New Mexico, Lamb and Chicos Stew
This is a traditional Native American stew made through the Southwest. It uses chicos, which are dried corn kernels that have been roasted in an horno, or adobe oven. Making this wonderful stew takes several hours so we always start in the morning, on a cold winter day. By noon the house is full of the enticing aroma and the stew is ready and so are we. Chicos can be purchased at many southwestern gift shops in New Mexico or through the mail!
1 Lb. Chicos
5 cups chicken broth
5 cups water
1 Tbl. Corn oil
1 white onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 Lb lamb stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 or 5 fresh Anaheim, Hatch or Poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, deveined, seeded and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the chicos in a large stockpot with the water and chicken broth, and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and allow to cook for two and on half to three hours. When the time is up heat up the oil, over medium heat, in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot. Sauté the onion until soft. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 30 seconds. Add the lamb meat and sauté until well browned. Ladle some of the hot liquid from the chicos into the Dutch oven. Deglaze the pan by working brown bits lose from the bottom of the pan into the stew with a rubber spatula. Add all of the chicos and liquid to the lamb. Bring to a boil, cover and then reduce heat to low and simmer for another hour. When the time is up, add the chiles simmer for fifteen more minutes, taste and season. Serve in big soup bowls with warm bread or tortillas.