Cooks in the Kitchen: The Fort

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(Photo courtesy of Holly Arnold Kinney)

Our series “Cooks in the Kitchen” takes us to what you might call, an accidental restaurant. In the early 1960’s, Sam Arnold wanted to build his wife an unusual home in the mountains west of Denver. Sam's daughter, Holly Arnold Kinney, tells the rest of the story to host Ryan Warner. Ryan also cooks with Geofrey Groditski.

Bowl of the Wife of Kit Carson

Serves 4 to 6

2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)

4 to 6 cups chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican leaf oregano, crumbled

1 cup cooked rice

1 cup cooked, dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas), or canned garbanzos, rinsed and well drained

1 chipotle chile (canned), packed in adobo, minced

4 to 6 ounces Monterey Jack or Havarti cheese, diced

1 to 2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and sliced

4 to 6 sprigs fresh cilantro (optional)

1 fresh lime, cut into 4 to 6 wedges

Place the chicken breasts and broth in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, skimming off and discarding any foam that rises to the top. Turn off the heat, cover, and allow the chicken to poach gently for 12 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pot and cut into strips, about 11/2 inches long. Return the chicken strips to the broth and add the oregano, rice, garbanzos, and chipotle.

Divide the cheese among 4 to 6 deep soup bowls.

Return the soup to a boil, then ladle it into the bowls. Garnish each portion with avocado slices, cilantro, if using, and a wedge of lime.

Roasted Buffalo Bone Marrow

Serves 4 to 6

4 to 6 buffalo or beef femur bones

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 baguette

1 tablespoon olive oil

Hawaiian red clay sea salt or other coarse sea salt

Cilantro sprigs or Italian parsley, for garnish

Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce, optional

Saw the femur bones in half lengthwise or cut them into 1½-inch thick discs. You might want to ask the butcher to do this for you.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Arrange the marrow bones on a jelly-roll pan or baking sheet with sides and roast on the middle shelf of the oven for about 14 minutes. Watch the marrow as it cooks, as you want it cooked, but still gelatinous in the center. If overcooked, the marrow will liquefy.

While the bones are roasting, thinly slice the bread, brush lightly with olive oil, and arrange on a separate baking sheet. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes, until lightly toasted.

Arrange the marrow bones on oval serving plates. A sprinkling of Hawaiian red clay sea salt around the plate is very tasty and represents the Hawaiian fur traders hired by the American Fur Trade Company in the 1820s. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro or parsley.

Remove the marrow from the bones with marrow spoons or butter knives. Spread the marrow on the toasted French bread. If desired, top with a dash of green pepper sauce.