Chicken Simmered in Vinegar
and Mexican Menudo Spices
by Kate Heyhoe
The spices in this dish are known as "Menudo Spices," and typically flavor the famous tripe stew of Mexico, but can be used to season all sorts of other foods. Look for Menudo Mix, a blend of oregano, chiles and other spices wherever Latin or Mexican foods are sold. In most supermarkets, you can find it in cellophane packets in a rack along with other Latin seasonings.
The vinegar in this dish adds a refreshing tang, similar to the traditional "escabeche" dishes of Mexican cooking. Serve the chicken breasts whole or shred them into tortillas or salads, and reserve the broth for flavoring or as a soup or stew base. The chicken tastes as good cold as it does hot.
3 to 4 chicken breasts on bone (about 3 pounds)
1 carrot, in 1-inch pieces
1 rib of celery, in 1-inch pieces
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 (14.5 ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup white vinegar
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tablespoon Menudo Mix, crushed
1 teaspoon fruity olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1-1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste
Place the chicken breasts in a pot just large enough to hold them. Add all other ingredients and enough water to cover (about 1-1/2 cups). Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered, 1 hour.
Refrigerate. When the fat has solidified, skim it off and discard. (If serving immediately, skip the refrigeration and just skim the liquid fat off.) Place the pot over low heat just long enough to melt the gelled broth and take the chill off the meat. Discard the bay leaves. Remove the chicken and serve at room temperature, shredded or sliced, moistened with the sauce. If desired, serve the chicken with the cooked onions and vegetables. When strained, the broth itself makes a tangy cold or hot soup or a stew base.
Serve the shredded meat and vegetables in Mexican bolillos or crusty French rolls with sliced jalapeño pepper. Or, let your guests roll the moist shredded meat and vegetables into warm flour tortillas, garnished with chopped cilantro and crisp lettuce. If desired, the cooking liquid can be reduced to a thicker sauce.
Kate's Global Kitchen
Kate's Global Kitchen for October, 2001:
10/06/01 Black Magic Month: Halloween Count-Down
10/13/01 Tropical Fruits: Beauty That's More Than Skin Deep
10/20/01 Monkeying with Menudo Mix
10/27/01 Comfort Food File: Mac 'n' Cheese Makeovers
Copyright © 2001, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created October 2001