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Monday, April 26, 2010

Pollo al Chilindrón

I have been looking for something new to cook and a friend told me about this simple dish of chicken and peppers. I had never heard of the dish, never tried it before, and I certainly had never cooked it. I did my usual internet search for recipes and then I turned to youtube to find a video to walk me through the dish. I found several but I especially liked the José Andrés version. I have seen many episodes of his show,Made in Spain, on the net. I left out the tomato sauce part. I don’t remember if this was an accident on my part or if I was imitating another version of the dish that doesn’t use sauce. My version in the video came out very well so you decide.

What I am finally learning about cooking is that one of the most important aspects of any dish is how you season the dish. This sounds incredibly obvious but it is the difference between the insipid and the delicious. A pinch more salt, a bit of pepper, a dash more of pimentón can change a disastrous dish into something sublime. When making gazpacho, seasoning is so incredibly crucial to the final product. It is something that I am learning dish by dish as I develop my taste buds.

From Made in Spain

Pollo al chilindrón

Chilindrón is a wonderful vegetable stew that comes from Aragon, where they grow astonishing vegetables in the fertile land near the Ebro River.
Serves 4
• ¼ cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
• 4 chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks separated
• Salt to taste
• 4 cups diced Spanish onions
• 1 cup diced green bell peppers
• 1 cup diced red bell peppers
• 2 tablespoons minced garlic
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 1 cup thinly sliced and diced jamón Serrano (Spanish cured ham)
• ½ teaspoon sweet pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)
• 2 cups plain canned tomato sauce
• 1 fresh rosemary sprig
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 cups flat mineral or filtered water

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 12-quart pot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt then, working in batches, brown them on all sides. Transfer the chicken to a platter and set aside.

Add the ¼ cup of olive oil to the same pot, and when the oil is hot, add the onions and peppers. Reduce the heat to low and cook slowly until the vegetables are dark golden brown, about 30 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of water if the onions start to burn. Add the garlic and cook for 5 more minutes. Then add the white wine and cook until it evaporates, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the jamón and browned chicken pieces, as well as any juices that have collected, and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in the pimentón, tomato sauce, rosemary, bay leaf and the water and simmer over low heat for 1 hour or until the meat starts to fall off the bone. Season to taste with salt before serving.

*Youtube no longer allows you to use copyrighted music in your videos. Big deal, who needs it? In this video I use a song my younger brother made. Not exactly cooking video music, it's more like "humping some hot chick in a corner of an Ibiza disco" music but I think it's pretty cool and I'm hoping he'll make me some more stuff to put in future projects. Thanks, Mat. You are a true Renaissance man.


  1. You need a fussier salt chest; something worthy enough to hold such a simple treasure.

  2. Salt is a flavor enhancer. The way you know you added too much is if it begins to taste like soap. But believe me, you will stop adding salt before it comes to that.

  3. If it were up to me I would keep my salt in Paz Vega's belly button but she hasn't answered any of my emails.

  4. Thanks for turning us on to Paz Vega.


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