Monday, April 29, 2013

Tequila + Chicken + Citrus Juices + Spices = Dinner

Today was one of those one pot kind of days.   Early this morning I had an inkling of what I was making for dinner.  I intended to have everything in the crock pot by 9 so the house would be filled with smells of deliciousness from about mid day through the evening.  As usual when I try to organize in advance things it usually goes awry.  What is the old saying?  "Want to make God laugh?  Then make a plan." Well I planned, and at about 4:00 this afternoon, I punted.

I had every intention of trying my hand at creating a chili lime chicken that was going to slow cook all day. (While I ate bon-bons and watched soap operas?)  The only thing I remember about how the day turned upside down was when I realized I had no limes.  No problem there, right?  After all The Pig is just about mile and a half down a perfectly straight road from my house.  It was just a matter of getting ready quickly and a quick run to the store.

Except, before I got dressed, I  went in the closet to see what I would wear when I saw about 5 sweaters I had not put up for the summer. ( I envy anyone who has a closet big enough to hold every single item they wear.  I have to adjust seasonally removing one  and putting in another) Well I folded all the sweaters and put them in a basket when I remembered I had not changed over the shoes I store in a shoe bag under the bed.  So I changed winter for spring/summer then noticed an earring that had fallen on the floor when I was trying on a sweater trying to decide if I was going to keep it or send it to Goodwill.  And then I straightened out my jewelry.  And then...

And then it was 4 pm and I still had no limes, so I ran out to The Pig and picked up a couple of limes, saw a jalapeno and thought it might be a tasty addition to the dish too.  By 4:10 I was back at home and grabbed my trusty fake Le Creuset  ( Does anyone actually pay $275 dollars for a pan when you can buy a knock off for $39 and it cooks the same?)

After looking through all the spirits I found I had no tequila ( Probably because no one here ever drinks it, but I usually have some cheap tequila. It comes in a bottle that reminds me of Vitalis.  I use it only for cooking and must have forgotten to replace it.

 I quickly browned a whole fryer in a couple of spoons of oil, coarsely chopped an onion, minced the jalapeno, and smashed 3 cloves of garlic and wilted them in the pan.  Slapped the lid  on it and turned it off the drove to the package store to grab another cheap tequila.  ( The best thing about enamel clad cast iron is that it retains heat and "continues cooking" even when the heat is off.  This was kind of critical today)   45 minutes later I was back with the tequila, a box of granola and a "pillow top" mattress pad.
 ( I am pretty sure I have mentioned before how easily distracted I am)

Long story short, after turning the stove on high, adding the citrus juices and a bit of tequila along with an ample sprinkling of spices, dinner was ready in about 15 minutes  I put the remaining asparagus spears directly on the chicken and let it steam for a few minutes, warmed leftover egg noodles and tossed some lettuce and tomatoes with a wine vinegar dressing and we were ready to eat.

                                                 Chili Lime Chicken

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole chicken fryer, washed and the inside cavity salted
1 jalapeno minced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 onion coarsely chopped
juice of 2 small limes
juice of 1small orange ( Optional but I had it and used it and the orange flavor was a nice addition)
1/2 cup tequila ( Use your own judgement about how "good" to buy.  I use the cheap stuff)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Mexican Hot Chili powder ( Optional, we like heat)
1 teaspoon dried cilantro ( fresh if you have it)
1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Heat the olive oil in  a pan and brown the chicken, whole.  Put the vegetables in the pan to wilt.  Now this is what I intended to do.  Transfer the chicken to a crock pot and put the wilted vegetables around the bottom of the crock.  Deglaze the pan with the citrus juices stirring to loosen any browned bits.  Add  the tequila and stir to mix.  Pour evenly over the chicken.  Mix all the spices together and sprinkle over every chicken surface that is visible.  Put the top on the slow cooker and cook on low for about 7 hours or high for 4 hours.  How much simpler life would have been if I had just gone to the store early. I could have come home, started the chicken and then been distracted all day, no harm and well done fowl!

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