Fish,  Meat,  Recipes

Braised chicken with prawns: the Catalan version of surf and turf

Hi there!

How is your Bank Holiday going? The weather has been so-so at least in the Oxford area. But I still have my day off so nothing, absolutely nothing, is going to stop me from enjoying it. And I wish the same for you. Also, as we are already into May, I am very much looking forward to Boris Johnson’s announcement regarding travelling. January 2020 was my last time back home and I can wait no more to be there again. My family, my people, a good vermut at Barcelona’s Gothic quarter, the stunning views from Tibidabo edge, nice tapas in Sevilla with my lovely half, the sun… I have just missed it too much.

But, guess what? This blog is a kind of therapy for me. Since I cannot travel like I used to I try to stay connected with my roots through cooking. Yesterday me and my partner cooked a typical Catalan dish known colloquially as Mar i muntanya (Sea and mountain). The name comes from the combination of meat and seafood, generally chicken and some sort of shellfish. Langoustines would traditionally complete the recipe, but it also works well with just prawns. It is actually something every household prepares following their own likes.

Believe it or not, I have never eaten this dish even though I am Catalan. Does it has something to do with my parents being from Jaen? Most probably. However, it is never too late and to give it a go. I followed the recipe of Rosa Cocinera y Madre (second time she is featured here) because she uses ingredients I can find here. Please note I changed langoustines for prawns for this purpose and the recipe includes a majado. We have mentioned it in previous posts: it thickens the sauce and boost the flavour.

Once you read this, I hope you stop pairing chicken or prawns with chorizo. Honestly, these combinatios are awkward.

INGREDIENTS (SERVES 2):

  • Chicken thighs (4)
  • Shell-on prawns (8)
  • Large onion (1)
  • Canned tomato (200 g)
  • White wine (100 ml)
  • Fish stock (600 ml) – It’s ok to use cubes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the majado:

  • Bread slices (2)
  • Garlic cloves (3)
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • A handful of almonds
  • A little bit of fish stock

DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING

  1. Let’s begin by the majado. Cut the garlic cloves halfway and fry in a pot. Add later the bread and the almonds. Remove everything and set aside when golden brown.
  2. In the same oil, sear the chicken thighs with a pinch of salt and pepper. This will take about five minutes at high heat. Once done, put them in a plate and reserve for later.

3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add more oil if necessary. Chop the onion and drop it into the pot with a pinch of salt. Simmer until tender. Next, pour the wine and bring the heat up to high again so the alcohol evaporates.

4. Pour the tomato, stir and simmer until all the water is gone. Return the chicken thighs to the pot (including the juices left in the plate), drop the stock and the prawns and cook at low heat with the lid on.

5. Take back the ingredients for the majado and grind them manually in a bowl. You can also use a food processor. Add a few drops of the fish stock to achieve a consistent paste.

6. Finally, tip everything into the pot, mix and keep cooking with the lid on for 20-30 minutes. Once the sauce thickens will be ready so serve.

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