My first day back in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, after a six-week Durham, North Carolina hiatus. I had to drive La Tuga, my 2004 Honda Element to Tlacolula for clutch repair, so I handed 200 pesos (the equivalent of $11 USD) to Federico and asked him to pick up a few things for me at the village market. My cupboards (and refrigerator) were bare.
I specified only a bit of chicken, some fruit and veggies. He returned with four carrots, four Ataulfo mangoes — now in season, two onions, one orange pepsicum, four red apples, four chayote squash and some limes. The key seemed to be the number four. Oh, yes, two chicken drumsticks and two thighs equal four.
So, I give you Sweet-Savory Orange Chicken with Mango and Carrots.
Utensils: four-quart, oven-proof clay baker or stainless steel pot, paring knife, utility knife, large spoon. You might want to use a slow cooker/crock pot. That would work, too.
- 2 chicken thighs and 2 chicken drumsticks, skinned
- 2 teaspoons salt and fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
- 3 carrots, cleaned and peeled, sliced 1/4 inch thickness
- 1 white onion, large diced
- 2 Ataulfo mangoes, cut as shown in photo
- 2 red apples, skinned, sliced thin
- 1 orange pepsicum (sweet pepper), diced
- 1 very small mild red chili pepper, seeded and stemmed
- 4 cups water
Combine all ingredients. Put pot on top of heat diffuser. Cook on slow simmer for two-to-three hours. Serve first course as a consomme/chicken broth. Serve second course of chicken with mango/carrot melange over steamed rice, accompanied by fresh steamed chayote or zucchini squash.
I bet you could make this in a crock pot, too.
Serves two to four, depending on appetites.
Some years ago, many, in fact, I owned a gourmet cooking school and cookware shop in South Bend, Indiana. It was called Clay Kitchen. I contracted with famous chefs from around the world to teach, and taught a few classes myself. My preference, still, is to see what ingredients I have at hand and make something up. This one, today, tastes pretty darn good and you should smell my kitchen!
Clay Kitchen, Inc. is a memory. We were in business for just under five years during one of the roughest financial downturns of the early 80’s when interest rates on inventory climbed to over 20 percent. Pre-internet, a Google search only comes up with our Indiana corporation registration and dissolution. There is no other documentation.
My business partner then remains an important friend now. We modeled ourselves after Dean & DeLuca in NYC and aspired to greatness. When we closed, we cried and moved on.
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