Jan 30 2015

Sharing Two Styles Doubles Shooting & Cooking Enjoyment

One of the tricks of the trade for shooting instructors is to recommend that a shooter utilize the buddy system when participating in quaility practice time on the range. Having another set of eyes watching to see both the good points and bad points during a shooting session just makes good sense.

The observer, who may or may not actually be an active shooter, does not have to be a certified instructor to help correct mistakes and offer suggestions on how to handle difficult target presentations. However, since each shooter has his or her own style, being offered a different way of breaking a testy target may be just the ticket to busting more clays. As long as the shared ideas or recommendations help put the shot column in the right place at the right time, everyone wins.

There are some shooters who prefer to go it alone when learning how to break clays, but most of us do better with the buddy system. That second set of eyes that may have seeen the target presentation in the past and has allowed the shooting buddy or coach a grasp of the right technique to handle it, can be an invaluable information source.

The following recipe from my upcoming book "Shooting and Cooking with Old Boots & Bacon Grease" involves a shared technique of two cooking styles to create a hearty, tasty dish. It is adapted from a popular creation served on the Texas-Mexico border -- kind of a combination of chili and stewed chicken.

This dish is typically served with rice and beans, but is a stand-alone delight during the chilly days of winter.

Chef Ralph's Calabaza Tex-Mex Stew
  • 2 pounds boiled chicken thighs and legs
  • 2 medium green calabaza squash
  • 1 medium zucchini squash
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon Chef Ralph's Super Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies
  • 1 can (15 ounces) whole kernel corn (drain juice)
  • 1 can (14,5 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth

Debone chicken, tearing meat into bite-sized pieces (removing skin is optional) and set aside on a plate. (After you boil your chicken to cook it, you can reserve 2 cups of the liquid as a substitute for the canned broth). Clean and cube squash. In large stew pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and add squash, onion and garlic. Sauté, stirring often, for about five minutes or until vegetables are slightly tender. Add all dry seasonings (it helps to mix seasonings in a small bowl before adding them to the pot) and stir well. Add Rotel, drained corn and tomato sauce. Mix well. Add chicken meat and broth. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer about 20-30 minutes.

Now, let's get cooking!