Saturday, October 8, 2011

Spanish Chicken with Olives


In 1492 Columbus left from Palos, Spain with three ships: the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.  In honor of this grand voyage and our yearly celebration here in the United States of Columbus Day I decided to to make my version of Spanish style chicken.  When I think of the flavors of Spain I think of paprika, garlic, thyme, olives, and onions.   So I set out on my own expedition to create this dish.  I hope you enjoy my latest discovery.  It may not be the Americas, but it sure tasted good. : )

8-10 pieces of chicken (I used thighs) I also preferred bone-in/skinless because it gives more flavor.
1 (15oz) can of diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth (or water/bullion substitute)
1/2 cup of dry sherry (or white wine)  Use something you like the flavor of and would drink.
1 medium onion sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic minced or grated
1 cup of Spanish or Manzanilla Olives (these are pitted and stuffed with Pimento)
1 bell pepper sliced (fresh or frozen) I used a frozen bell pepper mix 
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp of paprika
1 tsp red chili flakes (or to taste)
Black pepper
1 Tbs of flour (optional)
1 cinnamon stick
Adobe Seasoning Mix- to taste. This is a Latin seasoning that has several spices.  If you do not have this you can use seasoning salt or regular salt.  I personally like the flavor it gives
Heat 3-4 Tbs of oil in a large pan on high heat.  Brown your chicken.  Season both sides with some salt or seasoning salt like Adobo. 

Next add your sliced onions and garlic.  You can move your chicken to the side, like I did, until you soften the onions. Once the onions soften, mix well with the chicken.

Next add your dry spices (paprika, cumin, thyme, cinnamon stick, chili flakes). Fry for 2 minutes.

Next add your can of diced tomatoes. Mix with the chicken.

Now add your liquids.  The chicken broth and sherry.  Cook for 12-15.  Taste for seasoning.  I wanted my gravy to be thicker so I took 1 Tbs of all purpose flour and mixed it with some of the pan gravy.  Do this in a separate bowl and stir until it becomes a watery paste then add it back into the pan.  This will thicken your gravy.  Do not just sprinkle flour into the pan, this may result in lumps.  This is an optional step, but I liked the thicker gravy.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Finally add your jarred Spanish olives to the pan. If a little bit of the olive juice goes in, that's okay because it will give some nice flavor.   Turn the stove off and serve with your favorite rice.  

I served it with some rice that I cooked with half chicken broth/half water and some turmeric for some lovely coloring.

Serves 5-8 people.  Enjoy.  I also accompanied the meal with a cool cucumber and onion salad in a creamy dressing.  This salad complimented the dish well.

For the salad:
1 English cucumber sliced
1/4 of an onion sliced
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp of sugar
Your favorite creamy dressing like ranch, plain yogurt or mayo (add enough to coat well).