Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tequila Tomato Sauce with Chicken

I was in the mood for pasta last night, but not with an Italian or Asian sauce. I was actually craving something a little spicy since I would be serving the sauce on rice noodles, which definitely don't have as much flavor as wheat pasta.  I haven't been cooking much lately but did manage to make a roast chicken the day before and had used the cooked breast meat for a lovely Tarragon Chicken Salad so all that was left was the dark meat, which is actually my favorite as it is so moist and flavorful. So as my German grandmother taught me, I picked that chicken clean and put the bones on for soup. What to do with all that lovely dark meat? Well, I had some Roma tomatoes and decided to make a Mexican flavored sauce using tequila as the deglazing liquid and I seasoned the sauce with lots of garlic, onions, Mexican Oregano, chili flakes and Cayenne Pepper.  It was so good - it had just enough heat to make me notice that my lips were tingling and comforting as only a good bowl of pasta can be. Now, this sauce isn't saucy, it only lightly coats the pasta so the ratio of sauce to pasta should be higher.  And, I think you should continue the tequila theme and serve it with a Margarita!  I was really happy with this sauce as the Tequila (and I used a good one) gave it such a wonderful flavor.

Tequila Tomato Sauce with Chicken

Leg and Thigh Meat from a Roast Chicken – equals about 2 cups, cut into small pieces
12 Roma Tomatoes, cut into small pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 cup Tequila
1 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
1 cup of Cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper
¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
 1 teaspoon Chili Flakes and extra for serving
1 Lime, cut into segments to squeeze on top
Optional:  Cotija Cheese (can substitute Parmesan)

½ pound of pasta of your choice (I used Tinkayada Rice Macaroni)

In a large frying pan, heat the oil and add in the garlic and onions.  Cook until onions just begin to brown.  Add in the chicken and tomatoes and cook until tomatoes start to soften and break down.  Pour in tequila and cook until it starts to boil.  Add in oregano, salt pepper, cayenne pepper and chili flakes. Taste and adjust seasoning.  Toss with the pasta of your choice and serve with lime and extra chili flakes and Cotija or Parmesan cheese.

Five Element Analysis

The Fire Element is fully represented in this dish by the Tomatoes, Tequila, Cayenne Pepper and Chili Flakes.  The chicken and olive oil contribute the Wood Element and this element will be further enhanced if you use traditional wheat pasta.  The Cilantro, Cotija or Parmesan Cheese, Garlic and Onions all bring in the Metal Element so that element is also covered.  Only the Water Element and Earth Element need some support so be sure to serve this dish with an Earthy vegetable – I made a marinated zucchini salad or a sweet dessert and you need something from the Water Element like a starter cup of soup or a Watery fruit for dessert or you can just make sure you have a Watery food at some other meal during the day to create balance in your diet. 

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