Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pollo En Pepitoria

Yet another Movida cookbook recipe which has turned out being amazing, the English name for this dish is Saffron Braised Chicken Thickened with Almonds and Egg Yolk. My favorite element of this dish is the Spanish fino sherry, which at a stretch, you could substitute with a dry white wine. But the fino gives a delicious depth to the sauce which is unadulterated by cream. Considering the expensive ingredients going into the sauce, I found a heck of a lot of it leftover which i'll use as a sauce for other things. However i've upped the quantity of chicken in the recipe below to counter this.

Ingredients (serves 8)

  •  16 chicken thighs
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 1 bottle fino sherry
  • 2 pinches saffron
  • 8 juniper berries
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 brown onions, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Flour and salt to coat chicken
  • 1 large handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • Almond picada (see below)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Almond Picaca

  • 100gm ground almonds
  • The yolks of 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • Salt to season


To make the almond picada, toast the almond meal in a saucepan for 5 minutes or until beginning to brown.
With a fork, mix the almond meal through the egg yolks
In a dry pan, toast the 1 pinch saffron for 1 minute on high heat.
Place saffron in a small dish with 1 tablespoon water, and leave for 1 minute.
Add saffron and water to the picada mix and season with salt.
Mix through and refrigerate until ready.
Combine the salt and flour, and coat each chicken thigh in the seasoned flour
Bring a large frying pan to a med-high heat.
Add 1/2 cup of olive oil.
Add 4 of the chicken thighs and cook for 4 minutes on each side.
Remove the thighs and set aside.
Repeat for remaining chicken.
In a large saucepan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat.
Add the onion, garlic and bay leaves, and saute for 10 minutes or until soft and beginning to brown.
Add the saffron and fino sherry and bring to the boil.
Allow to boil for a couple of minutes and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the chicken and juniper berries to the pot, and add chicken stock until the thighs are just covered in liquid. 
Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour. 
Test for seasoning.
Remove chicken to serving plates. 
Add the picada to the sauce and stir through, then ladle on top of chicken.
Garnish with parsley. 

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