Serving
(click to enlarge)

Chicken Motul
Mexico, Yucatán
  -   Pollo de Motul
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4
***
2 hrs  
Yes
No, it's not about French motor oil. The city of Motul was the seat of a late period Mayan ruling family. This dish is intensely flavored and should be served with a mild rice dish or similar. The chicken is traditionally shredded for this dish, but see Note-1.



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4
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3
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1
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1
6
1/2
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c
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c
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Chicken Meat (1)
-- Marinade
Ancho Chili (2)
Allspice Berries
Cumin seed
Oregano, dried (3)
Onion
Bitter Orange Juice (4)  
Salt
-- Sauce
Tomatillos (5)
Serrano Chili (6)
Salt
Oil
-- Garnish
Peas, frozen
Ham, diced (opt)
Queso Asadero (7)
Prep   -   (6+ hrs - 15 min work)
  1. Cut Chicken into pieces about 1-1/2 inch on a side, or as you prefer, but not too small.
  2. Pull out stem and core of Chili Ancho. Place it in a heatproof bowl and pour over boiling hot water. Let soak for 20 minutes or more. Discard water and tear into pieces.
  3. Grind Allspice and Cumin to powder. Chop ONION medium. Squeeze Bitter Orange Juice.
  4. Place all Marinade items in a mini-prep food processor and run until you have a smooth paste.
  5. Mix Marinade with Chicken until evenly covered. Marinate overnight or at least 5 hours in the fridge.
  6. Pull the husks off the TOMATILLOS. Place them in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer about 12 minutes. Drain.
  7. Blast Chilis Serranos black with your propane torch and brush off the skins. Stem them and chop medium.
  8. Place Tomatillos, Serranos and Salt in a food processor (a mini-prep is fine) and run until smooth. Set aside.
  9. Dice Ham small (if used). Set aside.
  10. Dice Cheese small for garnish.
Run   -   (40 min)
  1. Place Chicken and Marinade in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, cover tightly and simmer slowly for about 25 minutes or until chicken is tender.
  2. When chicken is nearing done, place Peas and Ham (if used) in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then turn of the heat.
  3. in a small sauté pan, heat Oil. Fry Tomatillo purée for about 5 minutes. Keep warm.
  4. Place Chicken on a deep serving platter along with a small amount of the liquid. Pour the Tomatillo Sauce over. Drain the Peas mix and scatter over the top. Garnish with the Cheese (it will melt)
NOTES:
  1. Chicken:   Weight is for skinless boneless leg and thigh meat with excess fat removed. Traditionally, the chicken is cooked, then shredded before applying sauce. The writer of the pattern recipe prefers to use whole chicken quarters, but I find chunks much more practical for serving and closer to traditional.
  2. Chilis Ancho:   These are dried Poblanos, triangular and nearly black. They are available in any market that serves a Mexican community. For details see our Chili Page.
  3. Oregano:   Properly, this should be Mexican Oregano (Lippia graveolens), leaves of a shrub that grows in the region. This is rather hard to find even here in Los Angeles, so you may have to use regular oregano. Mexican Oregano is a bit more minty in flavor, so maybe add a little dried mint.
  4. Bitter Orange Juice:   (Saville Orange, Sour Orange) These oranges are of uncertain availability even here in Los Angeles. If you can't get them, fake it up. Use 2/3 Grapefruit juice, 1/3 Orange Juice and a touch of Lime Juice if you have it. For details see our Bitter Oranges page.
  5. Tomatillos:   For details see our Tomatillos page.
  6. Chilis Serrano:   Three of these make the tomatillo sauce fairly hot by Southern California standards, but it gets diluted down in the finished dish. If in doubt, use two. For details see our Chili Page.
  7. Queso Asadero:   The most common varieties of this melting cheese are Queso Oaxaca and Queso Quesadilla. Mozarella, Monterey Jack or Provolone can be used as substitutes.
  8. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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