Adapted from West Coast Prime Meats Cooks © 2015
- One chicken, cut in eight pieces to separate white and dark meat
- One whole bone-in chicken breast
- One large white onion, peeled, cored and quartered
- Four sprigs fresh oregano
- One teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- Water to cover
- Eight guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeds removed
- Two garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- Three tablespoons corn oil
- Three-quarters of a pound small green tomatillos
- Quarter-pound fresh corn masa or masa harina prepared according to package directions
- Three dozen or more fresh corn tortillas, warmed
- Place the guajillo chiles and the garlic in a medium saucepan. Fill the pan with water to cover the chiles and garlic, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the chiles and garlic from the water and set aside.
- Place all the chicken, onion and oregano in a large sauce pan and cover with water. Cook on the stove over medium heat but keep the broth at a simmer, not a boil.
- When the breast meat is tender (approximately 30 minutes), remove it, let it cool, shred it and set it aside.
- When the dark meat is cooked through (approximately 45 minutes), remove it, let it cool and shred it.
- Strain the broth. Then, in a blender jar, purée the dark meat with two cups of the broth. Set aside.
- In a blender jar, purée the boiled chiles and garlic with enough broth to make the blender blades move easily. Pass the purée through a fine mesh sieve and reserve.
- Heat the corn oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the strained chile purée, turn the heat to medium-low and stir, cooking the mixture for approximately five minutes.
- While the chile purée cooks, purée the tomatillos in a blender jar, then add them to the sauté pan without straining the tomatillos.
- Dilute the corn masa with about 1/4 cup of the reserved broth and hold near the stove.
- Add two cups of the remaining broth and the puréed dark meat to the chile-tomatillo mixture, along with the salt, to taste. Stir in the diluted masa and cook another five minutes, or until thickened. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.
- Add the shredded white meat just before serving. This stew should be quite thick and is traditionally eaten without a spoon, scooping the stew with the warm tortillas.
Copyright © 2015 by Amy and Craig Nickoloff and West Coast Prime Meats
Recipes reprinted with permission of the owners.
Eddie Juarez has spent the greater part of his adult life in the cold. That’s because Eddie and his brothers, Hugo and Oscar Juarez, have made their careers working in meat plants. They are the bedrock of West Coast Prime Meats’ cutting operation.
Maybe that’s why Eddie lights up when he talks about the heartwarming dish Cuachala, a chicken stew that his family has served for generations. Thickened with masa and guajillo chiles, this meal will take the chill off of the fall and winter evenings.