Basque Braised Chicken
The Spanish version of Italian "Scarpariello" A great one pot dinner cobbled together with chicken, sausages, tomatoes, spices and veggies.. variations galore depending on what you have on hand! Throw in a diced potato if you really need to feed a crowd. The chorizo, paprika, orange and sherry give it the Basque twist.
- 8-10 oz Spanish or Portuguese Chorizo sausages (4 slender sausages from my Roma deli)
- 2-3 lbs bone in chicken pieces (Ive also used boneless skinless thighs with good result)
- 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to season
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 large onion, sliced
- a handful of sliced mushrooms
- lots of chopped or sliced garlic
- 2 large thyme sprigs
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 orange, zested and sliced into quarters
- 1 cup fresh tomatoe puree( or 1 can roasted diced toms)
- 3/4 cup sherry
- 1/4 cup chicken broth (punch up flavor by adding some chix bullion paste too if you wish)
- 1 TBS good smoked paprika, hot or mild as you wish
- crushed red pepper to taste
- 1 chopped pickled hot cherry pepper and 1 TBS of the juice from the jar, or chopped pitted olive mix with juice, or even capers will do. You choose depending on what you like! Omit completely if you want. I like the vinegar kick of it.
- a handfull of fresh chopped basil and/or parsley
season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and set aside
Heat a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook untill lightly browned about 5 min. Transfer the chorizo to a plate.
Heat the EVO in the skillet. Add the chicken pieces and cook, turning once, until well browned about 15 min. Remove chicken to same plate with chorizo. Slice the chorizo diagonally into 1" chunks when it is cool enough to handle..
Add the onion, bell peppers and garlic to the skillet. Saute until softened, about 2 min. Add the mushrooms, paprika, thyme, crushed red chili and saute another 3 minutes or so. Add the tomatoes and sherry and deglaze the pan, scraping up the stuck bits. Stir in the chopped hot cherry pepper or olives and orange zest.
Return the chicken and chorizo and all their juices back into the skillet . Place the orange slices around the pan. Pour the chicken broth over all. Cover and simmer on moderate heat, stirring gently on occasion, until chicken is cooked through, about 35-45 minutes, uncover and simmer another 10 minutes or untill sauce has thickened a bit.
Alternately, you can place the skillet uncovered in a 350 oven and braise for 35-45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Stir in the fresh basil/ parsley
Serve over rice, cous cous or pasta. Also terrific served with creamy mashed potatoes or cruchy roasted spiced potatoes. Sometimes we just sop it up with a yummy crusty bread and a crisp green salad on the side. No rules, just enjoy!
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