My classes that I am taking to earn a Bachelors Degree in Holistic Nutrition focus on choosing foods that are locally available in the present season or that you have canned, frozen, dehydrated or stored in a root cellar from last summer's garden bounty. Before I began my college classes, I was inspired by Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. In the book, Barbara and her family vowed that, " for one year, they'd only buy food raised in their own neighborhood (within the county, if I recall), grow it themselves, or learn to live without it." The book includes meal plans and recipes for each season's crops. This recipe would be perfect for summertime's fresh harvest, but it is also appropriate for wintertime fare if you had canned tomatoes, frozen sweet corn and zucchini, and overwintered onions from last year's garden. My goal this winter is to gather recipes and organize them by seasonal availability of ingredients so that I can become more in sync with the natural cycle of eating.
Chicken Recuerdos De Tucson
1 whole cut-up free-range chicken, or thighs and legs (I used breast because it was unthawed.)
1 medium onion, sliced (I chopped it.)
2 red or green peppers, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin seed (I used 1 tsp ground cumin since I didn’t have seed. It worked fine.)
Green chiles to taste, chopped (I omitted.)
1 large or 2 medium zucchini or other squash, thickly sliced
1 cup tomatoes fresh, frozen, canned, or ½ cup dehydrated, depending on season
2 cups corn kernels
2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp dried basil
2 cups chicken broth or stock
Add a little olive oil to a large kettle (soup pot). Brown chicken (until you get some nice caramelization going on). Remove chicken and sauté the onion and green pepper, adding garlic toward the end. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes, until chicken is done to the bone. Garnish with fresh cilantro. I omitted it, but the author cautioned that the dish will lose its southwestern flavor.