Pollo al chilindron
I am currently on a three-week long trip through the Mediterranean – by way of cooking. At the culinary (as we call the CIA in upstate New York), we are exposed to several days of each Mediterranean region’s cuisine. In the onslaught of spanakopita, risotto and sweetbreads, I have actually fallen in love with the food of Spain.
Translation for pollo al chilindron
What I’ve come to love about true Spanish food is that it is simple. One-pot-wonders like paella, and simple tapas to pair with sherry or a sassy red and friends. So this pollo al chilindron, or chicken with peppers, hails from Navarra and is a perfect example of fresh ingredients and simple technique. And serrano ham and saffron are not a hard sell, either.
Ingredients matter (I know I write this a LOT)
When tasked with cooking this dish in class, I wondered about its flavor potential – as the ingredients are fairly commonplace. But that’s the idea behind Spanish regional cuisine – great ingredients make great food. No fuss. This one is fun, too, because the recipe calls for a flambé with brandy. Bringing it.
As you quickly learn when studying Spainish cuisine, pimentón is the key to a succulent and seductively spicy chicken dish. But not to worry, you can substitute with a nice smoked paprika.
There’s more than one way to serve some chicken
Serve this dish family style – a bowl of the saucy wings – or the meat can be pulled from the bone. So sauce it up, or shred it up and spread your pollo on toasted baguette. Either way, it’s simple, savory and satisfying. And from Spain, but I believe I mentioned that already.
Wonderfully savory and smoky, this is a great way to spice up ever-boring chicken. Fits into the requirements for so many healing diets, including GAPS, paleo and keto.
- 3 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
- 15 chicken wings, buffalo style (or ½ lb chicken thighs, boneless)
- 1 red onion, medium, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 green pepper, small dice
- 1 red pepper, small dice
- ½ cup Serrano ham, small dice (leave out for GAPS diet)
- ¼ cup brandy (leave out or use white wine for GAPS)
- ½ cup chicken stock, warm (homemade for GAPS)
- 2 tsp pimentón (Spanish paprika)
- Olive oil for pan
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian parsley, chopped
- Set a large pot of water to boil and fill a bowl with ice water. Cut an “x” on the bottom of the tomatoes. Add them to boiling water and cook until skins begin to pull back, no more than a minute.
- Immediately plunge in ice water until cool enough to handle.
- Peel tomatoes gently, remove seeds and stem, and dice.
- Season chicken with salt and black pepper. In a large sauté pan over medium-heat heat, cook chicken in olive oil until golden brown on both sides.
- Add brandy or white wine, and simmer (or flambé) until alcohol burns off and brandy is reduced almost completely. Remove chicken and set aside.
- Add onions and peppers to pan, and cook until light golden brown. Add garlic and cook one minute, until fragrant.
- Stir in tomatoes, Serrano ham, pimentón and chicken wings.
- Simmer over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Add more chicken stock if necessary to maintain a sauce consistency.
- If desired, pull meat from bones and add back to sauce. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, and garnish with chopped parsley right before serving.