Mmm…Manchamantel

This slightly-involved, but VERY tasty recipe comes to us from the Lake Austin Spa cookbook, “Fresh.” Page 98, to be exact. In this recipe, we will roast, then toast, then puree, then puree again, then brown, then sauté, then simmer, so get ready.

The Roasting:

Slice the top off of one garlic bulb, drizzle with olive oil and a little salt and pepper, and wrap in foil. Place the wrapped garlic bulb, 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thickly, 4 medium tomatoes, 3 husked tomatillos, and 1 poblano chile onto a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

The Toasting:

Toast 2 ancho chiles in a cast iron skillet for a few minutes, turning them frequently. After toasting, seed the chiles and soak them in a bowl of hot water for 20 minutes.

The Pureeing:

Take the veggies that were just roasted and puree them in a food processor. Make sure you squeeze the garlic pulp out first–don’t puree the skins. Remove from the food processor and set aside.

More Pureeing:

Combine the ancho chiles, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cloves in the food processor, along with a little chicken stock to thin it out.

The Browning:

Salt and pepper 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you could absolutely make this with boneless skinless thighs and it would be awesome, too) cubed. Brown this in heavy skillet (make sure the skillet or pot is big enough, because this is what you’ll be adding everything to later) with a few tbsp olive oil. Remove the chicken from the skillet.

The Sauteeing:

Add a few teaspoons olive oil to the same skillet, along with the ancho chile puree, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, and scraping up any brown bits leftover from the chicken.

The Simmering:

To the sautéed ancho chile paste, add 1 1/2 c chicken stock, 1/2 pound peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp raisins, 1 c peeled cubed fresh pineapple, 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced, the roasted vegetable puree (remember that from 18 steps ago?!) and the browned chicken. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.

To serve, prepare black beans and rice (separately). Spoon rice into 1/2 of a shallow bowl, and spoon beans into the other half. Serve the manchamantel over it, and garnish with cilantro. I added a little non-dairy sour cream to it as well–I highly recommend doing that.

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