Chef at St. David’s church serves divine lunch to downtown workers, SXSW crowds

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Green Chili Chicken

8 medium green chilies, such as Hatch or Anaheim

Olive oil

½ cup yellow corn meal

½ cup all purpose flour

6 bone-in chicken thighs, skin on

1 cup diced onions

1 cup diced green bell peppers

2 cups diced tomatoes

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

½ Tbsp. chili powder

½ Tbsp. ground cumin

1 cup chicken stock

2 oz. sour cream

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat the chilies in olive oil. Using tongs, char the chilies over a medium flame. (Alternatively, you can place them on a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil and place them under the broiler.) Allow the skin of the peppers to blister, turning the peppers as they do so. Allow for some of the skin and flesh to char and blacken.

When peppers are evenly blistered, place them in a zip-lock bag and place in the freezer for 20 minutes. Take the peppers from the bag and remove the blackened skin. Cut the peppers open; remove the seeds and white membrane. Finely dice the chilies.

Mix the corn meal and flour together. Lightly dredge the chicken thighs in the mixture. In a saute pan, heat about 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium high heat. Brown the chicken thighs evenly on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and place in a 9-inch-by-13-inch glass baking dish.

In the same pan that you cooked the chicken in, add the onions and bell peppers and sauté until soft. Add the garlic, tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, cumin and green chiles and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Pour the sauté mixture over the chicken and cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes and remove pan from the oven. Take chicken out of the pan and reserve on a plate. Add the sour cream to the remaining ingredients in the dish and mix well. Add the chicken back to the baking dish and bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes. Serves 6.

Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin

2 lb. butternut squash

2 lb. sweet potatoes

2 lb. russet potatoes

16 oz. heavy whipping cream

3 1/3 cups shredded Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. garlic salt

1 Tbsp. black pepper

1 cup bread crumbs

½ tsp. cream of tartar

1/4 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp. minced rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel butternut squash, sweet potatoes and russet potatoes. Remove seeds from the butternut squash. Slice the squash and potatoes 1/8-inch thick. A slicing blade attachment for a food processor or a mandolin work best, but a knife will do.

In a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan, layer the sliced squash and potatoes until you’ve covered the bottom of the pan, then pour over the heavy whipping cream. Sprinkle the cheese, salt and pepper on top. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes.

While the dish is initially baking, mix together bread crumbs, cream of tartar, oil and rosemary. Evenly place the bread crumb mixture on top of the dish and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the bread crumbs have browned.

— Chef Ray Trono, St. David’s Episcopal Church

If you go:

Every Thursday starting at noon, Cafe Divine, located on the second floor of St. David’s Episcopal Church, 301 E. Eighth St., hosts a lunch that is open to the public. The meal costs $8 if you eat in the church or $8.50 if you want to take it to go. You can find the weekly menu at or call 610-3500.

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