If you've been reading this blog, you are aware that I love Mexican Food and go to great extremes to get the ingredients for authentic flavors here in France. There are thigs that are next to impossible to find and I have to stockpile supples when I go to the States. I grow lots of fresh cilantro and freeze it and the last two years I have grown my own jalepenos with great success. I start them early in a hot box and then then keep going until the cold really sets in.
It's impossible to find fresh jalepenos here let alone canned pickled ones. I chop them and freeze them, then use them for salsa and guacamole.
This year when I was in NYC, I could not find dried chipotle peppers anywhere! They are essential for a few recipes I love. The earthy smoky flavor is irreplacible! I started to read about the chilies, thinking I could get seeds and grow them here. I was very happy to discover that chipotles are actually very ripe jalepenos that have been dried over a smoky hay fire!
When I finally pulled up the jalepenos, I had 3 kilos of peppers! So, an experiment....I rigged up the barbecue as a smoker. I have a lot of hay around in the barn and did a batch of 25 to start with. The hay fire smoldered all day, I added some more every few hours and after about 6 hours, I had what appeared to be perfect chipotles. Smoky, fruity and hot! I did batch after batch and now have enough to last for quite a long time.
To check them out, I made one of my favorite chipotle recipes, Duck Carnitas.
First, you make a chipotle rub.
1 tbsp of oil
3 chipotles (seeded and deveined)
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp oregano
5 cloves of garlic
Heat the oil in a small frying pan, put in the chilies and cook for a few minutes until puffy, do not burn them!
Cool them off then put them into a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. You should end with a shaggyy salt like spice rub. If it seems too wet, dry it in a warm oven. This will keep in a covered container indefinitely.
Take 6 duck legs and cover them evenly with the rub in a nonreactive pan, cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day preheat the oven to 225 farenhiet, melt some fat and and put in 10 cloves of garlic and one white onion thickly sliced. When the fat has melted, put iin the duck legs and coat them.
Put the pan in the oven and cook slowly for 3 hours uncovered. When they are done, let them cool in the fat.
When you want to serve it, heat the duck pieces in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat until well browned and crisp on both sides...about 8 minutes.
Cut the meat from the bones...it should almost shred. You can serve this with salsa by itself or in tacos. I made enchiladas that were divinely inspired with a little ancho sauce frozen from the summer.
This rub is really good on baby back ribs! You cook them the same way and serve them with salsa. The meat falls off of the bones!
These are real Bocaditas (little bites)!