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IAN & SPAIN

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A Chicken Stew with an unusual name...
28 January 2021 @ 19:14

Even though the weather has taken a turn for the better recently, I don think winter is behind us just yet so I thought I would share with you a wonderfully warming chicken stew recipe, but with a very peculiar name: The Secretary's Chicken - "Pollo a la Secretaria". It earned this peculiar name as a result of the cook's forgetfulness. A group of friends from the Jaén town of Alcalá la Real, who met in a farmhouse to celebrate the day of San Roque were supposed to be sitting down to enjoy a typical rice dish when halfway through the preparation, the cook was going to add the rice and realised that he had forgotten to bring this seemingly important ingredient. Fortunately, one of the attendees, who happened to be the secretary for the local town council suggested that the chicken could still be cooked even without the rice and that he should just crack on with the recipe without it, and the result was a complete success, so the dish was baptized The Secretary's Chicken. It really is an easy recipe and ever so tasty so let's give it a go:

 

 

Ingredients for 4 people:

1 Free-range chicken chopped up into pieces (about 1,5 kg)

75 g Green peas

200 g Serrano ham cut into small cubes

6 Garlic clove

Saffron - a few strands 

200 ml Chicken stock 

1 Chicken liver (if you buy the chicken from a butcher say you want the liver too)

3 Onions (sliced)

200 ml White wine

Extra virgin olive oil three tablespoons

2 Bay leaves

Fresh parsley - a few sprigs

1/2  Large green pepper (sliced)

1/2 Large red pepper (sliced)

1 Large grated tomato

 

Start by frying the peeled garlic cloves (whole, without chopping them up) together with the chicken liver for a couple of minutes. Once they are ready, blend the garlic and liver with a few sprigs of parsley and a tiny bit of water in a blender. Once you have a thick paste put it to one side. Be careful not to add too much water. Start with a half a tablespoon and add accordingly.

In the same saucepan with which you fried the garlic, brown the chicken pieces.  Brown them really well, if you need to add a little more oil, do so, but make sure they are nicely browned. This is what adds extra flavour to the dish. 

Once fried, put the chicken to one side. Using the same saucepan again, fry the onions and the peppers. When they begin to brown and soften, add the grated tomato and the white wine.

Now, put the chicken pieces back in that you fried earlier and add the garlic and liver paste, the bay leaves and the saffron. Mix all together and then add the peas, the ham cubes and the chicken stock, let it simmer together for about 25 minutes on medium heat until the chicken is tender. Taste for salt and add if necessary.

Remove it from the heat and let it rest for about 5 minutes. 

 

 

I like to serve this dish with fresh potato chips (not frozen) fried in extra virgin olive oil, but you could also serve it with white rice or on its own with some crusty bread.

Enjoy!



Like 1




7 Comments


robin1 said:
30 January 2021 @ 09:23

I know it’s wasteful not to use the whole chicken, but I feel very shortchanged if I have a dish like this and my pieces are all skin and bones and I have to work really hard to get any decent pieces of meat. I prefer dishes made with just breast meat, or where you actually get a whole quarter.


eos_ian said:
30 January 2021 @ 09:34

You can easily adjust the dish to smaller parts of the chicken such as drumsticks or thighs. I would'nt recommend using just breast as it will end up very dry. Thanks for reading!


anthomo16 said:
30 January 2021 @ 11:12

I use thighs as they are cheap and very tasty much tastier than breast. I am certainly gonna have a go at this


robin1 said:
30 January 2021 @ 11:22

All meat to a certain extent relies on seasoning and flavouring etc and the way it’s cooked for its taste. My real point was that I prefer proper chunks of meat rather than having to delve around in skin and bones to try to find something I can get my teeth into. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky in what I’ve been served up with in the past.


eos_ian said:
30 January 2021 @ 12:08

Well, if you make it yourself you can chop the chicken up as you wish and choose the pieces you want - ie the meatier parts - the rest can be used for making stock. Enjoy!


crostrad said:
31 January 2021 @ 23:19

Hi Ian, I made this stew tonight and it tasted great - even though we didn't have a few of the ingredients. No serrano, no chicken stock, no tomato and no green pepper or peas.( I should have checked that we had everything before starting).
I used 1 leftover slice of our butchers home cooked ham (a bit like gammon) had to use vegetable stock, some tinned chopped tomato and green mild tobasco sauce. Had to pass on the peas. But it still came out tasting good with a serving of home cooked fries on the side. Next time I will make sure to have all the correct ingredients to hand before I get started. Thanks for the easy to follow cooking instructions.The chicken liver and garlic was quite easy to grind up by hand in the pestle and mortar.


falcon said:
16 February 2021 @ 00:34

mmm


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