Chicken in Almond Sauce Recipe, Pollo en Pepitoria
Chicken in Almond Sauce Recipe - This delicious Spanish Stew is thought to be of Moorish (Arab) origin due to the almonds and saffron in the dish, the original version is made with offal, but today we tend to prefer chicken thighs or breasts. The key ingredients in this recipe are - Chicken stock, white wine, saffron, almonds, olive oil, bay leaves, salt, garlic cloves, cinnamon, diced onion, chicken, and egg.
PREP TIME 10 mins COOK TIME 50 mins TOTAL TIME1 hr Serves 4
1/4 cup (120 ml) extra virgin olive oil
4-6 large chicken thighs with the skin attached I use free-range chicken
Salt and Pepper
1 large onion diced
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine or sherry
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 hard-boiled eggs
1/2 cup of raw almonds
6 cloves of garlic
Pinch of real saffron threads
Chicken stock: use the best quality stock you can! If it’s homemade, great, but if not just buy the best you can find. In a stew like this one it really makes a difference.
Wine: You can use any dry white wine. If using sherry make sure it is a dry style such as fino, manzanilla, or amontillado.
Almonds: Make sure to use raw almonds that don’t have any skin, which would give the stew a bitter flavour. If you can use Marcona almonds, even better!
Saffron: This stew gets a great deal of its flavour from the saffron, so use the real stuff. If you take a shortcut here you will miss out on taste! If you want even more yellow colour from the saffron, add a few strands to the white wine about 15 minutes before adding it to the stew. It will release more beautiful yellow colour and more saffron flavour to the dish.
Chicken: You can use chicken thighs, but you can use whichever part of the chicken you prefer. If using chicken breasts don’t brown too much at the beginning so that they aren’t too dry.
First, cover the bottom of a large heavy pan with olive oil and heat over a medium heat.
Season the raw chicken with salt and pepper and add to the hot pan, browning for a short time on each side.
Remove the chicken from the pan, lower the heat and add the diced onion. Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes until golden, and add the white wine.
Return the chicken to the pan and cover in the chicken stock, then add the bay leaves and cinnamon. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes, turning the chicken over about halfway through.
Make the hard-boiled eggs and remove the hard-boiled yolks from the whites, save the yolks and dice the whites for later.
In a frying pan, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil and add the garlic and almonds. Fry until golden brown and remove onto paper towels to drain excess oil.
Blend the almonds, garlic and hard boiled egg yolks in a food processor until you have a thick paste. If necessary, add some of the liquid from the chicken to help blend.
Stir the paste into the stew and add a pinch of saffron.
Simmer slowly, uncovered, stirring frequently until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through.
Season with salt and pepper, garnish with the chopped egg whites.
Serve with rice, with a bit of garlic (there’s never too much garlic here in Spain), French fries or any baked or mashed potato dish.
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