How to Use Dried Chiles

Dried chiles create an amazing complex flavor - but not everyone knows how to use them properly. We went to Hecho en Dumbo where chef Chef Danny Mena gave us advice and shared his recipe for salsa madre

Chicken with Salsa Madre, Swiss Chard and Pumpkin
Serves 4
For the Chicken
Put 1/2 an onion (cut into 6 pieces), 3 whole cloves of garlic, 1 lemon (cut in half) inside a whole chicken.  Truss the chicken (tuck the wings behind the bird's back; grasp the bird's wings and tuck them behind the bird's back) and put in an oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes uncovered, or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
Let it rest for 30 minutes before serving. 
Salsa Madre:

3 chile pasillas
3 chile anchos
3 chipotle morita
3 chipotle meco
3 chile guajillos
3 chile de arbol
2 chile costeños
1 /2 plantain
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
3  tbsp sesame seeds
4 cups chicken stock

Chop onion and garlic and place in a large pan with 1 tbsp of oil over low heat.  Sautee for 10 min until soft,  thenadd chiles and cook for 3 minutes.   Then add plantain and sesame seeds, and cook for 5 more minutes.   Then add the chicken stock and cook for 25 minutes. 
Blend very well and season with salt before serving. 
Sauce keeps a week in the refrigerator.

1 pc celery root
1/2 pumpkin
1 red onion
4 stems of Swiss chard
Cut the celery root and pumpkin into 1/2 inch squares.  Cut the onion into large pieces.
In a medium sized pan, add the celery root and onion and sauté for 5 minutes.  Then add the pumpkin and place in the same oven as the chicken (at 400 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, roughly chop the Swiss chard stems.
Take the pan out of the oven and add the Swiss chard and with the residual heat from the pan, the Swiss chard will cook. After 10 minutes remove into a serving bowl.
To assemble plate:
Put the salsa en madre on the bottom of the plate then add chicken on top.  This way you maintain the beautiful crisp skin of the chicken, as well as you control your sauce to chicken ratio