Prep 1 hr 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
While surfing for a roasted tomato salsa to use some cheap, early season small tomatoes, I wound up developing my findings into the following Mexican Spiced Chicken Cacciatore (hats off to BrynMyrtle whose Turkey Chipotle Cacciatore is what sent me in this direction). Also, it requires a bit of work, so make a lot to have leftovers!!!
- 10 chicken leg quarters
- 3 tablespoons oil, for browning if you choose
- 12 small tomatoes, any type will work
- 3 medium onions, peeled and cut across the 'equator'
- 2 fresh jalapenos
- 1⁄4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried cilantro or 1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 dried chipotle chile, minced
- 1⁄2 cup pumpkin seeds, roasted and salted (the interior green part, not the big white ones)
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce (or 1/2 liter)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1/2 a lemon is sufficient)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
- Place tomatoes, onions and jalapenos on a cookie sheet and broil about 4 inches from the heat source until tomatoes and jalapenos are blistered and blackened (but not rip-roaring 'burnt'). Turn them over, to roast the other side. The onions should take about twice as long as the peppers and tomatoes to blacken, they don't need to be turned (IMHO).
- Remove vegetables from oven and set aside to cool. Readjust oven to bake at 350°F.
- In a medium sized bowl mix all ingredients EXCEPT about 3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds and chicken. Dice roasted vegetables as best you can (the tomatoes are especially mushy) and add to the sauce in the bowl. Set aside to let the flavors develop.
- Prepare chicken by either boiling it in a large container for about 15 minutes (I did this with mine because it was frozen) OR by browning it in oil in a frying pan.
- Remove chicken and cram into a 9x13 pan. It will be a tight fit, but it will also keep the chicken mostly submerged in the sauce.
- Taste sauce to adjust seasonings (making it hotter, saltier, whatever).
- Pour sauce over chicken, adjusting pieces to 'coat'.
- Place in oven and bake until chicken is tender and beginning to fall off the bones, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Check periodically to make sure the dish doesn't brown over much.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with reserved pumpkin seeds. Serve with brown rice. To add in those essential vegetables, I chop up fresh spinach and layer it between the rice and the chicken on the plate.
- To add more veggies, you could include carrots, zucchini, raisin and/or olives in the sauce.