Emily Bayless Project #43-Pollo en Escabeche de Cebollas Caramelizadas, Zanahorias y Jalapeños:

I have a list of things I want to do. One of them is to cook every recipe in a cookbook so I’m working my way through Rick Bayless’ Everyday Mexican. I’ve eaten a lot of good stuff. This series is the record of those adventures.

 

Okay everybody, I have been WAITING anxiously to share this recipe with you! I really wish I could magically transport everybody to my house and then use my magic money and imaginary time-producing machine and robotic Emily clones to cook this for each and every one of you because it was that good.

Pollo en Escabeche de Cebollas Caramelizadas, Zanahorias y Jalapeños: Chicken in Tangy Escabeche of Caramelized Onions, Carrots and Jalapeños

 

Also it's yet another lesson about open-mindedness. I did not want to make this recipe. I do not like pickled stuff or all-spice, both of which are featured prominently in this recipe. I do however like my friend Dahlia who is currently giving up multiple weekends to the deck project and when she marked this recipe as one to eat, I said "Your wish is my command." Plus, I had to do it anyways because that's the point of a cookbook project, duh. So I cooked it and oh holy mole. <----See what I did there with the mole/moly!

This was so good! I honestly don't remember anything about making it except that I caramelized onions. I always remember the onions because I love them and also it is the title of the recipe. And since I am also detailing all sorts of unnecessary stuff I should also tell you that when I cook anything our extractor fan drags the smell out of the kitchen, underneath the house and then spits it out in the backyard where the new deck will be. So while I cook, the smell is actually blown directly into the faces of my deck builders. Strangely this fills them with jealous rage until they figure out that the food they smell is destined for their bellies. This happens every week: I guess deck building affects one's short term memory.

Back to the food though, right? Okay, so there are sweet onions and perfectly tender chicken seared with a spicy crust. Add to that a warmth from the jalapeños, tang from the pickling juice, sweetness from the carrots and so-fresh-and-so-clean cilantro and you will begin to understand this dish's greatness.

In addition to the combination of flavors the secret is how the chicken is cooked. First you sear it and then you put a lid on the pot and it steams. That way you get the crispy and the tender. Genius, yes?  I served this to seven people including my Mom and Grandma and we actually ate it so fast that I didn't realize till we were almost done that I hadn't shot a picture for the blog.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I screamed, not at all melodramatically. I was about to start banging my head on the kitchen table when Dahlia level-headedly pointed out there was still one serving left. "It won't wooooooork Dahl, this dish is weird looking, there is NO WAY to make it look appetizing." At which point Dahl kind of gave up on the pep-talk and instead got to work plating the dish.

She did a good job plating because as I was shooting the picture I was suddenly seized with the idea that I needed to eat more and just as I was thinking that, Emily(not me the other one) said "I think I'm going to eat some more." To which I replied "Of course you do, all smart Emily's would."

Posted on June 8, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.