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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of the California Milk Processor Board. The opinions and text are all mine.
I didn’t realize it then, but I do now. I was one lucky kid eating enchiladas or carne con papas. My grandmother was an incredible cook, and she taught us all very well. My mom, my aunts, and my uncle can cook like no one’s business. My uncle opened his Mexican restaurant, Los Pepes, nearly 10 years ago, and it’s been a local favorite in Palm Desert, California since then. Some people might think of pairing Mexican dishes with agua fresca or other adult beverages, but in my family, we like to drink milk with our food. That’s right. I said MILK.
Atrevete a probar leche con Pollo en Salsa de Tamarindo y Chipotle, or as I’m calling it here, Tamarind and Chipotle Chicken. Tamarindo (or tamarind) paste is ooey and gooey, sweet but tart, and has a deep plum flavor. You might see it as a spicy candy or sweetened to make a beverage. It’s delicious and very versatile.
If you can’t find tamarindo whole, look for tamarind paste in the Hispanic section at the grocery store. Sometimes it comes in a sealed plastic bag. The sauce is spicy, savory, but sweet. I know you might think that milk wouldn’t go with my Tamarind and Chipotle Chicken, but I dare you to try it first.
Do you know why so many Mexican dishes are creamy? This may be an old wives tale from a remote Mexican pueblo, but I used to hear that milk tames the heat of the spice. I can picture it like it was yesterday… My big Mexican family – aunts, uncles, cousins, and neighbor who stopped by at the right time – at the table eating. My uncle couldn’t handle his spicy food (se enchilo), and my aunt ran to get him a glass of milk. Two minutes later, he was good to go for more spice. It’s not just for sweets. Milk was (is) a “must have” for every meal.
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Tamarind and Chipotle Chicken
- 8 chicken thighs bone in
- salt and pepper
- 6-8 tamarind
- 3 cups water
- 1 pilloncillo or 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 chipotles
- Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
- Bake them at 375 degrees, roughly 20-25 minutes.
- In the meantime, remove tamarind shells and place in stockpot with 2 cups of water and piloncillo, or brown sugar.
- Bring to a boil, and let boil for 1 minute.
- Reduce flame and let cook for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from flame and let cool until it comes to room temperature.
- Remove the seeds from the tamarind.
- In a blender, add chipotle, tamarind, the water that it was cooked in. Add more water if until you reach desired thickness. Taste for good measure.
- With a cooking brush, baste the chicken. Bake for 5 minutes. Baste the bottom of the chicken, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
What else does milk go with?
I love tamarind juice, sauce and cake. Tamarind has a such interesting flavors!! Your chicken looks delicious!!
Tamarind is awesome! Good to meet someone who understands my tamarind madness. 🙂
You said we could use paste but how much would be equivalent???