Thursday, October 21, 2010

Santa Fe Green Chile Chicken Stew

Hatch Farms, Inc. Green Chile Enchilada Sauce, Med, 14-Ounce (Pack of 12)
I know that for those of you who haven't lived in the southwest as long as I have, this may not be a treat, but if you've lived in New Mexico for any time at all, you have probably become addicted to green chile.

It's a proven fact that the stuff is addictive! REALLY!

This is a very easy dish to make, warms you inside and out.  A real taste of good Southwestern "down home" cooking at its best.
"Almost heaven..."

We've recently moved away from NM, and while we've had a few friends make sure we don't run dry in the fresh/frozen green chile department, we do have to ration ourselves.  Tonight we're getting ready to make Santa Fe Green Chile Chicken Stew.

Start with raw chicken and veggies.  Save bits of stalks from other veggies, keep them in a big bag in the freezer and toss those in whenever you're making broth.  Really ups the vitamins!
You start with a pot of water and some chicken. This time we're using just breasts, but if I find a few whole chickens on sale, that'll work too.  Throw in some carrots, celery, onion (with the skins on to maximize favor and color), a little bay leaf and some pepper and start the cooking process.

Yep, you're going to throw away all those cooked vegetables because you've extracted all the yummy nutrients. This is a nice tricky way to get your kids to eat more nutritiously!
It really helps if you have a great stewpot like this one my hubby got for me. When I'm ready, I just pull up the handles of the strainer part, let it drain, and all the brothy goodness is still in the pan!  Great idea.

Pull the chicken off the bones.  You want to make sure you don't overcook the chicken.  Put the bones and skin back in the pot and cook for another hour or two. Be sure to refrigerate the chicken that you pulled off the bones until you're ready to put the stew together.

Once the chicken's cool, shred it and hold it in the fridge until you're ready to add the meat.
Here's what it looks like after the second simmer session.

Not lookin' beautiful yet, but the broth it has made is to die for!
Time to add the roasted green chile.

Anyone who has lived in New Mexico for any period of time recognizes this sight.  We buy BUSHELS of green chile and freeze them to use throughout the year!  This year we had some wonderful friends who supplied us with our yearly stash!

Taking the charred skin off...don't rinse all of this off as you want some of this roasted flavor!

If you're new to chile, you might want to wear gloves for this part.  Whatever you do, do NOT touch your eyes...or any other sensitive part of your body for that matter.

This seems like a lot of chile, but I'm making a BIG batch!
Make a roux of flour and butter, brown it just a little.

Melt butter for the roux, or you can use vegetable oil.

Add the flour, salt, and pepper...I think we added a little green chile powder too, it IS a bit of a strange color, but don't worry, it'll do the job just fine.

Add to the hot broth and whisk furiously until it returns to a boil.  This is lookin' pretty yummy!

Add the chicken meat back in.

Remember, you don't want to boil the chicken meat to death, otherwise it will be tough and tasteless.

Add the green chile that's been cleaned and chopped.

Warm up some tortillas and settle down for some down home New Mexican goodness.

15 seconds on each side on a hot griddle is all it takes.

Top with shredded cheese....or onion...

...or both!


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