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Moist, tender chicken with the rich, spicy flavors of the American Southwest. Don't be put off by the long directions, they're detailed for beginers. Experienced cooks will still enjoy both the flavor and the simplicity.
- 1 roasting chickens or 1 stew hen
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 garlic cloves, slivered
- 1 (16 ounce) jarmedium salsa (can substitute a can of tomatoes with green chilis or you can use mild or hot salsa according to you)
- 3 -4 leaves cilantro, . (optional ( I dislike cilantro myself. But its an important part of the southwestern flavor-set so I)
- Unpackage and prep a roasting chicken or stew hen (take off the plastic, remove the giblets and neck from inside (save for stock), look over the skin and pluck any feathers with a washed pair of needlenose pliers, singe off any pinfeathers with a grill lighter, drain excess liquid from the cavity).
- Set it into a small roaster or dutch oven that has a secure lid.
- Sprinkle half the cumin and half the garlic slivers over the chicken.
- Put the other half of the seasonings into the cavity.
- Put half the salsa into the cavity and pour half over the chicken.
- Cover and roast at 300 for 2-3 hours or at 250 for 3 hours. You can remove the lid for the last half hour or so to get better browning.
- The meat will be very tender -- falling off the bones (a stew hen may have more integrity depending on how tough it started before you tenderized it with the moist heat).
- Suggestion -- serve over rice. Pass shredded cheddar or jack cheese at the table. Cornbread is a good too.
- Suggestion -- For a vegetable I'd pick a salad of mixed greens or cucumbers in sour cream (cooling against the spices), or broccoli with cheese (strong enough a flavor to stand up and not be overwhelmed). Refried beans would be authentic -- my family doesn't like them much but yours might.
Recently I had the task of cleaning out the kitchen of an elderly relative who passed away. I was able to keep anything I wanted, and donate the rest to charity. One of the things I found, and kept, was a small old-fashioned covered roaster - the perfect size for a chicken. Then it was off to 'zaar to find recipies to put it to use. I'm so glad I found this recipe to use with the little roasting pan. The chicken was nicely flavored, not too spicy, and extremely tender. It made a wonderful Sunday night dinner with Southwest Stove-Top Scalloped Potatoes and a green salad. I look forward to trying your other pot-roasted chicken recipes.