Sunday, August 24, 2014

Gallo (Rooster) Adovada

The idea here was to make carne adovada New Mexico-style, but with rooster instead of the traditional pork. Although many carne adovada recipes have you marinate the meat overnight in the sauce, I put it straight in the slow-cooker and let it go for about 20 hours. It is not a quick ordeal to cook a tough old rooster! This will go much faster if you have a store-bought, young bird or even an older hen.
Rooster adovada.

As a point of pride, my adovada had six different kinds of chile (we had five of them in the cabinet already, and the sixth came from green chile skins in my broth bag), but you can make this with just one purchase of New Mexican red chile powder. Gosh, I don’t even know what it’s like to try to shop for chile outside of New Mexico. Any red chile powder will probably do, but the dusky, rich flavor of New Mexican chile is the star of this dish.
Wish I took a better picture of this: five of the six kinds of
chile from our cupboard.
Serving suggestions: you can add potatoes and posole and vegetables to make this into a stew; you can also fish out the meat and serve the meat in tacos, burritos, etc, and then use the red chile liquid left behind for a stew or chili. (That’s what we did…details below.)


Adovada red chile sauce:
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seed
1 onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp flour
3 qts water or stock
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
Chile: 1 cup red chile powder (comes in different hotnesses; adjust according to preference) or any combination of: red chile powder plus chipotle (dried or canned), chile arbol, chile pequin, ancho chile (the latter three are usually found whole, dried).
Salt to taste

One chicken or rooster, minus the organs and feet

To make the adovada sauce: heat the vegetable oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seed and toast for a minute until fragrant. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins showing translucency. Add the minced garlic and flour and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for another minute or two.

Add the water or stock, oregano, chile, bay leaves, and salt. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Remove any whole, dried chiles (if using these along with/instead of powder) and the bay leaves and set aside for later. When cool enough to do so, blend the sauce with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender.

Add the blended red chile sauce to your crock pot. At this point, consider the consistency and flavor. If it’s too strong (oops, sorry), dilute with water.  If the flavor is great, but you don’t have enough to cover your chicken in the crock pot, add water and more red chile powder and salt to taste. Replace the dried chiles and bay leaves, if using, in the crock pot.

Add the rooster meat (straight from the freezer, in my case, and still on the bone) to the red chile sauce in the slow-cooker and cook overnight. The next morning, remove the bulk chicken chunks and shred the edible parts and return them to the sauce in the crock-pot.

Simmer for hours, days, as long as it takes that ornery old rooster to soften up. We cooked the rooster for about 20 hours total (including before shredding), and he was still tough, but edible. Remove any bay leaves and whole chile pods (if using) before serving.

The flavor of the adovada is incredible (if you like that kind of thing). At this point, you’ll have a very strong and delicious stew. We had a lot of meat in there, so we took out some of the meat and brought it to a party where tacos were being made (including elk meat tacos, yum). This leaves behind an even soupier stew. To that, we added to the crock-pot 3/4 pound of frozen posole (a kind of corn), cubed potatoes, and diced carrots. The posole absorbs a lot of the liquid and you’ll end up with fluffy red chile posole stew. Delicious! If you’re not into posole, you can make a vegetable and rooster stew with any kind of ingredients. Definitely add beans to make it “chili”-style.
Returned the gallo adovada to the crock pot
and added frozen posole and vegetables to
make a stew.