three things:
  • North Carolina, where I'm from... the first meaning of "home"
  • Boston, where I lived for six years, the first place I fell for, head over heels
  • New Mexico, where I lived for five years. What everyone says is true: if you fall for New Mexico once, it stays in your heart forever.
Since moving to Dallas from Albuquerque two years ago, I find myself pining for New Mexico the most in the fall. Much of that is sensory: the feel of the air, the smell of green chile roasting or cedar burning in the fireplace, the taste of the seasonal food. When I moved, I figured I had left behind the smell of roasted green chile hanging in the air for good. I was beyond excited, then, when I found a couple of markets here that roast it straight from Hatch, NM.

My first taste of chile this year came during dinner at Hattie's on Friday (go, run, for their green chile t-bone). I immediately needed more, so I raided my supply in the freezer to make Green Chile Chicken Stew on Sunday. Such a great Sunday meal.

I made my stew the "hard" way, which is to say I used a whole chicken to make my own stock, but there's nothing difficult about it. If you have the time to cook a chicken, your stew will be about a hundred times tastier, in my opinion - you simply can't beat homemade chicken stock. But if you don't have the time, no worry - use your favorite storebought stock with water and add in some shredded rotisserie chicken.

When cooking with roasted green chile, you'll get more depth of flavor if you use both hot and mild chiles. Served with a cooling salad and a big hunk of crusty bread, you'll be craving this stew all week (and since you'll have just made enough for an army, you can eat it all week, too!).


Maggie's "Missing New Mexico" Green Chile Chicken Stew



Ingredients:
  • 1 chicken
  • Stock seasonings such as carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves
  • 1.5-2 cups diced onion
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1.5 lbs small red russet potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 cups chopped green chile
  • 1/2 diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup corn
  • Salt and pepper

To Make the Stock:
  • I like to cut the whole chicken into 7 pieces or so, but that's just my preference. It makes it easier to tear the chicken off later since you don't have to wait for the entire chicken to cool down.
  • In a large pot or dutch oven, place the chicken (whole or in pieces) inside and fill with 10 cups of water
  • When the water is boiling, skim foam off the top and discard
  • Add random seasonings to the pot (keep them whole; you'll discard these later). I like to use 2 carrots, 2 pieces of celery, half an onion, 2 bay leaves, and a bit of salt and pepper
  • Simmer (don't boil) for 30-45 minutes
  • After 30-45 minutes, you'll want to remove the chicken so that it's not overcooked. When the pieces are cool, tear the chicken off the bones into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Put the bones back into the pot.
  • Simmer (don't boil) for at least another hour, the longer the better
  • Strain to remove all vegetables and bones from the broth
  • Skim the fat off the top
  • Return broth to the pot or dutch oven

To Make the Stew:
  • In another pan, saute 1.5-2 cups of onion with a dash of salt
  • Just before they're translucent, add 2-3 cloves of minced garlic and saute for another minute
  • Add onion and garlic mixture to the chicken broth
  • Add 1.5 pounds of potatoes, cubed into 1-inch pieces
  • Bring to boil
  • Add 1 teaspoon cumin and a dash of salt and pepper
  • Simmer for 1 hour
  • Add 2 cups of chopped green chile
  • Add 1/2 a red bell pepper, diced
  • Add 1 cup corn
  • Return the shredded chicken you set aside to the broth
  • Simmer for 20 minutes

Served with crusty bread and salad. YUM!

8 comments:

  1. As a Hatch-chile whore, I shall have to give this a go! I actually have hot Hatches crock-potting right now with pork shoulder!

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  2. I am starving right now- reading that recipe did not help. I can't wait to try it. Yum!

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  3. This looks delicious. And I'm really hungry already.

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  4. Not to make you more homesick, but http://thedallascookbook.blogspot.com/2009/09/september-santa-fe-siesta.html.

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  5. I just made this stew and it was stew-pendous (ping)! I usually make a pork dish, but felt like something different. My Google search turned up your site and recipe, I had a chicken in the freezer and that's what Mo cooked.

    However, instead of cumin, which can so easily overpower the green chile flavor, I used some dried green chile powder (from The Farm Basket). Of course, that was in addition to my freshly roasted New Mexico green chile from the 2009 crop.

    Thanks for the recipe. I'll be making this again.

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  6. I am originally from Albuquerque. I moved to the Dallas area and was looking for a good green chili stew like Golden Pride carries. This recipe looks great to try.....that being said...who in Dallas does the Hatch green chili roasting?!?!?! You made my day to read this!

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  7. Hey there SHulk -- during chile roasting season, they had big roasters out at Central Market and at Whole Foods. If you can still find some and don't need to roast a ton at once, you can always do it via your gas stove burner!

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  8. to make it really down home .. swap out the red russetts for sweet potatoes ..

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