Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lemon-Garlic Spanish Chicken Thighs with Rice Pilaf

I knew this one would be a hit with Abe when I saw that it had chorizo sausage in it.  I think you could add sausage to an old shoe and most men would drool.  Sure enough, Abe loved  it.  Jimi ate it, but I think the more complex flavors were lost on him.  It might seem like a lot of ingredients, but it is easy to make.

Chorizo was new to me.  It's Mexican/Spanish sausage and is flavored with Spanish paprika.  I worried that I wouldn't find it at the grocery store, but it was right along with the other sausages.   

Smoked paprika is definitely a necessity to give the dish its Spanish flavor.  Don't be tempted to try to get away with regular sweet paprika.  Smoked can be found in the regular grocery store and has a really great flavor/scent.

The recipes calls for sliced lemons cooked into the dish.  I don't *think* you're supposed to eat them, but if you're brave, go for it.  The boys ate around them.  They did add a subtle lemon flavor.

I didn't trim the fat from the thighs, so I had a lot of fat at the bottom of the pan by the end of cooking the chicken.  I had to drain some of it off in order to brown the chicken.  

I got this recipe from Everyday with Rachel Ray.  It's supposed to be a 30 minute meal, but I found the chicken needed a little longer to cook than recommended, so keep that in mind.


Lemon-Garlic Spanish Chicken Thighs with Rice Pilaf
Serves 4

4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup broken pieces thin spaghetti
1 cup rice
3 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 pound cured chorizo (about 5 links), casings removed and sliced on an angle 1 inch thick
8 chicken thighs
4 small onions, quartered lengthwise with the roots intact
2 small regular or meyer lemons, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
3/4 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives (a couple of generous handfuls)
6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika or paprika (2/3 palmful)
1/2 cup dry white wine or 1/3 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the pasta and toast for 3 minutes. Stir in the rice to coat. Add 2 cups chicken stock and bring to a boil, then cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes; fluff with a fork. (If the rice sticks near the end of the cooking time, add a splash more stock.) Season with salt and pepper.

In a large, deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, turning, until browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Season the chicken with a lot of pepper and a little salt and add to the drippings in the skillet. Cook over medium heat, turning once, until browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet, 1 turn of the pan. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the lemons, olives, garlic, bay leaves and paprika; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, scraping up the browned bits from the pan. Stir in the remaining 1 cup chicken stock.

Return the chicken and chorizo to the skillet, cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer all the solid ingredients to a platter. Reduce the sauce for a minute over high heat, then stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the parsley. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Discard the bay leaves. Serve alongside or on top of the pilaf. 

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