Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spanish Chicken with Olives and Wine

This dish was modified from an original recipe that was acquired by Katherine Ottesen, my mother while on vacation in Spain. She barged into the kitchen and refused to leave unless they shared the recipe. It is bursting with solid Mediterranean flavors. It is a whole meal, easy to prepare and cooks in one hour. All that is needed is good bread to make the meal complete although we usually serve it over steamed white or brown jasmine rice.

1 Chicken, cut up or legs, thighs, and wings (4 pounds)
1 large can of pitted black Californian olives (may also want to consider half and half with green olives as a variation.)
4 Vine ripened large tomatoes, quartered in wedges
2 Green bell peppers, sectioned into 1/2 slices, seeded and stemmed.
(or 1 green bell pepper and 1 yellow bell pepper, etc.)
1 Cup of dry white wine
2 Cloves of crushed garlic
1 Large yellow onion, peeled, coarsely sliced
2 tablespoons best cold pressed olive oil (i.e. best virgin olive oil rich in flavor)
1 tablespoon sweet butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Smoky Spanish paprika (pimentón) to taste (optional)


Cut up chicken into pieces, saut̩ at 350 (medium) in butter and oil in a large skillet (equipped with a lid) until lightly golden brown. (Drain of excess oil.) Add pepper and a little salt. Add wine, garlic, then cover the chicken with all the other ingredients. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook one hour. Toward the end of the hour look at the liquid level. Partially crack the lid to allow the sauces to thicken somewhat Рnot absolutely necessary but a thicker sauce will help concentrate the flavors. When done, taste the sauce and correct the salt as required. Also add Spanish paprika optionally. (You may choose to remove the vegetables and chicken from the pan so you may turn up the heat to thicken the sauce by driving away excess moisture; in this case, platter the chicken and vegetables and pour over the thickened sauce.) Serve either with fresh Italian Bread or steamed rice or both.