I’m so ethnic. Fresh off some tacos de buche from Friday night, I was still in the mood for Mexican the next couple days. Since I don’t know where to get pig stomach, I settled for making the lowly chicken thigh. Kind of a sorry follow up. Fortunately, this dish turned out really good and if I do decide to venture down Federal Boulevard someday to find some pigs’ stomachs in some terrifying meat market, I think they will work well with this tinga.
This dish is also for my lovely friend Rachel, who was looking for some one-pot chicken dishes. I used two, but you could do it with one…and a bowl. She also wanted vegetables in it, and there aren’t a ton in here (sorry I’m falling short), but you could add green or red peppers, summer squash, winter squash, or whatever. I probably should have used pumpkin instead of potatoes because I have two sugar pumpkins sitting on my kitchen table, one of which is looking like it wants to get squishy kind of soon. I also have a Cinderella pumpkin on my front porch that I bought on super sale from Whole Foods that I should try roasting. It’s really, really big so it might be stringy? I don’t know, has anyone eaten one before?? What are they like?
Speaking of stomachs and such, I was in Boston last weekend and went to the inimitable Toro again with my besty Samantha. I was in town for the memorial service for my cousin, Elaine Campbell Lowe. Without wanting to really get into details, it was sad and awful and I’m not sure it’s even completely sunk in. I catch myself thinking about our weekend brunches that we’d have when I lived there and I think how it’d be nice to have them again if I ever move back. I guess I just have some memories frozen from before I moved away that still feel current. I ended my trip with an all-too-brief visit with Samantha, and at Toro we ate the disgustingly amazing marrow dish. Be on the lookout, I hope, for another recreation dish from there. Bone marrow with oxtail marmalade. The marmalade moniker seems a little cheap – it’s not marmalade, it’s braised meat with not a speck of citrus to be found, according to some recipes I’ve come across – but it was awesome and I want to try making it.
tinga de pollo y chorizo
adapted from a bunch of places, serves about 6
2 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, skin-on and bone-in
6 cups water or chicken broth
2 small yellow onions, quartered
2 teaspoons salt (if you’re using water, or if your broth is unsalted)
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 14-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
2 chipotle chiles, either canned or dried, more if desired
1 teaspoon oregano (preferably Mexican)
1/2 lb uncooked chorizo, casings removed or bought in bulk
1 lb russet potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1. In a large stock pot, add water/broth, chicken, 1 onion, and optional salt and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil covered for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit for another 10 minutes.
2. Transfer the chicken to a plate or cutting board and remove the skin and any big chunks of fat. Shred the meat from the bone, set aside. Discard skin and bones.
3. While the chicken is cooking, heat a well-seasoned cast iron pan over medium heat (or gack! a non-stick) and brown the other onion and garlic cloves for about 5 minutes, turning to brown all sides.
4. Transfer the browned onion and garlic (peel the skin off first) to a blender, along with the can of tomatoes, chipotles, and oregano. Blend until smooth.
5. In the stockpot with the remaining broth, add the potatoes and boil for about 10 minutes, until just getting tender. Scoop out 2 cups of broth with a measuring cup and then drain the rest of the broth from the pot (save for your next soup). Add back in the 2 cups to the potatoes.
6. In that same cast iron that you browned your aromatics, reheat over medium heat and add the chorizo to brown. Gently break it up a little bit – it’s nice to have somewhat larger chunks and not completely crumbled.
7. Reheat the big pot over medium and dump in the chorizo, chicken, and blended sauce. Stir and let simmer on low for 10 or more minutes, letting it get to a nice thick consistency.
Note: You can do this in a slow cooker with a few modifications. You’re probably still gonna want to brown the vegetables before puréeing. You could also brown the sausage if you want that extra bit of flavor, though it’s not necessary, depending on how much time you have.
So pour the blended sauce in the slow cooker, along with the chicken (remove the skins), sausage, potatoes, and 2-3 cups chicken broth. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for more. Shred the chicken before serving, and discard the bones.
Serve this with avocado slices, some queso añejo, cilantro, or whatever else you like.