I took four years of Spanish classes in high school, but like most things from my high school years – and the 1970s in general – I don’t remember much of it. So I recently vowed to relearn Spanish, starting with some of the words I now use most often.
To that end, I actually remembered the word for “money,” or dinero. And Spanish for “cheap” (barato) and “cheapskate” (tacano) seem easy enough to master. But the Spanish translation for one of my other must-learn words, “Crock-Pot” or “slow cooker,” has me stumped. Would it be lento vasija, or perhaps paulatino cazuela? Maybe a Spanish speaking tacano can kindly help me out?
In celebration of Cinco de Mayo (even I know that’s Spanish for the “fifth of May,” a day celebrating freedom and democracy, as well as Mexican heritage and pride), I’m breaking out my Crock-Pot – or would that be my caprichoso cacerola? - and whipping up a batch of this simple, delicious, barato recipe for dinner.
Margarita-style Crockpot Chicken
- 3 pounds chicken parts (whatever you prefer – I like to use leg/thigh quarters with the skin on)
- 1 can (15 ounce) black beans
- 1 can (15 ounce) kernel corn or whole hominy (I prefer the hominy)
- 1 cup rice
- 4 spring onions – chopped, tops and all
- 3 cloves garlic – minced
- 1 packet (1.25 ounce) dry taco seasoning mix
- 1 can (4 ounce) diced green chiles
- 2 cups chicken broth/stock (or bullion)
- 3/4 cup lime or lemon juice (fresh is best – and save the rinds!)
- 2 ounces tequila (optional)
- Sour cream, sliced black olives and fresh cilantro (all optional)
Coat the inside of the crockpot with spray oil to make cleanup easier. Mix beans and corn/hominy (including liquid from cans) with the rice, onions, garlic, and three-quarters of the taco seasoning mix. Place mixture in Crock-Pot. Put chicken pieces on top. Add chicken broth, then pour lime/lemon juice and tequila (optional) over the chicken, and sprinkle with remaining taco seasonings. Scatter the green chiles over the top of everything.
If you use fresh limes/lemons, I like to take the spent, quartered rinds and place them on top as well; they infuse additional flavor and can even be nibbled on as a condiment with the dish. Cover and cook on low for approximately 6 hours, until rice is fully cooked and the chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender. Serve in shallow bowls and top with sour cream, sliced black olives and chopped fresh cilantro if desired. I like to serve with warm flour or corn tortillas on the side. (Serves 4)
Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Wait, I think that my high school Spanish is coming back to me now.
Photo courtesy of RTist MrB via Flickr Creative Commons.
Also of Interest
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