I am no longer on the road--home and accounted for--but my heart has been left behind in the wilds of Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California, scattered like tattered butterfly wings. So be it. I expect my heart to wander home any day now, with tales to tell.
In the meantime, cooking has become important, maybe because the weather here has been grey for many days in a row and everyone I know has been fighting a cold, or something worse.
Here's a soup that keeps the chill off and clears the sinuses!
Hominy & Jalapeno Chicken Soup
2 Tbsp nice Olive Oil
1 chicken (3-31/2 lbs) cut into 8 pieces
1 Onion, chopped
2 Jalapeno chiles--stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
1 clove Garlic, peeled and smashed
1 Tbsp Chili powder, or more to taste
11/2 cups Chicken broth (homemade is best!)
1 Cup canned Hominy, drained
1 small bunch Cilantro, stems discarded
1 Lime, cut into wedges
Sour Cream, for serving
1. In a large pot or Dutch Oven, heat the oil over high heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken pieces to the pot in a single layer. Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 8 minutes.
Transfer to a plate.
2. Lower the heat to medium and discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot. Add the onion, half of the jalapenos and the garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, then stir in the chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
3. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot. Add the hominy and enough water to just cover (about 2 cups). Bring to a simmer over medium low heat, cover and cook for about 40 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces and allow to cool slightly. Shred the meat and return to the pot (discard the skin and bones).
4. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the remaining jalapenos and the cilantro. Serve with the lime wedges, sour cream and an extra sprinkling of course salt and pepper.
from Liz Prueitt and Chad Robertson, Chefs, Bakers and Co-owners of Tartine and Bar Tartine, San Francisco