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Title: Chicken Thighs with Aromatic Spices
 Categories: Mexican, Chicken
      Yield: 4 servings
 
  2 1/2 lb Chicken thighs, skinned
    1/2 ts Coarsely ground black
           -peppercorns
    1/2 ts Cumin seeds
    1/2 ts Dried oregano
      2    Bay leaves
           Salt
      6    Cloves garlic, halved
  1 1/2 tb Mixed-Spice Paste (recipe
           -follows)
      1 tb All-purpose white flour
      1 md Onion, thinly sliced
      4    Long banana peppers, cut
           -into long strips
      1 tb Vegetable or olive oil
      2 tb Cider vinegar or to taste
 
  Bring 7 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan, add chick- en (and a
  little more water to cover if needed). Skim off any grayish foam that
  rises during the first few minutes of simmering. Add black pepper,
  cumin, oregano, bay leaves, 1 tsp. salt and garlic. Partially cover
  and simmer gently for 20 to 25 minutes, until the juices run clear
  when the thighs are pierced with a knife (boned thighs will cook in
  15 to 20 minutes). Remove from the heat and cool the chicken in the
  cooking liquid, if time permits. With a slotted spoon, remove thighs
  from the broth and set them on a plate. Strain broth, skim fat and
  set aside 2 1/2 cups in the refrigerator.
  
  Rub 1 Tbsp. Mixed Spice Paste over the side of the chicken that has
  been skinned and let it stand 1 hour uncovered in the refrigerator.
  Lightly dust the spice covered side of the chicken with flour,
  patting gently to evenly distribute it over the surface and remove
  any excess.
  
  Rinse onions, drain thoroughly and set aside with chilies. Set a large
  nonstick skillet over medium heat, add oil, and when it is hot, add
  chicken, spice-side down, and fry until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a 200 degree F. oven.
  
  Return the pan to the heat and add onions and chilies. Cook over
  medium for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions
  soften. Add vinegar, reserved broth and remaining 1/2 Tbsp. spice
  paste, stirring to dissolve the paste. Simmer for several minutes to
  blend the flavors. Taste for salt and vinegar. Place 2 thighs in each
  of 4 bowls. Top with a portion of the onion mixture and the broth.
  
  234 CALORIES PER SERVING: 30 G PROTEIN, 7 G FAT, 13 G CARBO- HYDRATE;
  208 MG SODIUM; 77 MG CHOLESTEROL.
  
  From Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico by
  Rick Bayless with Deann Groen Bayless (William Morrow & Company,
  1987).







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