Sunday, February 28, 2010

a pollo in every pot

I have not cooked a full meal in the new house since I moved in last December.  And Saturday was no exception.

It did not start out that way.  I was determined to have a dinner at home before the week was out. 

I have been trying to get back on the calorie-reduction wagon.  Two months of American restaurant food has taken its toll on my old body.

So, off I went to the vegetable market to buy something healthy. 

That trip was a success.  I bagged myself four cucumbers, four tomatoes, and two white onions.-- for what I have now dubbed Mexican cucumber salad.  The only thing Mexican is the color -- the three colors of the Mexican bandera.

Of course, they are also the color of the Italian flag and spumoni ice cream.  But this is Mexico, and I have long ago learned to pander to local interests.

A bit of chopping along with a sprinkle of oregano, basil, and tarragon, along with a healthy splash of balsamic -- and voilà (to thoroughly mix today's metaphors): my dinner.

As I was walking home, I imagined just how lonely that salad bowl was going to appear.  It needed some form of dead animal to accompany it.

That thought was undoubtedly directly related to my nose because I was passing my favorite Pollo Kalliman stand -- the home of pollo asado.

Every ten days or so, I visit the stand to pick up a grilled chicken, two orders of rice, some cole slaw (that I give away), salsa, and tortillas.

Today must have been that tenth day because I walked away with my fowl prize.

Here is my chicken drill.  The rice goes into a large bowl.  I strip the meat from the carcass in strips and add it to the rice.  I then eat a small portion on the first day -- along with my cucumber salad.

The second day things get much better. 

I stir fry some vegetables (onion, zucchini, carrots, sweet peppers, a jalapeño) and add that mixture to the bowl.  The combination usually makes at least three or four more meals.

All told, I avoid the fat of local restaurants for two additional days.

And at a reasonable price.  The total?  $29 (Mx) for the salad; $90 (Mx) for the chicken and fixin'; and about an additional $30 (Mx) for the stir fry vegetables.  For a grand total of approximately $11.64 (US).

Not bad for food in your family and centavos in your pocket.


Vanya said... take that chicken one step further, you then make soup out of the bones - Nothing like some good, wholesome broth along with veggies to make you feel good. I get a roasted chicken probably once a week or so, and make some sort of taco or burrito like thing then always do soup the next day. YUM! So when are you coming to GTO? I've been thinking about which place to go for dinner etc! :-) I cant promise low calories......

Steve Cotton said...

Vanya -- Good idea on the soup. I have a tendency to merely toss the bones. I am still making GTO plans.

Tancho said...

No wonder the locals are fatter and happier on the coast! The price of a cooked chicken is 40 pesos more than inland here in the hills....
Don't forget to make some enchiladas with the tortillas before they go dry. You have figured out the frugality and art of making one bird and fixings last for a week. Down here your wallet can get fat while your belly gets trim, unlike NOB where it is the opposite.

Anonymous said...

vanya beat me to it on the soup suggestion.

so where is gto? is that short for guanajuato? i remember the first time i heard that name it made me think of "guanajo", turkey in cuban spanish although we also say "pavo" which i believe is the word used in mexico.

do you have an oven? if you do, i will send you a cheesecake flan recipe that i know you will love. i know you're trying to lose weight. seems a lot of us are. i've only lost about 6 lbs. since we saw each other over the holidays. so, the flan could be a reward for after you reach your goal, or not. we all deserve a treat once in a while.

have a great day!


Leslie Limon said...

I am very impressed with your cooking skills! :D I too was going to suggest making a soup with the bones. But instead will suggest that you make chilaquiles with the leftover tortillas. Delicious and oh-so-easy!

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

cwilson284 said...

And to think that you do that on a campstove...

Merida Mikey said...

'Ya made me hungry!

I often buy one of those chickens and do about the same as you do. For the price, you get a big bang for your peso! I don't eat the skin, and that helps calorie-wise.

Steve Cotton said...

Tancho -- I have heard that we pay more for food here on the coast -- call it the humidity tax. And a lot of the vegetables are mediocre at best. Except for the tropical fruits that are excellent.

Teresa -- You guessed correctly: Guanajuato. GTO just has a "racy" connotation. I have an oven, but I do not use it. I have no baking skills -- probably because I do not care for baked goods, other than pie.

Leslie -- Great idea. Unfortunately, there were no tortillas left over. They tend to disappear at the first sitting.

Anonymous -- You are welcome.

Cwilson284 -- I can also whittle furniture with my pen knife.

Mikey -- I actually developed this skill in Oregon. Every Sunday I would buy a roasted chicken at Safeway (no where near as tasty as Mexican chickens) and use the meat for several stir fry meals. I must admit that I miss the potato salad, though. That may explain my expanded waist.