Monday, December 18, 2006

Green Chili Chicken

Anyone else ready for the Winter Solstice?

Lately it seems that I would have to prepare all my dishes in the morning just to get decent photos that aren't tinged with yellow, that awful indication of fading daylight, or no daylight at all. (That being my disclaimer for this post's pics.) In just a few days from now, we can rejoice in the returning of the light and better photo ops.

Meantime, here's a simple, quick, lowcarb, weeknight dish that's perfect for these short, dark, cold days of winter and the over-indulgence the season can bring. I'm pretty sure I got this recipe many moons ago from the packaging surrounding a Foster Farms whole chicken. I've changed it of course.

Green Chili Chicken
adapted from Foster Farms(?)
1 4-5 pound young hen (chicken)
olive oil for the pot and the hen
4 teaspoons Fiesta Chili Powder (or other salt-free chili powder)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sweet onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup canned, whole green chiles, diced
1 cup organic veggie broth (chicken broth works well also)
2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup non-fat sour cream

Wash and dry the hen, tye the legs closed and drizzle the entire bird with a bit of olive oil.
Combine the chili powder and salt and rub it all over the hen.
In a cast iron dutch oven, heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat.
When the oil shimmers, add the hen and brown it well on all sides. Remove hen to a plate.
Lower the heat to medium, add the onions to the pot and saute until softened.
Add the diced garlic and chiles and cook about 2 minutes more.
Return the chicken to the pot and add the vegetable broth.
Cover the pot with a heavy lid, turn the heat to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes or until the juices of the chicken run clear when pierced with a knife.
Remove the chicken to a plate to rest, leaving the rest of the ingredients in the pot.
In a small bowl, mix the flour and water with a whisk until no lumps remain.
Over medium heat, whisk the flour mixture into the pot and cook until thickened, about 1 minute.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the sour cream, mixing well.
Carve the chicken, place on a warm plate and spoon the sauce over.

I served this with steamed broccoli for a truly low carb meal, but in the past I've added steamed rice to soak up all the yummy sauce.

Cook's Notes:
Unable to sleep a few nights ago, I found myself watching the Food Network and learned a clever way to "tie" chicken legs closed. I'm sure other great cooks already know about this but it was new to me.
Make a small slit, about 3/4-inch long in the thin skin that's below and to each side of the cavity. Grab the leg opposite from a slit, bring it across the cavity and push it through the slit. Grab the other leg and do the same, criss-crossing the already enclosed leg. No strings, no muss, no fuss. Clever!