Since moving to Berkeley from San Francisco three months ago, I’d been living in a small apartment with no kitchen. Suffice it to say, it was difficult for me to cook every night for dinner.
But two days ago, my partner and I moved into a new apartment with a large kitchen and I wanted to commemorate it. So I dusted off all my kitchen tools and set forth making one of my favorite meals to celebrate the occasion: salsa-braised chicken.
This dish is one of those that seems too simple to be good. It only has five ingredients (excluding salt, of course), and is ready in less than an hour and a half.
The concept is to make a fresh Mexican-flavored salsa (I use chipotle chiles and tomatillos), thin it with liquid (in this case, chicken stock) so it’s very loose and pourable, pour it over chicken and let the oven do the work. What you get in the end is a reduced salsa and chicken juice liquid surrounding perfectly cooked chicken with a crisp skin on top.
Serve the chicken with rice and some pinto beans, and you’re looking at one of the most economically satisfying dishes around.
To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.
6 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1 pound tomatillos, peeled, rinsed, and dried
8 chicken pieces, combined drumsticks, thighs and breasts (cut in half)
- Place chipotle chiles, stock and salt in a large food processor.
- Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add garlic cloves; let sit until blackened and blistered, and then shake the pan to redistribute the garlic. Cook until blackened all over, about 6 minutes; transfer to food processor.
- Return skillet to heat and add tomatillos; cook until blackened all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer to food processor and process until very smooth, at least 1 minute.
- Heat oven to 425°F. Arrange chicken, skin-side up, in a 9- x 13-inch baking dish or pan and pour the salsa over and around the chicken. Bake, uncovered, until chicken is tender and done, about 1 hour. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Note: To test for doneness, use a small knife to prick thickest piece of chicken in the thickest part. Juices that come to the surface should be clear; not pink.
Special Fork is a recipe website for your smartphone and PC that solves the daily dinnertime dilemma: what to cook now! Our bloggers blog Monday through Friday to give you cooking inspiration. Check out our recipe database for quick ideas that take no more than 30 minutes of prep time. Follow us on Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.