Still on an Iberian high, we organised a Spanish supper club during our stay on Rercy and Dave’s farm last week. I made a few pinxtos: pickled chillies with an anchovy and olive on a stick. I’ve seen those green pickled chillies in Lidl, and I picked up ten of them in Timgad on the South Circular Road for about 50c. By God, they’re heaven-sent. We also had some Serrano ham which we brough back from Bilbao.
This served five of us, with a little left over. It’s also a spectacular looking dish – the chicken takes on deep, rich, purple hues – but I didn’t have my camera with me.
Chicken, Rioja, Garlic, Bay Leaves
I prepared a fantastic dish of Chicken in Rioja with Garlic, a version of which I’d seen in the Avoca cookbook . We all argued at length about whether a high quality wine is necessary for cooking, or whether a relatively standard bottle will do. The high-quality wine won out.
We used a free-range chicken which I picked up in Aldi for €5, and jointed it. There’s very few ingredients in this dish so it all rests on the quality of the chicken; I wouldn’t normally say this, but the meat should be at least free-range.
- 1 whole free-range or organic chicken, broken into joints
- 5-6 bay leaves
- 2 whole heads of garlic, unbroken
- 1/2- 3/4 bottle of Rioja red wine
- Salt and pepper
- Brown the chicken joints in salt and pepper in a deep pan or pot
- Pour in the wine, the whole garlic cloves, and the bay leaves
- Leave to simmer for 30 minutes
- Serve with lots of crusty bread for dipping