Pollo a la Naranja Estilo Mexicano (Orange Chicken Mexican Style)
(courtesy of Hermilio Romano, grill cook, La Mexicana Meat Market in South Lake Tahoe. Serves 6)
This tasty chicken stew, cooked in fresh orange juice, can go straight from the pan to the table.
2 large onions
2 cloves garlic
2 pounds tomatoes
2 green chiles (jalapeño or serrano), to taste
2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
6 to 8 pieces chicken (leg, thigh, breasts halves, etc.)
1 cup chicken broth or water
2 cups orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Cut onions into thin slices. Mince garlic. Peel tomato, cut in half, squeeze out seeds, and dice. Remove stems and seeds from chiles; chop finely.
In large skillet, warm lard or oil over medium heat. Add chicken pieces and fry, turning to brown on all sides. (It is not necessary to cook thoroughly because, later on, you will be cooking it more.) When browned, remove chicken to warm plate. Set aside.
Fry onions in same skillet until transparent, without letting them brown. Add garlic, chiles, and chopped tomato; fry, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
Return chicken to pan and add chicken broth or water, orange juice, bay leaf, vinegar, oregano, and salt. Cook over medium heat until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened, 30 to 40 minutes.
Serve chicken with Mexican red rice (arroz rojo Mexicano, made with tomatoes) or plain rice cooked with chopped carrots and peas (arroz a la jardinera). Another option: Bake small potatoes, peel them, and add to chicken stew at end of cooking.
Note: Leftover stew can keep in refrigerator up to a week. Reheat over low heat, adding a little more orange juice if sauce is too thick.