🔕 🔔

My Basket ()

All questions

A question about a recipe: Diana Kennedy's Carnitas

69db6017 5873 4574 af78 a637c224cea1  5862540794 87eeec4b0f z

I have a question about the recipe "Diana Kennedy's Carnitas" from Genius Recipes: how do people feel about the citrus addition to the basic recipe at http://smittenkitchen.com... ? I am conflicted.

asked by wtbryce over 5 years ago
6 answers 4591 views
39bc764f 7859 45d4 9e95 fc5774280613  headshot 2.0 crop
Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Creative Director of Food52

added over 5 years ago

I feel very good about the citrus! But I haven't tried the addition myself. I plan to soon.

Aec94198 36e8 4817 b5cc 9eac7a24063b  twittah
added over 5 years ago

I think it would be a great addition, but like Kristen, I have yet to try it. Diana Kennedy's are SO GOOD!

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 5 years ago

To me, Diana Kennedy is a goddess. If she says citrus, it's a go. I mean, what the heck, it's all a science experiment, right? Try it. If you don't like it, don't do it again.

09e96f32 5fc6 465f ae05 9f156b104560  family feb2012 version 2
added over 5 years ago

I have made Diana Kennedy's carnitas many times and they are fabulous. Then I saw a Mark Bittman article about cooking with beer and tried his recipe -- too many ingredients did not make for better carnitas. BUT, still intrigued with the idea of adding a little more flavor to the carnitas, I added 1 bottle of beer to the water in the Diana Kennedy version: excellent!! So my advice with the citrus is - use it in moderation with the water in the Diana Kennedy version. Remember that it will concentrate down as it boils away, making the frying at the end a little messier (which happened with all those Mark Bittman ingredients). To my taste, a squeeze of fresh lime on the carnitas, along with your favorite salsa (that of course includes chile, onion and cilantro), fresh corn tortillas and avocado to taste is just heaven. The carnitas are so wonderful made the traditional way. In Mexico (and East LA) people add extra flavors afterwards when they eat them.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 5 years ago

We add orange zest or strips of orange rind to many braises. It is a lovely addition. We have started to zest and/or cut strips of the zest of lemons, limes, and oranges, before we juice any of them. it is great to have them on hand for all sorts of dishes. They're also great in salad dressings. I am experimenting with freeze-drying them. You can buy dried orange zest, so, why not?

7d2e9fbe d94b 4831 9a41 e7e53d9676f8  img 0061
added over 5 years ago

It never hurts to try, but after many experiments I decided that to make the crispy style of carnitas I prefer I can't put any sugary (which beer and citrus juice both contain) elements into the braising liquid. I tried to explain this in my recipe here http://www.food52.com/recipes... (I wish I'd thought to look up Diana Kennedy's recipe before), but didn't emphasize that the minimalism in the braising water is important to get the sort of crisping I like. I've been served many styles of carnitas across the North American continent: some that are mostly braised, and not truly crisped, which can take a lot of braising flavor, some that are partially crisped in larger chunks, then shredded (probably incidentally in the turning of the meat), my personal favorite, moist on the inside small chunks (literally little meats) with a definite crispy crust on all edges, and one step further, something that is practically chiccarones (not the pork rind only fluffy kind, but the kind with meat still attached that is fried crisp and hard so there is little moisture remaining).
In my hands, I can only get the moist in the center, sufficient crisping on the sides without any sugar, otherwise I get browning and burning before adequate crisping. The zest could work, though, if you want orange flavor. Of course, I always squeeze lime over the tacos, so there is at least a little citrus even in a minimalist version.

Let's Keep in Touch!

Get the recipes and features that have us talking, plus first dibs on events and limited-batch products.

(Oh, and $10 off your order of $50 or more in the Food52 Shop, too.)

Please enter a valid email address.