Since I've blabbered on about TGRWT so many times before, if you don't know what it is, go HERE. This is not a competition, nor is it for chefs and professionals, so if you're ever inclined, jump in and give it a go.
This month's event was hosted by old time eG friend Docsconz. I say friend, but spirit guide is more accurate. He has guided me to so many amazing restaurants and culinary experiences that I owe much of my current success to him. Doc chose pumpkin and cooked chicken. I won't get into the mental anguish this led me through debating what cooking method (BBQ tastes very different from boiled), or chicken breed (Wal-Mart steroid chicken v. happy free-range clucker). I'll cut to the chase and say that leading into the holidays I just wanted to get this done in a proud, but easy manner.
The idea came to me immediately - this had to be a molé. Normally I do my TGRWTs very goofyish, but I enjoy making molés and my customers enjoy eating them. I started with chile negros that I brought back from Oaxaca. These were lightly toasted in a dry skillet then softened in boiling water for 30 minutes.
Next, I sautéed a half an onion and dried pumpkin seeds until softened.
That went in a blender with 2 cups of cooked pumpkin meat, a dash of clove and cinnamon, a T. of Valrhona cocoa, a nugget of dark muscovado, black pepper, a small pinch of oregano, and 4 C. of chicken broth. In a large stock I melted 2 T. of lard then strained the blender contents through a chinois and fried for about 10 minutes. I adjusted the broth to get the right consistency and let it simmer for two hours.
For the chicken, I wanted a pure "cooked chicken" taste so it was pressed and sous vide cooked unseasoned. I plated with a piñon tuile.
So the question is always, how well did they go together? This was a can't lose combination, so naturally they went great. I purposefully kept the pumpkin toned down so it didn't feel like a savory pumpkin pie, but that squashiness was very complementary to the chicken. For lunch the next day I took the scraps and threw them into a grilled pita with some goat cheese and had a very nice meal.
Swiss Alps Bakery – Albuquerque, New Mexico
5 days ago