After squirreling throughout links from a particular email my friend Marion sent me, I ended up at this recipe: Chicken with Tamarind, Apricots, and Chipotle Sauce on Pati's Mexican Table. Thanks, Marion, for introducing me to Pati. Rosie, as usual, will take a perfectly lovely recipe from a professional, well-seasoned chef and drag it down to my level, kicking and screaming all the way - the recipe, not me. I do this ... because I can. Naturally, I made "adjustments."Here's Pati's recipe: CHICKEN WITH TAMARIND, APRICOTS AND CHIPOTLE SAUCE Serves 8 INGREDIENTS 1 whole chicken cut into pieces, plus two more pieces of your choice, with skin and bones 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or more to taste 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste 1/2 cup safflower or corn oil 4 cups water 1/2 pound, about 3/4 cup, dried apricots, roughly chopped 2 tablespoons apricot preserves 3/4 cup tamarind concentrate, can be store bought or homemade (recipe follows) or substitute with 2 tbsp tamarind paste mixed with 1 tbsp sugar and 3/4 cup water 2 tablespoons chipotles in adobo sauce, or more to taste, add chiles if you please TO PREPARE Thoroughly rinse chicken pieces with cold water and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a deep extended skillet, heat oil over medium heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add chicken pieces in one layer, bring heat to medium-low, and slowly brown the chicken pieces for one hour. Turn them over every once in a while, so they will brown evenly on all sides. Pour water over the chicken, raise the heat to medium-high, and bring it to a simmer. Incorporate the apricots, apricot preserve, tamarind concentrate, chipotle sauce and salt and stir, and keep it at a medium simmer for 35 to 40 minutes more. You may need to bring down the heat to medium. The sauce should have thickened considerably as to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Taste for salt and heat and add more salt or chipotle sauce to you liking.
Pour boiling water over the tamarind pulp to cover. Cover with lid. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
Pati uses a whole chicken plus parts. There are only 2 of us here, so I'm just using a few parts. I'd bought a whole chicken chopped up for $0.99/pound at the Teeter. Rinse off pieces and blot with paper towels. Grind up some salt and pepper. I only used half the pieces of that chicken and saved the rest for something later. That something later will be Mr. Hawthorne's Smoked Chicken Parts in a salad.
Mr. Hawthorne is playing with his new toy he bought me for my birthday in January. Testing the oil. You want it at 350 degrees.
Pati uses safflower or corn oil. I used canola. Pati used 1/2 cup of oil. I used much less. My pan is over medium heat and I put the breast in first and cooked that for a while before I added the smaller pieces in. Rosie Tip # 498: Whenever adding meat to hot oil, put it in the oil and LEAVE IT ALONE. Don't go poking at it and moving it. If you try to move it now, the meat will stick to the pan and tear. Wait a few minutes, then go turn the meat. It will release itself.
Keep turning to brown the meat all over. I cooked mine about 45 minutes; At this point, I drained the oil out, although Pati didn't mention this step. She went straight to adding water. Let's go back to the tamarinds now. In case you're wondering about tamarinds, they offer a sweet and sour flavor to your dish. I just found a couple of recipes I want to try for Sweet Tamarind Chutney and Tamarind Salsa.
Here are my lovely tamarinds which have been bathing in hot water for about an hour. What did you say? They look like what?
Pati uses chipotles in adobo sauce. I had none, so I'm using sweet yellow, orange, red, and green peppers. And I've got some dried apricots up there.
I'm getting my ingredients together: tamarind pulp and juice chopped peppers chopped dried apricots apricot preserves cooked chicken pieces drained and blotted dry
I was pleasantly surprised with this. Sweet. Sour. Smoky. Juicy. Tender. Different. And I like different.
Rice by Mr. Hawthorne. Don't you like my little rice mold? I happened to like this so much that I wanted it for lunch the next day.
I melted some butter in my skillet, added in the carrots. Medium high. Saute about 1 1/2 minutes ...
Parsley from my yard. Scallion and chives from pots on the deck. I planted the seeds late last summer, right before we left on our trip. We had fresh scallions and chives when we got back in November and they've overwintered very nicely.