Crockpot Chicken Tinga

I found some important info about adobo sauce, which I think has helped. Also, this is the crockpot-adapted version, no other cooking vessel got dirtied. We’ll see. Of course I neglected to make notes of the intermediate experiment which worked so well; we’ll see how this crockpot-specific version goes.

Ingredients:

  • 2T olive oil
  • 4 yellow onions, minced
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 pounds chicken (frozen in big chunks)
  • 2T powdered ancho chile
  • 1t freshly ground black pepper
  • 2T cumin seeds
  • 1/8t ground cloves
  • 2T apple cider vinegar
  • 4T oregano
  • Couple of good pinches of salt
  • 4 cups chicken stock (bouillon)

Directions:

Place onions and garlic at bottom of crockpot. Add all seasonings, and layer the chicken pieces on top of that. Pour boiling water over this to cover.

Cover the crockpot and set on high.

When done, shred chicken with forks. Probably add flour or masa to thicken.

Pancakes

I make a run at pancakes every now and then for the last few decades. This latest one has come up with a version that meets my requirements (which aren’t entirely mainstream), is so simple I do it from memory, and reheats well.

I don’t like “fluffy” pancakes; this recipe came from increasing the egg and milk and decreasing the baking powder in a standard recipe. It’s not much like French crepes, but it’s less fluffy, thinner, a bit chewier than basic American pancakes.

A single recipe is plenty for one person plus some leftovers, or two people who aren’t big eaters (or who are having the pancakes as part of a bigger breakfast).  And it multiplies easily; a double recipe is two big breakfasts plus some leftovers. By the way, in addition to the microwave, the leftovers can also be heated in a toaster.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk (I use 2%)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbs. butter (melted)

Method

Dump all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a whisk. Don’t beat to complete smoothness.

Doesn’t hurt to let sit a short while before baking (on a griddle). I use about ¼ cup per pancake, but any of a wide range of sizes work fine.

I cook these on a non-stick aluminum griddle across two stovetop burners. I set the burners at about 4 and 3 on a scale of 10, whatever that means. Between the non-stick  griddle and all the butter in the recipe, I don’t use any oil on the griddle.

So, the usual pancake thing; wait for bubbles to get quite common, some open, then flip the pancake.  Cook a little less time on the second side, and don’t expect it to look the same when done.

Variations

Leaving the sugar out has no effect that I can see. Leaving the butter out has essentially no effect that I can see.  Leaving both the butter and sugar out causes them not to brown much (and that’s why I leave the sugar in the recipe).

The quantity of butter is highly variable; I’ve doubled the recipe and not doubled the butter, and I see little effect. I’ve omitted the butter by mistake and had the pancakes come out tasting fine (though not browned; I didn’t have sugar in that batch either). In double batches I rarely put in 6 entire tablespoons of butter, it just feels excessive.

I haven’t experimented this time around, but I would be nearly certain that substituting oil for the melted butter would work fine.

Spatchcocked! (What a weird word)

Instructional videos are such a mixed bag. Setting aside the people who don’t know as much as they think they do, and the people who can’t write their way out of a wet paper bag (because those are problems with text instructions also), the basic problem with video is that it moves at the rate chosen by the producer. (Yes, I have software to play videos at multiple times that, but not everybody does.)
 
However, some things involving physical manipulation are much easier to learn when you can see it being done (for many learners; we vary).
 
Here, for example, is Alton Brown showing how little you actually have to do to “butterfly” (or “spatchcock”; where the heck does that come from? Apparently Ireland, then Anglo-Indian, and the OED dates it to 1785) a turkey. This lets you cook a turkey in less time (the video begins by geekily making the argument that he needs to double the surface area to cook it in the time he wants), less space (especially, less tall space), and also it lets you put a much bigger pan of stuffing under it to collect the drippings (he uses vegetables, silly man).
 
And he does it in under 3.5 minutes. (The fact that it’s well-produced also helps of course.)
WARNING: the Food Network’s ads come in hugely louder than the actual video, and hugely too loud, so be prepared to be blasted when you click “play” there!