Last night I had the lovely Abigail over for dinner, Doctor Who and a post-Christmas catch-up. On the Who front we opted for Four to Doomsday, to follow on from last week’s Castrovalva, and on the food front I opted for this rather tasty little number from the Great British Bake Off Winter Cookbook. I made a couple of changes, mostly due to scaling it down from serving 6 to only serving the 2 of us. I also only had 50ml of sherry, so I made up the other 100ml with white wine but that didn’t seem to affect the flavour unduly. I also omitted the ground almonds, as I don’t like them.
It’s a tasty little recipe and I shall certainly be cooking it again. I’m not quite sure what, apart from the smoked paprika, makes it particularly ‘Spanish’ but it was tasty, nonetheless. I served it with crispy, cheesy butternut squash wedges, which I liberally scattered with chunks of chopped chorizo, to emphasise the Spanishness, and steamed spring greens.
60g of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
25g of ground almonds
1 x 1.8kg chicken (I opted for 2 chicken thighs per person)
1 lemon, halved
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon of plain flour
150ml of medium dry sherry
500ml of hot chicken stock
5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 red peppers, de-seeded and sliced (I only used two peppers, one red and one green for variety)
1 x 400g tin of butterbeans
100ml of double cream
A handful of fresh tarragon, chopped
Salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200.
Mix the butter with paprika and then push it under the skin of the chicken, spreading it over the meat.
(If you are using a whole chicken then you’ll need to tie the legs together after applying the butter, to ensure that they don’t splay open during cooking.)
Season the chicken and then squeeze the juice from the lemon over and inside the chicken and then place the two halves in the cavity.
In a large flameproof casserole heat the oil over a medium-high heat and fry the onion for 5 minutes or so, until softened. Add the crushed garlic and cook for a further minute.
Stir in the flour and cook for 30 seconds or so, and then add in the sherry, stirring continually, until smooth. Bubble for a couple of minutes, until reduced a little, and then add the stock, thyme and sliced peppers.
Place the chicken in the pot and bring the liquid to the boil.
Cover the casserole and place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes.
Uncover the casserole and stir in the beans. Return to the oven and cook, uncovered, for a further 25 minutes until the chicken is golden and cooked through.
Remove the chicken to a serving dish and cover loosely with foil while you make the sauce.
Return the casserole to the hob. Skim off any fat from the surface and bubble the liquid for 5 minutes to reduce it a little. Stir in the cream and tarragon and season.
Spoon the beans, pepper and sauce around the chicken and serve.