When I was working full-time as an EFL teacher in Madrid, Sevi would prepare lunch for me every day, which I would quickly eat before rushing out the door to my next class. One of my favourite lunches was pollo al chilindrón – chicken stew cooked with peppers and tomatoes. Juicy chunks of bone-in chicken, sweet peppers and a rich chicken broth always helped to set me up for a long afternoon of grammar!
Don’t be fooled by the short list of ingredients – this is classic Spanish cooking at its finest! Spanish recipes are all about making the most of the natural flavour of the freshest ingredients. Try this chicken stew and see for yourself how the simplest ingredients come together to make deep complex flavours.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 whole chicken, cut up into breasts, thighs and drumsticks (freeze the wings for another meal!)
3tbsp olive oil
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 glass white wine
½ litre of chicken stock
salt and pepper
1. Cut the chicken breasts, thighs and drumsticks into large pieces. Leave any small bones in for extra flavour.
2. Add the olive oil to a large deep saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden, stirring occasionally. Once golden, remove the chicken pieces from the saucepan and put to one side.
3. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the other ingredients. Remove the seeds and white membranes from the red and green peppers, and cut into 1cm dice. Peel and dice the onion to a similar size. Peel and thinly slice the cloves of garlic. When you have removed the chicken from the saucepan, add the peppers, onion and garlic and turn down the heat to low.
4. Cook the vegetables for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. As they begin to soften, add the chicken pieces that you put aside earlier, tinned tomatoes, bay leaf, white wine and stock. Cover the saucepan and cook over a low heat for around 25 minutes.
5. After 25 minutes, check the saucepan. If there is still a lot of liquid, you could cook it uncovered for 10 minutes until the stock has reduced further. Check the seasoning and add salt to taste!
6. Serve the chicken stew with fried potatoes or salad.