Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spanish Basque Chicken and Chorizo Sauté & a Traditional Style Rioja

For a snowy Saturday night in January here is a heart warming option: Spanish Basque Chicken and Chorizo Sauté. Yet, it is yummy any time. In fact, we served a version of this at my daughter's wedding, which was in the heat of a Nashville August. Spicy dishes in the summer makes you sweat, thus having a cooling effect.

The star of this recipe is the divine rich and spicy sauce. And the 2004 Marqués de Murrietta Reserva Rioja made a terrific marriage between food and wine. This bodega produces a traditional versus a modern style Rioja. Traditional Rioja is earthy in contrast to the fruit forwardness of a modern style Rioja. This style mirrors the earthy flavors of the dish nicely.

Moreover, the dry Sherry (Fino or Manzanillo are both dry styles) is a lovely companion for the chef while the dish is cooking (Safety tip: Avoid drinking wine until all chopping has been completed and the knife has been cleaned and put away). A glass of Fino or Manzanillo can be so refreshing during the summer. Fino Sherry is popular at the beach in southern Spain. It's a taste that requires getting use to, but worth it. It makes a fun aperitif before dinner.

Total preparation time: 1 Hr 15 Min
6 Servings

4 ounces dry chorizo sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 Tbls. Extra Virgin olive oil
6 whole chicken legs, split (3 1/2 lbs total)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1/2 inch-wide strips
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 large thyme sprigs (dried works)
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved (I didn't have the tomatoes so I used tbls. of tomato pasta)
3/4 cup dry sherry (Again, last I substituted dry Marsala)
2 tsp. sweet paprika
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper ( any hot pepper--I used Scotch Bonnet)
One 9-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and pressed dry (use marinated artichokes but rinse them thoroughly and dry)
2 Tbls. shredded basil (or fresh Parsley)
Crusty French bread, for serving

1. Heat a large skillet. Add the chorizo and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned and some of the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a plate.
2. Heat the olive oil in the skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until well browned, 15 minutes. Add the chicken to the chorizo.
3. Add the peppers, onions, garlic and thyme to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until just barely softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes, dry sherry and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute, scraping up any browned bits from the pan.
4.Return the chicken and chorizo to the skillet. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through 25 minutes. Add the artichokes, tucking them in between the chicken pieces. Raise the heat to moderate and cook uncovered until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a deep platter. Stir the basil into the sauce and spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve with crusty bread.

Source: Daniel Boulud, published in the 2005 Food & Wine Annual Cookbook (always an outstanding source of fun and easy entertaining recipes).


laura said...

You have inspired me! I have transferred the ingredients to my shopping list. Thanks.

Bill Sanders said...

I'm thrilled you are inspired, Laura. Please let me know how it worked for you and any of your own creative modifications and addition. Have fun!