Thursday, December 3, 2009

Portuguese Chicken and Linguica

The Austrian's Most Sincere Form of Endorsement.


The fragrance of smoked sweet Spanish paprika permeates every room of our house this evening.  It is all that is left to remind us of a most delicious meal.  About 14 years ago I visited the beautiful seaside town of Lisboa where the people are like something out of a charming old world fisherman's tale.   The food is to die for, and the ocean breezes most lovely.
Although this dish is not truly a traditional Portuguese meal, its ingredients pay homage to the flavors I still hold dear in my memories of that place.   Salty olives, roasted peppers, smoked sweet pimiento (paprika), sea salt, and madeira wine.  

I cooked this in a cast iron dutch oven, because I really like the heat conduction it provides.  The ingredients in my pot were at a full boil even with the fire turned down to its lowest setting.  It was my first time using the dutch oven.  It was a wedding present.  (Thanks Tambela) If you don't have a cast iron dutch oven such as this one, you can use any heavy pot large enough to hold about a gallon of liquid, with a tight fitting lid.  You can also make this in a slow cooker if you first brown your chicken, sausage, and onions in a saute pan before adding to the slow cooker. 
I cook this with chicken thighs because they stay moist.  You can use other parts if you like.  I prefer to cook this with the chicken on the bone, to maintain the moisture.  You can use boneless chicken if you like.  You can also remove the skin from the chicken before cooking it for reduced fat content.  Another thing you will be glad to hear, this is a very adaptable recipe.  You may, if you like, add some fresh unpeeled shrimp, scallops, clams, or mussels (or all of the above!!) to the pot about 12 minutes prior to serving.   I cannot eat seafood (much to the boys chagrin) so I didn't add it to ours. 

THE PLAYERS: (your grocery list)

 Chicken Thighs (you know my song... for this recipe, you'll need 6 thighs... organic, free range, vegetarian fed, hormone free please... )  Portuguese Linguica Sausages (these usually come 2 in a pack.  you'll cut them up into 1 inch diagonal pieces.  they are easily found in your grocery store, in the section where the pepperoni, salami, and other dry sausages are found... near the high end cheeses...) Onion (you'll need 1 onion, cut into large pieces... eighths perhaps)  Carrots (you'll need 2 carrots cut into large diagonal chunks... about 1 inch thick) Celery (You'll need 4 stalks cut into 1 inch chunks) Tomatoes (4 roma tomatoes cut into eighths) Garlic (4 cloves coarsely chopped) Red and Yellow Bell Pepper (1 of each cut into 1 inch chunks) Crushed Peeled Tomatoes (in the can... 16 oz)  Broth (2 cups of chicken broth) Piquillo Peppers  ( 1 jar. These roasted Spanish peppers are used widely in Spanish cooking.  I threw them in for a little extra flavor. Find them in most larger groceries with international products, or purchase them online from the link below. ) Manzanilla Olives  (Spanish green olives can be found in the section where the pickles are.  Don't get the ones with the pimentos in the middle. Get whole ones with the pits in. You'll need about 1/2 cup of olives) Pimenton Dulce (This smoked SWEET Spanish paprika is an essential part of this dish.)  You can find it at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and other stores that carry a wide variety of spices from around the world.  You can also order it online below) Madeira  (pretty much any wine department will carry this.)


Heat 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil in a dutch oven, or large heavy pot.
Season chicken with sea salt and pepper and when oil is hot add to pot, skin side down.  
Cook over medium heat until chicken is brown on one side.  Turn over. 
Cook until golden brown on other side. 
Add onions, carrots, celery, Linguica, 4 tablespoons of pimenton, chopped garlic, bell peppers.  
Cook until onions are transparent. 

Add tomatoes, piquillo peppers, olives, crushed tomatoes, 1 cup of Madeira, and 1 cup of broth.
Mix everything together, and put a lid on.
Simmer for 40 minutes with the lid on... until chicken is tender and pulls easily from the bone. 

Meanwhile steam up a nice pot of rice to go with your chicken and sausages.  
Serve chicken, sausage, and vegetables over rice, with a glass of  red wine to accompany it! 

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