Sunday, October 13, 2013

Boring Sunday Night Chicken Goes on Spanish Holiday

I was driving home from choir practice last week, and I happened to catch a snippet of some program from Martha's Sirius Radio might have been Everyday Food? Anyway, they were discussing new and interesting ways to prepare chicken. One was a recipe calling for spatchcocking (one of my favorite words) and cooking the bird on top of thick bread so that you end up with a big, chickeny crouton at the end (yum and YUM!).

And then the following recipe is for a Spanish-style chicken that sounded equally delicious. It is a one-pot wonder kind of like chicken cacciatore, but lighter, tangier, and zippier (from the sherry vinegar, green olives, and piquillo peppers). I suppose you could serve it however you like, but we had some leftover ziti knocking about, so that's what I used. However, a crusty loaf of bread to soak up the delicious juices would be ideal. Also, I'd like to note (mostly so I remember to make it again) that we started our meal with an awesome salad made with local Bibb lettuce, local apples, shallots, gorgonzola crumbles, and sliced almonds, all dressed with a lemon-herb vinaigrette.

Spanish-Style Chicken
(Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2013)
1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces      
coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
2 cups chicken broth
6 jarred marinated piquillo peppers, cut into strips (about 2/3 cup)
1/2 cup green olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken on both sides with salt and paprika. Heat an ovenproof 12-inch skillet or shallow braising pan over medium-high heat. Swirl in oil. Working in two batches, add chicken to pan and cook until well browned, about 2 minutes on each side, adding more oil as needed. Transfer chicken as it is browned to a plate.

Reduce heat to low and stir in garlic, then tomato paste, scraping up browned bits in pan with a wooden spoon. Return chicken to skillet, increase heat to high, and pour in vinegar. Boil, stirring, until reduced to a glaze.

Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Add peppers and olives. Transfer to oven and braise until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast (do not touch bone) reaches 160 degrees and liquid is reduced by half, 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

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