March 19th 2010
This is a hearty Spanish recipe which can be used for a whole chicken, jointed, or with 4 or more, chicken thighs. I imagine that the bones of a whole chicken will add a lot more flavour to the sauce than chicken pieces.
Spicy Chicken with Beans recipe:
1 whole chicken (jointed)
1/2 lb of cannellini beans, pre cooked in a pressure cooker (or tinned) as per my hake and cannellini recipe
6 pieces of garlic (finely chopped)
1 large onion (finely chopped)
2 sticks of celery (finely chopped)
1 large carrot (finely chopped)
1 leak (chopped)
4 medium tomatoes (finely chopped) or use tinned
4 or 5 medium size mushrooms (chopped)
4 slices of streaky bacon (chopped)
half a hot chorizo ring (chopped)
2 bay leaves
1 or 2 pinches of crushed chilli (to taste)
2 teaspoons of ground herbs (rosemary, sage and thyme – ground in a mortar and pestle with coarse sea salt and black peppercorns)
2 teaspoons of pimentón de la Vera picante.
extra virgin olive oil for frying
1 large squirt of anchovy paste
1 or 2 large squirts of tomato purée
a glass of red wine
a splash or red wine vinegar
Joint a whole chicken (you could ask your butcher to do this) and lightly brown it in some extra virgin olive oil with a little salt and pepper. Do this in the casserole that you intend to cook the whole dish in – once the chicken is browned, remove it to a plate and fry your onion with some crushed chilli in the same pan.
When the onion becomes translucent, add the bacon and chorizo until the bacon takes some colour. Stir in the hot paprika and then the carrot, celery, garlic, leak and mushrooms.
Mix in the vegetables for a few minutes before stirring in the tomatoes, the purée and anchovy paste. Sprinkle in the ground herbs and pour in the wine and vinegar. The bay leaves can go in at this point too. Now’s the time to taste your sauce and adjust the seasoning a bit, if necessary. If you cook a whole chicken, you should get a good chicken flavour from the bones – if not you might want to use a cup of home made chicken stock or cheat with a sprinkle of Oxo.
When you are happy with the flavour, pour in the cannellini beans – get them nicely coated with the sauce and then add the browned chicken. If the sauce looks like there’s not enough liquid, add another glass of wine. Try to make sure the chicken is as submerged as possible. Put the lid on the casserole and place it in a pre heated oven at 100º C for about an hour. This will be fine if you cook it for a couple of hours – the chicken will eventually fall off the bone though. If you keep your own chicken, this recipe would be good for older chicken, cooked for a long time to make them tender. After an hour of cooking, skim off any fat that has collected on the top of the sauce, have a good taste (add a little more seasoning if necessary) and serve with boiled potatoes or rice.