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Month: September 2010

White Chicken Chili

3 pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves, trimmed of excess fat and skin
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 medium jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and rough chopped
3 medium poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into large pieces
3 medium Anaheim chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into large pieces
2 medium onions, cut into large pieces (2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup white corn **optional**
6 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 cup white wine **optional**
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons lime juice (2-3 limes)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
4 scallions, white and light green parts sliced thin

Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook without moving until skin is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken and lightly brown on other side, about 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate; remove and discard skin.

In food processor, process half of jalapenos chiles, poblano chiles, Anaheim chiles, and onions until consistency of chunky salsa, ten to twelve one-second pulses, scraping down sides of work bowl halfway through. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Repeat with remaining jalapenos, poblanos, Anaheims and onions; combine with first batch (do not wash food processor blade or work bowl).

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from Dutch oven (adding additional vegetable oil if necessary) and reduce heat to medium. Add chile-onion mixture, red bell pepper, corn, garlic, cumin, coriander and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables turn translucent, about 8 minutes. Add white wine and cook for2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Transfer 1 cup cooked vegetable mixture to now empty food processor work bowl. Add 1 cup beans and 1 cup broth and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add vegetable-bean puree, remaining 2 cups of broth and chicken breasts to Dutch oven and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until chicken registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer chicken to large plate. Stir in remaining beans and continue to simmer, uncovered, until beans are heated through and chili has thickened slightly (about 10 minutes).

When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-size pieces, discarding bones. Stir shredded chicken, lime juice, cilantro, and scallions into chili and return to simmer. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and serve with sour cream, tortilla chips, and lime wedges.

Seared Duck Breast with Cherries and Port Sauce

12-to 16-ounce duck breast half, cut into equal halves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) chilled butter, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot (about 1 large)
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
8 halved pitted sweet red cherries, fresh or frozen, thawed
2 tablespoons tawny Port
1 tablespoon orange blossom honey
1/4 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
pinch ground clove
salt and pepper, to taste

Place duck breast halves between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Pound lightly to even thickness (about 1/2 to 3/4 inch). Discard plastic wrap. Using sharp knife, score skin in 3/4-inch diamond pattern (do not cut into flesh).  Pat dry and set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle duck with salt and pepper. Add duck, skin side down, to skillet and cook until skin is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn duck breasts over, reduce heat to medium, and cook until browned and cooked to desired doneness, about 6-8 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer to work surface, tent with foil to keep warm, and let rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from skillet. Add shallot to skillet and stir over medium heat 30 seconds. Add broth, cherries, Port, honey, thyme, and clove. Increase heat to high and boil until sauce is reduced to glaze, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Whisk in 1 tablespoon cold butter. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Thinly slice duck. Fan slices out on plates. Spoon sauce over and serve.


1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
8 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 boneless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups sliced okra (about 8 ounces)
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Sliced scallions, for garnish
Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

Heat oil in a large, wide, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until it is hot and shimmers, about 3 minutes. Slowly sprinkle flour into the pot, stirring constantly with a wire whisk to prevent any lumps from forming. Cook, stirring constantly (and taking care to scrape out the corners of the pot), until roux is dark brown (it should resemble melted chocolate), about 25 to 30 minutes.  Set aside and keep warm.

Over medium-high heat in a dutch oven or other large pot, brown the sausage for about 8-10 minutes.   Remove from pot and set aside.  Add onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay and the rest of the herbs & spices.  Cook until vegetables soften slightly, about 5 minutes.  Add in check and cook 4 minutes.  Add diced tomatoes, cook 1 minute.

Slowly stir in reserved chicken broth, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a boil, then stir in okra and andouille. Slowly pour in darkened roux and stir to mix thoroughly.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover pan, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Taste gumbo to check for seasoning. If necessary, add more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve over cooked white rice or with french bread, topped with scallions and parsley.