When you think of Spanish wine, a large glass of deep red from La Rioja or Ribeira springs to mind, ideally accompanied by a slice of cured Manchego cheese or embutidos (cured meats). However, Spain produces many types of white wine, including my favourite Verdejo wine from Rueda in Castilla y León. After sampling quite a few glasses of Verdejo wine at a wedding in Spain, we were inspired to cook up a classic chicken dish, pollo al vino blanco (chicken in a white wine sauce). Accompanied by some roast potatoes and veggies, it makes an excellent midweek dinner or serve in small portions as part of a tapas selection. Pour yourself a chef-sized glass of Verdejo and get cooking!
Ingredients (serves 2)
600 g chicken – can be a mixture of thighs/breast/wings
50 g plain white flour
5 tbsp olive oil
10 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
2 glasses white wine (Spanish wine ideally, but most types will work, other than dessert wines)
a pinch of saffron/paprika if you are on a budget!
parsley to garnish
1. Cut chicken into large chunks. They will cook more evenly if they are roughly the same size.
2. Lightly coat the chicken pieces in flour. This gives a nice coating to the chicken, and helps to thicken the sauce later. Put the chicken pieces to one side while you prepare the garlic.
3. Add the olive oil to a large, deep saucepan on a low heat. Peel the cloves of garlic and add whole to the warm oil. Cook the garlic until golden brown and then remove from the saucepan with a slotted spoon. The garlic burns easily, so watch closely! Put the garlic aside for later.
4. Add the pieces of chicken to the saucepan that you cooked the garlic in. Raise the temperature to a medium heat. Cook until the chicken appears golden brown – around 10 minutes.
5. When the chicken has started to gain colour, add the cooked garlic cloves, bay leaf, white wine, saffron/paprika, salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly.
6. Cover the saucepan with a lid and cook on a low heat for around 15 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked through. Scatter on some chopped parsley as a garnish and serve with roast potatoes!