Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day 8

Straight out of college, my husband got a job in New Mexico.  So we packed up our one bedroom apartment, VW Bug, and two cats and made the cross country trip.  Thus began my love affair with New Mexico Green Chiles. 

As you can probably tell by the name, green chilies are a big deal in New Mexico.  As well they should be.  They are a mild(ish) green pepper that is often smoked before being eaten.  You can find them in and on everything in New Mexico.  From green chile burgers, to chile relleno, I've even had them in fettuccine alfredo (by the way, aaah-mazing!).  But one of the best applications for the green chile, is chile stew.
This was our dinner for Day 8:
Green Chile Stew
This will make a large pot of stew
1 whole stewed chicken (yes, we actually spent the day stewing a chicken.  If you want to be lazy fast, buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store) picked apart
4 medium sized potatoes diced
2-3 quarts good quality chicken stock (The amount of stock needed is really dependent on how much chicken, chiles, and potatoes you use)
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes
12 green chiles, roasted and skins peeled off (if absolutely neccessary, and I mean a dire situation, you can sub in a large can of whole green chiles, but really try to go with the fresh ones... I do believe it makes a difference!)
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup of white wine
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Set a large stew pot over medium heat and add oil.
Once oil is hot add diced onions and cook until softened (3-4 minutes stirring often)
Deglaze pan with white wine, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
Add stock, potatoes, tomatoes, chicken and chiles (if need-be, add more stock so the soup is a consistency to your liking).
Bring up to a boil.  
Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar, and turn heat to low.
Simmer for an hour.  
You can garnish this with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, or can be eaten as is.  Makes really lovely leftovers, because somethings just get better with time.

*How to roast a green chile*
Pick large, firm chiles and wash well.
Pick a heat source:
Gas stove-top burner
BBQ (charcoal or gas)
Heat peppers, turning frequently, until the skins are charred and blistering 
(char = flavor  don't be afraid to really burn the skins)!
Place in a bowl and cover with a wet towel.  
Let stand for 15 minutes.  
Cut the tops and peel the skins, they will now slip right off.  You can use these directly, within a few days, or freeze (If freezing, leave skins on until you are ready to use them.  Pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds and proceed with the cutting and skinning). 

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