Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Guest Post: Easy Spanish Chicken

One of my team mentioned to me that although had an interest in food he couldn't cook. After asking a few questions it did seem that he knew how to cook almost nothing. It doesn't surprise me as if you don't have a parent or similar who has an interest in cooking then it is quite hard to learn. Most recipe books are quite inaccessible and assume a basic level of knowledge.
So I set him the challenge of cooking a meal. I will post his results once he's made the meal next week.
I chose one of my favourite simple, one pot meals and tried to write the recipe as clearly as possible. This recipe is not necessarily authentically Spanish but originally it was given to me by a friend's Spanish mum, hence the name.
If anyone else knows someone who claims not to be able to cook ask them to have a go at this recipe and send me a photo and/or comments to let me know how they get on.

Easy Spanish Chicken

Serves 4 but can be easily halved or doubled

4 chicken portions like the ones in the photo below or you could use 8 chicken thighs instead.
Salt and pepper
Two large peppers maybe a different colours
Two large onions
Two large potatoes (I leave these out to make it 'cleaner')
Two cloves of garlic (these are the small ‘segments’ from a whole bulb)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 head of broccoli
An oven
A large pan or dish which is oven proof
A knife
A chopping board
A tin opener
A wine glass
A saucepan
A strainer (if you have one)

Turn your oven on to pre-heat. You want the temperature to be 180C. If the oven is a fan oven you always have to put the temperature 20C less so it would need to be set to 160C. This is about 350F or Gas Mark 4
Take a large pan or dish, which is able to go in the oven. Something like a lasagne dish would be good. If you don’t have one large dish two smaller ones will do, but don’t be tempted to squash everything into one small one.
Get 4 chicken portions and place them in a single layer in the dish. Remember when handling chicken that you need to make sure that the raw chicken doesn’t touch anything that won’t be cooked so once you have put the chicken in the pan, wash your hands and anything the chicken has touched well.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken you want a pinch of each.
Cut the peppers in half and cut out the stalk out of the pepper and all of the seeds and throw these away. Take the pepper halves and cut each one into four roughly equal pieces. Scatter these on top of the chicken.
Peel the onions. This is easiest if you cut the top and bottom off the onion and then cut the onion in half first. Cut each half into 3 wedges. Scatter these on top of the chicken.
Cut the potatoes into half and cut each half into quarters scatter these on top of the chicken. There is no need to peel them.
Peel the garlic and chop it into small pieces. The smaller the better. You can also crush it a little with the flat side of a knife.
Take the lid off the tin of tomatoes and put them in a bowl, stir in the tomato puree and the garlic.
Spoon the tomato into 4-6 small piles around the chicken and vegetables and then carefully pour a small wine glass worth of water around the edge.
If the pan or dish you are using has a lid put it on. If not take a piece of tin foil and place it over the top and scrunch the sides to make sure it stays on.
Put the dish into the oven and set a timer for 1 hour. Check it about half way through by lifting up a corner of the foil. Be careful of the steam. If it looks dry add another wine glass full of water.
After 45 minutes take some broccoli and cut it into smaller pieces or ‘florets’ place it in a pan of boiling water and cook it for 3-5 minutes. I tend to boil the water in a kettle first for speed but you can boil the water in the pan just pop the lid on else it will take ages to boil. Drain the water off the broccoli using a strainer. If you don’t have one if you are careful you always fish them out with a spoon or fork.
After an hour take the chicken out of the oven and serve with the broccoli.

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