Chef John and Me

This isn’t going to be some “Julie and Julia” bullshit. I promise.

This is me and Chef John, the charismatic, uniquely cadenced voice behind all of the Food Wishes videos on Youtube.

I’ll start by saying, I adore Chef John. And I only recently found out about him from an internet friend who wrote about his cream cheese recipe. That one cream cheese recipe that you don’t do because it’s “easier, or cheaper, or quicker- it’s actually the opposite of those things.” That cream cheese that takes three days of essentially waiting, but Chef John went ahead and did it any way? It reminded me of the time I tried to make vegan sushi out of blanched tomatoes. What a waste of a Wednesday night. I can say that Chef John’s cream cheese recipe actually WAS worth it, unlike my sushi disaster.

Today I tried out the Food Wishes Chicken Tinga Recipe and lord almighty was it worth the time and energy. My husband and I love ordering this out when we used to go out… So I was more than thrilled to try it out at home! As Chef John says, yes- there are decent amount of steps to this recipe, and you may need a few extra appliances, but other than that it’s extremely easy. I also have to admit, I love extra steps and recipes that are more methodical than most.

For my instagram page, @ clockedoutandcookin, I recorded myself dicing an onion as the chicken thighs poached away in a brothy herbed bath, laden with chunks of onion and smooth garlic cloves. A few people had asked if I could record “how to” chop an onion, so I figured I would record myself doing just that as the recipe calls for a whole chopped onion. When I watched the video back, I noticed my face: Focused, not self-conscious of being recorded, oblivious to anything other than the onion. I liked it. But anyway, getting back to the food…

The one nice thing about this recipe, well- let me rephrase. There are many nice things about this recipe. The aroma engulfing your kitchen will be number one of the nice things. But I love any recipe that reuses the same pot. Once you poach your chicken, placing the thighs aside and pouring out the broth, you cook the onions and the rest of the sauce right in that same pot. Yes, you will make a mess of your blender (and maybe even an immersion blender if you’re as neurotic about textures as I am) but those things are cake to clean. I hate doing dishes. Loath doing dishes. And pots and pans are the most detested. So any recipe that is one pot is already aces in my book.

So after about two hours and lots of reducing sauces, the chicken tinga was done. And I burnt my mouth almost immediately, which is also a sign that it was too good to wait for. Currently, my husband is pressing out his own tortillas to have with the tinga. He’s following another Chef John recipe, but I’ll save that for another time.

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