This beautiful and savory dish is served in most local restaurants in Spain, it is a national treasure of their cuisine. This intensely flavored dish is made with one single large cast iron or enamel pan, what could be more simple.
Spanish Chorizo is a dry salami made from fermented, cured and smoked course ground pork and seasoned with smoked paprika. (Chorizo is available on Amazon). The gorgeous red color comes from simmering Spanish chorizo in a high quality olive oil until the oil is deeply flavored and colored from the spicy paprika in the chorizo. Then the chicken pieces are braised in this oil until the fats in the chicken skin join with the oils in the pan to become vibrantly red. The chicken is then removed from the pan and set aside. Garlic, onion and peppers are added to this amazing oil and simmered until fragrant and married, and then chicken bone broth is added to deglaze, and then cream is added later to create a gorgeous gravy.
Now comes the secret for this umami explosion, dry Sherry, which adds another whole layer of taste, with rich sweet flavors. The chicken is then added back to this same pan, and tucked deep into the luscious red sauce, and the entire pan is placed in the oven until the chicken is falling off the bone. This is a fabulously delicious feast from the heart of the beautiful sun drenched land of Spain, and is a dish you will always remember… all with one pan and finished in 40 minutes. Enjoy!
6 to 8 chicken thighs, depending on size, skin on, bone in (we use free range and air chilled)
4 to 6 ounces Spanish Chorizo, cut into 1/4 inch coins (we use Palacios brand)
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 cup chicken bone broth, already reduced
1 cup dry Sherry (we use Amontillado)
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 ounces for the chicken and 2 ounces for the veggies
5 to 7 garlic cloves, depending on size, crushed
1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika, 1 teaspoon for the chicken before braising and 2 teaspoons for the veggies (we use La Chinata brand)
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes or cayenne
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 heaping tablespoon flour (we use rice flour)
2 teaspoons salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon applied to the chicken and 1/2 teaspoon applied to the veggies
1 teaspoon black pepper
Spread out the chicken on plates or butcher paper and sprinkle on the salt and paprika to both sides, especially under the skin. Set aside, and the longer the salt draws the juices out the more juicy the chicken will be.
Chop the onion and the bell pepper.
Heat the chicken bone broth until just hot and add the flour, stirring until it is fully dissolved.
In a 12 to 14 inch cast iron or enamel pan, heat on low to medium half the olive oil and simmer the chorizo until the oil is flaming red. We don’t want the chorizo too hot or the pieces will be too hard. Remove the chorizo from the heat and set aside.
Now add all the crushed garlic, allow to simmer until aromatic and then place the chicken thighs into the pan with the bone side down. Braise for 3 or 4 minutes until the thighs have picked up the garlic from the pan and are well flavored, and then turn the thighs over and braise on the skin side for another 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside covered, with the seared skin side up.
Add the rest of the olive oil and when hot, saute on medium high heat the onion and bell pepper until the onion is translucent and slightly softened, about 5 or 6 minutes.
Sprinkle on the last 1/2 teaspoon of salt, paprika, the pepper flakes or cayenne, and the black pepper. Stir and mix well.
Add the chicken broth with the dissolved flour and it will sizzle and deglaze the pan, and at the same time, form a slight gravy.
Now add the Sherry and the chorizo, simmer until married, about 2 minutes, and then add back the chicken with its juices, with the skin side still up.
Now you have a choice, you can bake the chicken or continue to braise. If you choose to bake, place the entire cast iron pan in the oven, at 375 degrees, for about 25 minutes until the chicken is tender. If you continue to braise on the stove, simmer on low-medium until the chicken is tender and nearly falling off the bone.
No matter which cooking style you choose, when the chicken is finished, stir in the cream and the thyme, pouring between the thighs, and simmer until married, about 2 minutes.
Finally nestle the thighs together with some fresh thyme stems and a last splash of Sherry. Serve with crusty bread or broiled potatoes. Enjoy!