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This week, Shannon has been feeling under the weather – what with the dramatic 20 degree drops overnight and whatnot, so I get a text halfway through the day – “Bring me some chicken soup!”
Well I’ve done you one better! Today, we’ll be making a fantastic Spanish Chicken Stew that warms the heart and fires the tastebuds. It combines wonderful flavors and textures of chicken, peppers, tomatoes, chickpeas, and almonds to create a thick and meaty stew for the whole family. So, without much ado, let’s get to it!
Time Required: 1 hour minimum
You will need:
4 pounds assorted chicken parts – skin on and bone in. This is really important as it is where all of our flavors come from. If you feel up to it, feel free to throw in some hearts and gizzards for all that extra rich flavor. I used a combination of thighs, drums, and winglets.
Salt, Pepper, and Paprika
2 red or yellow bell peppers (Either is fine, I use one of each!)
1 Yellow Onion
1 can of Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
You can also add green olives (my wife hates them, so I left them out) and garlic for extra flavor
A large, heavy, wide-bottom pot with cover
A large bowl and Serving Plate
Chef’s Knife and Cutting board
Tongs and Ladle
Let’s get it started!
While this is going, take your chicken and Season it well with salt and pepper. You can also use other spices here if you want, or if you have a special blend that you prefer. I like to add cumin and a bit of Cayenne pepper to add some kick to my meal. To each his own!
Once our oil is nice and hot, we’ll begin searing our chicken. You’ll want to work in small groups, it took me 3 batches to get everything. Sear the chicken nicely on both sides, about 10 minutes total. During this step we’ll get all of our delicious fat and flavor for the rest of the stew base. Don’t worry if the second or third batch starts to look a bit more charred and black on the bottom, this is ok!
Your chicken should start to look something like this:
YUM! RIght? Make sure you cook out all the pink spots, as we don’t want any raw chicken leftover here!
In the meantime, go ahead and chop up your Peppers and Onion into small chunks. This should give us a great medley of color to add in.
By now our chicken should be done! Use some tongs to transfer it to a plate and set aside. By now you should have some nice smells going in your chicken, which is the best part! My poor puppy was drooling over this for hours.
At this point, we’ll want to pour off about half of our fat and oil from the bottom of the plate. Make sure you don’t pour this into any water, as it will splatter up and possibly burn you. You’ll want enough leftover to cover the whole bottom of the pot without about a half inch of fat. To this, we’ll add our peppers and onions (and garlic if you’ve used it) to saute for about 5-7 minutes, until our onions get clear.
Whew! Look at that baby smoke!
You might want to open a window, or turn on your fan or hood over the stove, so we don’t set off any fire alarms!
Now we’ll want to dice up our tomatoes and add them to the pot as well. On top, you can throw in a nice cover of Paprika, about 2 teaspoons.
Now we’ll add our chicken back in to this nice bed of veggies to begin the long stew process.
Now comes the fun part. Put a lid on it, lower the heat, and grab a snack, glass of wine, and a book. You’ll want to slow simmer the pot for at Least 40 minutes on medium low heat. If you’ve got extra time, you can drop the heat much lower, and take more time. I let mine sit for about 4 hours on simmer and it was perfect! This part is my favorite step because you get to sit and enjoy the anticipation of a wonderful meal, without any more work! What do you like to do while you wait?
Just look at that deliciousness! The chicken is literally falling off the bone. Woof!
By the time our food is almost ready to be served up, we’ll finally add in our Chickpeas, Olives if you’ve got ’em, and half a cup of sliced almonds.
Turn the heat back up to Medium-High, then cover and cook the whole thing for 10-15 minutes, enough to warm the chickpeas and almonds to a nice serving temperature.
Then garnish with toasted almonds and enjoy!