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Spanish Baked Chicken

Spanish Baked Chicken by The Culinary ChaseWe’ve been in our new home now for nine days and it feels as though we never left Nova Scotia! I love how easily we slipped back into our routine…and for me part of that means entertaining. I made this Spanish baked chicken while we were still in NY and knew this would be a hit here, too.  The Spanish know how to cook and the ingredients for this dish go so well together.

When we entertain, we like to keep things as simple as possible which means prep work is done the day before or the morning of the dinner party.  This allows me to be with our friends and not stuck in the kitchen.  I chose to start the evening off with homemade tapenade and a beet and goat cheese terrine followed by grilled romaine salad.  To accompany the chicken, I made an aubergine with mint salsa and Israeli couscous.  John and I had been to the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market and picked up a bottle of Pomme d’Or from Grand Pré winery.  Let me say this, we aren’t big fans of  dessert wine or anything remotely similar.  Having said that, we tasted, on the advice of Mr. Stutz (owner of Grand Pré), and immediately knew the Pomme d’Or would be a wonderful way to end the evening.  We paired it with blue cheese, large purple grapes, aged local Gouda and dried apricots.  The evening was a huge success and our friends were a little merrier when they left.

Serves 4
adapted from Simply Recipes

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup sliced green olives
3 lbs. chicken parts (I used chicken thighs)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup dry white wine

In a bowl combine the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, garlic, pepper, bay leaves, raisins and olives. Prick the skin of the chicken with fork tines and add to the marinade, coating well. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

chicken Collage by The Culinary ChasePreheat oven to 350°F. Place chicken in a baking dish. Combine wine with the marinade and pour over chicken. Sprinkle chicken with brown sugar. Bake uncovered basting occasionally, until chicken is tender (about 50 minutes). Remove bay leaves and serve immediately.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Finger-lickin’ good! I was a bit hesitant to sprinkle the brown sugar over the chicken as I thought it might be too sweet but fondly enough it helped calm the sharpness of the vinegar.  The photo of the chicken was taken when we were back in NY and I cut the ingredients in half as it was just the two of us. Enjoy!

Potatoes with Chorizo

Potatoes with Chorizo by The Culinary ChaseSpain is a country I have yet to visit.  John has been several times much to my chagrin…before we met and whilst on business.  I mention to him that I’d like to visit Madrid and Barcelona and his response, been there!   I am quick to reply that I am happy to go on my own.  He gives me a look that says ‘not without me’.  He knows I wouldn’t unless I planned it with a girlfriend but I know that eventually I’ll we’ll get there. My first foray into this delightfully diverse Mediterranean cuisine was interestingly enough, in Hong Kong.  We found a tapas restaurant called El Cid in Causeway Bay.  The food was great and reasonably priced for Hong Kong standards.  One of the tapas we always ordered was patatas bravas with chorizo.  It was consistently delicious and the recipe I’ve posted, while it doesn’t have tomatoes, reminded me of El Cid.  The flavors from the ingredients make the potatoes and chorizo stand out and I dare you to say no to seconds!

Serves 4
adapted from HuffPost Taste

1 large onion, chopped
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
7 oz. cured or semi-cured spicy chorizo, cut into cubes or thick slices
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb. new potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 teaspoon sweet paprika (pimentón)

Spanish chorizo is made from coarsely chopped pork and pork fat, seasoned with smoked pimentón and salt.

Spanish chorizo is made from coarsely chopped pork and pork fat, seasoned with smoked pimentón and salt.

Sauté the onion in olive oil over low heat in a wide skillet, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Add chorizo and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, turning them over. Add paprika if desired and pour in enough water to just cover. Simmer over low heat for about 25 to 35 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the liquid is very much reduced, turning the potatoes if necessary so that they are well cooked all the way through.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Cut potatoes the same size for even cooking.  The smaller the potato cube, the shorter the cooking time.  There should be little liquid left. If there is, remove lid, increase heat and cook until liquid has reduced. Gorgeous smokey flavors coming from the chorizo. Enjoy with a glass of Spanish red!