Useful Tips

Cooking a romantic dinner: Mexican chicken


The life of mankind would be tasteless and absolutely fresh, if not for a unique chili pepper. In central Mexico - the homeland of the product - chili was grown another 8 thousand years ago! This plant from the nightshade family is considered one of the oldest plants on earth. Born in Central America, this unique culture has spread all over the world - it is grown industrially in some parts of Africa and Asia, and is eaten all over the world. Chile is an extremely diverse product. Mexican cuisine alone knows about 60 different types of chili. We, unfortunately, can get just a few species. Small, large, green and red, yellowish white and black, hellishly sharp or very delicate in taste, fresh or dried, whole or in powder - it's all about chili. In Mexico there is not a single bazaar wherever bags of chili stand. There are many varieties of chili - almost every Mexican state has its own species, or at least a name for it. The age and consistency of the pods are also often the reason for the appearance of a new name, and to understand all this splendor, experience and knowledge are simply necessary. For example, chabanero chili - damn hot pepper in the form of lanterns, it is usually used in salsa sauces. Chile pasilla of medium severity, fresh - dark brown, in dried - almost black. Chili peblanco look like small green paprika pods and are used for stuffing or for decorating dishes, if cut into strips. It may seem that the Mexicans complicate things too much. But this is not so. Products that are used in Mexico have been tested for centuries, and some, like chili, for millennia, so the Mexican had time to figure out which dish is best to put which pepper.

We can buy chili fresh, dried, and more often - in the form of powder, sauce or paste. When buying fresh chili, you should choose bright, crispy peppers without wrinkles. They can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 1 year. Such peppers, of course, will differ from fresh ones, but we do not have to choose in our climate. Where fresh chilli is required, Italian or Turkish can be used - they are usually not as spicy as in Mexico. If you need hot chili, you need to choose Asian varieties - for example, Indian hot chili. They are laid in soups, meat stews, marinades, pizza, pasta.

As already mentioned, there are a huge number of varieties of fresh chili. They are all spicy and spicy, but differ in shape, color and intensity of taste. As a rule, red peppers are sharper than green. The smaller and finer the chili, the sharper. The severity of chili depends on the amount of capsaicin, a substance found mainly in the seeds and partitions of pepper. This substance is so burning that it can burn the skin and eyes, so when preparing chili, especially in the absence of a certain degree of culinary skill, it is recommended to wear rubber gloves. If you need to soften the harsh taste of chili, you can remove the middle with the seeds. To make the smell of dried chili more intense, they can be fried. To do this, heat a heavy cast-iron frying pan, put chili there and flatten them with a spoon. When browned - turn over. However, it must be ensured that they are not burnt, otherwise a bitter aftertaste will appear.

I offer a recipe for one of the most famous sauces, peanut. Mexicans willingly eat it with grilled meat. It will take 3-4 ancho chili pods, a couple of pasilla chili pods, 2 cloves of garlic, a little less than 200 grams of unsalted peanut nuts, 2 tbsp. olive oil, one and a half glasses of chicken broth, salt, a little caraway seeds. So: in a pan, fry the dried chili, then remove the seeds and partitions from them and pour a glass of hot water. In a mixer, make mashed peanuts, garlic and soaked chili with water. Then heat the oil in a frying pan, put the mashed potatoes and simmer for several minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be diluted with chicken stock, salt and season with caraway seeds.

Chile is a real pillar of Mexican cuisine, and these peppers have something to love and respect. They are rich in vitamins A and C. Their use encourages the production of endorphins in the body, which boost the immune system, improve blood circulation, weaken pain and reduce stress. They say that a bald head even grows from chili, and it helps the lovers to find harmony in the relationship.

In preparing the program used the book "Culinary Journey: Mexico"

Chicken mole blanched. Ingredients

Mole Poblano - the famous Mexican thick and spicy chocolate sauce. In Mexico, meat with such sauce is necessarily served during celebrations such as weddings, christenings, Christmas. A romantic dinner with someone you love is also a good reason to cook this fragrant sauce full of passion, serving chicken under it. You will need:

- 8 chicken thighs, - 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, - 1 head of onion, - 1 green sweet bell pepper, - 1 pepper blanched, - 3 cloves of garlic, - 2 tablespoons of chili powder, - 2 teaspoons of ground cumin, - ½ a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, - 400 g of canned tomatoes in its own juice, - ¼ cup of golden raisins, - 1 cup of chicken stock, - 1 cup of dark beer, - 2 tablespoons of sugar, - 1 teaspoon of salt, - 70 g of dark chocolate , - 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.

The chili powder used in Mexican cuisine is actually a mixture of ground dried chili peppers with dried oregano and ground cumin

How to cook chicken mole blanc

Peel the onion and cut into small cubes. For bell peppers, remove the stalk, clean the seeds and lintels, rinse and dry the pod. Dice. Remove the husks from the garlic and pass the cloves through the press. Remove the peel from the chicken, rinse and dry the chicken on paper towels. Cut the pepper blanched in half and carefully clean the seeds, chop the pod.

Poblano - hot pepper. Green, unripe pods are softer than mature, red. Dried Poblano in Mexico called Chili Ancho

Heat vegetable oil in a deep frying pan until a slight haze. Fry the chicken until golden brown, using a slotted spoon or special silicone tongs, remove the thighs on a plate and cover with foil.

In the same pan, fry the onions, garlic, bell peppers and bell pepper. Fry, stirring, until the vegetables are slightly soft and slightly caramelized. Add chili powder, ground cumin and cinnamon, simmer another 3 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, raisins, chikolet pepper, chicken stock, beer, peanut butter, sugar and salt. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the sauce to a blender and grind it until smooth, add the chocolate broken into pieces.

Put the chicken in a pan, pour the sauce and simmer for about 40–45 minutes over low heat. The finished dish is served on a hill of fragrant friable rice, sprinkled with chopped parsley. Often, sour cream is served to the meat in the sauce in a sauce to soften its spicy, as well as Mexican tortillas.

Traditional chili powder

The reddish brown powder sold as chili powder is a mixture of spices that season chili and similar dishes. Dried Chillis is just one ingredient. Most traditional chili powders use powdered anchovy or jalapeno chilis as a base, then add cumin, oregano, garlic and salt. The type of chili used in chili powder determines how hot it will be.

Ancho chili powder

Ancho chili powder is a pure chili powder made only from dried chili peppers without the addition of other ingredients. Fresh blanched peppers are dried, creating a flat, wrinkled peach pepper. When finely chopped, the dried, reddish-brown peach nut produces a sweet, soft, slightly smoky seasoning. Ancho-chili powder is commonly used in authentic Mexican dishes such as tamales.

Chili heat

Chili peppers are designed to withstand the heat resistance they produce in accordance with Scoville Scale. Ancho peppers and the resulting ancho chili powder are very small on a scale, from just 1,000 to 2,000 Scoville heat units. This is just slightly above the standard green bell pepper, rated at zero on the Scoville scale. Jalapeno peppers, on the other hand, usually range from 2,500 to 5,000 units and spicy Cayenne or Tabasco peppers in the range from 30,000 to 50,000 units - a significant difference.

If you are cooking your favorite Mexican dish and don’t have chili powder, do not use just any chili powder you have without carefully looking at the label. Chili powder made from pure ground pasilla or Coronado pepper is the closest in terms of warmth and aroma to ancho chili powder. If you only have mixed chili powder based on jalapenos or other peppers that are significantly hotter than ancho peppers, use a much smaller amount to avoid too hot dishes than required in the recipe.