From the Spanish Cookbook
675g red bell peppers
4 free range chicken portions
2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200g Serrano or other ham, in one piece or a gammon chop
200g can chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp chilli powder
salt and ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley to garnish
Preheat the grill (broil) to high. Put the peppers on a baking sheet and grill (broil) for 8-12 minutes, turning occasionally until the skins have blistered and blackened. Place the blackened peppers in a bowl, cover with clear film and leave to cool.
Rub salt and paprika into the chicken portions. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the chicken portions, skin-side down. Fry over a medium low heat, turning until golden on all sides.
Meanwhile, select a casserole into which the chicken will fit comfortably. Spoon in 3 tbsp fat from the other pan. Fry the onion and garlic until soft. Dice the ham or gammon and add, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes into the casserole, with the chopped dried chilli or chilli powder. Cook for 4-5 minutes, letting the sauce reduce.
Peel the skins off the peppers and discard these and the stalks. Put the peppers into a blender and strain in the juices, discarding the seeds. Process, then add the puree to the casserole and stir in. Heat through.
Add the chicken pieces to the casserole, bedding them down in the sauce. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes and check the seasoning, adding more if necessary. Garnish with a little parsley and serve with small new potatoes.
Ok I can’t go without a chicken casserole for more than a month even though it’s summer. I am covered in sweat now from the cooking and eating. This is a famous chicken dish from Navarre and the word Chilindron refers to a game of cards; I presume people play this game while eating this dish.
As you can see from the photographs above, I have actually grilled the peppers and peeled their skins off (despite my previous stance that it is a waste). I guess I needed to do it at least once to see what the fuss is all about; why so many dishes require peeled peppers. It’s the taste and texture of the sauce; the taste is sweeter and the sauce is smoother. That said, I am not too sure whether I will do it for myself again (i will probably do it if I am cooking for others) as it’s just too much hassle and lots of things to clean after the cooking process.