Chicken Pepitoria (Pollo en Pepitoria) is a delightful Mediterranean chicken dish of Moorish origin: With its saffron & creamy almond sauce, this is a dish that dances with the flavours of sunny Spain.
This recipe for Corn Fed Chicken Pepitoria is a classic Spanish dish from Santiago Guerrero, Chef of Iberica, London’s top Spanish Restaurant & Tapas Bar. Originally it was made with old hens as this allowed for long stewing. The almonds and saffron sauce has very strong Moorish influences, inherited from the centuries of occupation of what was then known as Al-Andaluz.
This adaptation is from the recipe of Casa Candido in Segovia.
Corn Fed Chicken Stew in Pepitoria Sauce
4 Chicken thighs
4 chicken legs
60 gr chopped green peppers
60gr chopped red pepper
50gr chopped white onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
125ml dry white wine
30gr chopped tinned tomatoes
100gr whole peeled almonds
1 slice of medium sliced white bread
1 teaspoon of pimenton dulce (sweet paprika)’
1 bay leaf
2ltr Chicken stock
50ml Olive oil for cooking
You will need a frying pan and a pot that can hold the chicken pieces with a lid.
In the pot place 25ml of olive oil to slowly poach down the peppers, onion and garlic.
In the frying pan place the rest of the olive oil and fry the seasoned chicken pieces until slightly golden in colour.
Take the pieces out of the pan and keep together until the sauce base is ready.
In the oil of the chicken fry the almonds, until they are lightly golden, remember that they will continue cooking for a little longer after you take them out.
Fry the slice of bread in the same oil.
Place the almonds, oil, bread and saffron in a food processor and blitz to a fine paste. (Note: add a little chicken stock to the paste to help the food processor along.)
In the pot, once the peppers and onions have softened, add the chopped garlic and fry until the smell of the garlic is released.
Add the chopped tomato and the white wine, allow the liquid to reduce by half. Add the pimenton, a pinch of salt, and a bay leaf and allow to cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once it has started boiling add the almond paste and mix well. Bring up to the boil again and place the chicken into the pot. (If the sauce does not cover the chicken, add enough water to just cover the chicken.)
Season with another pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
Turn the heat down and slowly simmer the chicken for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes check that the chicken is cooked, if not allow to simmer a little longer. Taste the sauce for seasoning and season to taste. Once the chicken is cooked, allow the stew to rest for 10 – 15 minutes.
Traditionally this dish is served with rice, but can also be served with roast potatoes.