Meat,  Recipes

Montilla style chicken: where wine is an absolut game changer

Happy Monday!

All over this time you have had the chance to read a few chicken recipes in this blog. Some of them represent the local gastronomy where they are original from-like Pollo al chilindron or Chicken with prawns– while some others are just traditional dishes without a particular regional connection. Having said this, I have realised there are no Andalusian chicken recipes despite their wide presence here. Therefore, I am very pleased today to feature this Montilla style chicken also because it hides a nice story.

There was a time when my cooking was too simple and I only used to cook thing that would come together in 15-20 minutes. Sometimes, I used to roast chicken thighs or drumsticks with olive oil and green pepper in the oven. I quickly became bored of the same thing day in day out so I sought advice from Enrique Sanchez (as usual). Thanks to him I discovered a really flavourful recipe that is now part of my repertoire because I simply can’t skip it.

Montilla is a town near Cordoba best known for its huge variety of wines. The Montilla-Moriles GI is widely acclaimed all over Spain and Europe thanks to names such Pedro Ximenez, Fino, Oloroso or Amontillado, the local gem. This element interacts in this recipe to give such a distinguished flavour that easily transports you to this beautiful corner of Andalucia. Obviously, if you can’t find any of them in your local groceries store (it’s not easy) you can swap it for another one of your choice. In my case, I used a fruity white wine and the result was just as superb.

Finally, let me say this is a very traditional recipe, but Sanchez suggests adding a quick cheese bread done in the microwave. My verdict on this is you should definitively make it and soak it in the sauce.


INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4)

  • Chicken drumsticks (8)
  • Bacon rashers (8)
  • Onion (1)
  • Leek (1)
  • Mushrooms (300 g, fresh or canned)
  • Garlic cloves (2)
  • White wine (250 ml)
  • Water (500 ml)
  • Plain flour (1 tablespoon)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the cheese bread

  • Egg (1)
  • Plain flour (2 tablespoons)
  • Dried rosemary (1 teaspoon)
  • Baking powder (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Garlic clove (1)
  • Grated cheese of your choice (4 tablespoons)
  • Olive oil (1 tablespoon)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING

  1. In a pot, heat a generous amount of olive oil and sear the chicken pieces at high heat. Add a pinch of salt and pepper all over. When all the sides are golden brown, remove and set aside.

2. Reduce the heat to medium. Chop the onion, the leek, the garlic cloves and the mushrooms very finely. Simmer all together, dropping them in as you chop, during 10-15 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper too.

3. Remove the excess of fat of the bacon rashers. Chop them very finely and drop into the pot with all the vegetables. Cook for a couple of minutes. Then, add the plain flour and integrate it well with the rest of the ingredients.

4. Pour the wine into the pot. Increase to high heat so the alcohol evaporates. Stir occasionally until the sauce gets thicker.

5. Pour the water and wait until it starts boiling. Then, return the chicken drumsticks to the pot (including their juices) and cook at medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Shake the pot occasionally so all the flavours merge into each other. When finished, turn the heat off and let the pot sit for 5 minutes.

If you decide to do the cheese bread. Grease a tea mug with the olive oil and mix all the ingredients until they form a thick paste. Heat in the microwave at high power for 90 seconds. Turn the mug upside down and the bread will come out of it by itself.

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