Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Signature move

Spanish chicken

My first cookbook was the Reader’s Digest 30 Minute Cookbook. If I recall correctly, it was a gift from my sister, a way to keep me from starving after I finished college and took my first trembling steps towards becoming a grown up (a process that continues today). Truth be told, I don’t know if I’ve made more than a half dozen recipes out of it in the decade-plus it’s been in my possession, but I’ve kept it around, its unabashed plebeianism setting it apart from the Julias and Marthas on our cookbook shelf. Why?

Within those pages you’ll find the one dish I have made more than any other in my life. To be honest, I can't believe it's taken me this long to write about it. Over the years, I’ve tinkered with it, added spices and ingredients and played with the measurements to accommodate my shifting tastes (for example: early versions did not include olives; now, olives are a necessity), but in the end, the best version is only slightly tweaked from the original. I keep coming back to this because it’s quick and easy and adaptable, yet so flavourful that it’s hard to believe it can be ready in less than an hour. The inclusion of spicy chorizo and smoky paprika makes it a hearty and warming dish for fall.

Spanish style chicken and chorizo
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and quartered
1 medium red onion, thinkly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 red pepper and 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 can (796ml) chopped tomatoes
2⁄3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
50 g chorizo sausage, sliced
1/4 Cup tablespoon kalamata olives, pitted and halved
Black pepper
Parsley, chopped

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole or Dutch oven. Add the chorizo and brown, then remove to a plate with a slotted spoon*

Ad chicken bits and fry until golden brown; set aside with sausage.

Add onions, garlic and pepper and fry until they are lightly browned and slightly softened.

Return chicken, chorizo and accumulated juioces to piot and stir in the tomatoes, wine, and paprika. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until chicken is cooked through (15-20 minutes).

Stir in olives and season to taste with pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve over rice or with a good loaf of crusty bread.

*you only need to do this if you're using fresh (uncooked) chorizo. If you have the proper dry cured variety, skip this step.

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