South-Western stew

3 chicken thighs
1 medium onion
1 Tbl flour
3 cloves garlic
6 medium tomatoes
a shot of white wine
1 large habanero pepper
1 Tsp cumin seed
2 Tbl chili powder
3 strips bacon
cheddar cheese
To make chili powder: process 1/4 oz dried, de-seeded Guajillo peppers, 1/4 oz dried, de-seeded Chile d'Arbol peppers along with 1 Tsp whole cumin seed in a coffee grinder.

Chop the garlic finely. Remove the stem and seeds from the habanero. Chop finely or smash the habanero into a paste. Cut the tomatoes in half. Find a 32 oz pyrex measuring cup. Separate the pulp and juice from their skins by pushing their non-skin sides across a metal box grater into the cup. Fill the cup to 16 oz. Discard the skins. Add a pinch or so of white sugar to the tomato pulp/juice.

In a Dutch oven, render the bacon. Remove the bacon and reserve. Sear the chicken thighs in the bacon grease. Drain the grease from the pan. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and stir. Throw in the tomato pulp/juice, wine, garlic, chili powder and habenero. Grate the onion into the pan. Season to taste with salt. Stir the pot until the ingredients are well incorporated. Slowly bring the liquids to a boil, cover, cut the heat to a slow simmer and braise for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Stir the pot - on occasion.

Pour the contents of the pan into a large, shallow bowl. Sprinkle the bacon over the stew. Grate a mound of cheese over the stew/bacon. If desired, serve with warmed, flour tortillas.

To enhance this dish: pare the kernels off of a large ear of fresh corn. Throw the kernels into the pot 1/2 hour before finished.