Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dinner By the Girl: Mexican Chicken in Almond Sauce

For her birthday, my sister (who works at Penzey's Spices) got The Girl a little box of spices and a cookbook - The International Cookbook for Kids.

The cookbook is really fun - it has recipes for all courses from Mexico, Italy, China, and France.  The Girl pored through the cookbook and decided that for her first dinner cooked from it, she would make Mexican Chicken in Almond Sauce.

She made this almost entirely by herself - though I gave her some tips with the knife skills in cutting her onion.  I made some Spanish rice pilaf to go with it (just from a box).  It was a winner all around!

She can't wait to make her next recipe.  I am looking forward to seeing what she will choose.

Mexican Chicken in Almond Sauce
(Modified from The International Cookbook for Kids)

3 1/2 lb chicken, cut into pieces (we got chicken that was already cut up - we'll work on butchery later)
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
1/2 c hot water
1 small white onion
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 whole black peppercorns
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 c whole roasted almonds
2 c low-sodium chicken stock
Rinsing the chicken
Rinse the chicken pieces in cold water and pat dry.  Place in large bowl and sprinkle with 1 tsp of the salt and black pepper.

Peel and cut the onion into slices. Drain canned tomatoes. Mix a pinch of the ancho chile powder with the hot water.

Heat a 4-6 qt heavy bottomed pan on low heat.  Add enough oil to just coat the bottom.  Add the onion, garlic, cinnamon, peppercorns, allspice, almonds, and the remaining chile (not the chile put in the water).  Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomatoes and the water with chile-laced water.  Blend with an immersion blender, removing to a bowl if needed to get the whole thing blended.  (You can also use a standard blender, but we like the immersion blender.)  Remove the puree from the pan if you have not already done so.  Add the chicken stock and the remaining 1 tsp salt and mix well.

Turn the pan to medium and heat the rest of the oil.  Add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, and brown on all sides.  Remove the browned chicken to a clean plate.  Drain off all but 1 Tbsp of the oil.

The sauce
Add the blended ingredients to the pan and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the chicken pieces and the lime juice.  Spoon the sauce over the chicken.  Cover the pan and cook on low heat for 35-45 minutes, or until internal temperature is 165 F and the chicken is all cooked through to the bone.  Serve hot with the sauce.

The finished meal

Pin It!


  1. Looks delicious! May have to try that this weekend!

  2. What a wonderful idea to include a box of spices to go with the cookbook! E looks like she is having a great time in the kitchen and that meal looks delicious!