When I asked Chef Bitsoie what his #1 recipe from his book was, he told me it was braised chicken with bright tomatoes. Food is important to him because he grew it at his Navajo grandmother’s house in southern Colorado stewed with tomatoes and herbs.
Stew specialist Bitsoie’s gourmet chicken stew has all kinds of local plants (tomatoes and three peppers) combined with the French cooking methods he learned in culinary school. He suggests boneless, skin-on chicken thighs because he appreciates the caramelized skin once it’s browned and cool. Anyway, he can use chicken on the bone whenever he likes it.
Then brown the chicken for about 4 minutes on each side until the skin is very firm.
Wine and broth are then added to deglaze the dish, helping to release all the precious earth-colored bits that settle to the bottom of the pot. Deglazing is a wonderful kitchen trick that adds an extra depth of flavor. We cook the food longer so that the stew is thicker.
Culinary expert Bitsoie calls for three different types of peppers in this recipe because they all add something special. The yellow bell pepper gives it a specific and pleasant hue that you won’t find in other bell peppers. The green pepper gives it a spicy touch. New Mexican bean stews have their own smoky nature that you won’t find in red bell peppers. Also, depending on the pepper, there may be additional flavor.
In case you can’t find both, you can simply use more green bell peppers or different bell peppers depending on your choice.
If you are making this recipe when tomatoes are not in season, you can substitute a quart of bright red grape tomatoes, which have more flavor than the local variety of tomatoes. Plus, they’re easier to use in this recipe because you can throw them in whole without having to dice them.