I don’t get to cook big meals very often to share a really special meal with many people so on the occasion that I do it makes for a really great experience. Not only do I get to sit back and be proud of the creation, but I get to share the experience and witness the reaction of someone else enjoying it, perhaps more than I. It even gives me insights into what was right and wrong depending on what their interpretation is of the dish compared to my expectation. This one was particularly fun, to say the least. I could not be more excited than to have shared it and I am enjoying going over my notes from it to transcribe here.
The core of the meal is roasted garlic chicken loosely based on a traditional Iberian recipe. Each town has their own take on the subtleties of the dish so it allows for a lot of variation in the execution. The rice takes advantage of the Azures spice trade roots and brings in a lovely coriander flavor that offsets the chicken nicely. Round the dish out with a veggie like sauteed collard (in garlic and lemon) and a bottle of Lancers and you’ll be all set. It’s not quite the way I served it the other day, but it’s a good way to go.
Chicken thighs (bone in, skin on, hand trim the excess fat)
chicken or veggie stock
Finely chop the garlic. Slide the chopped garlic under the skin of the chicken and slip into any of the openings or folds as well as along the bone.
Place in a roasting pan with some oil, lemon zest and additional garlic and allow to marinade
Preheat oven to 350
Rough chop the bell pepper, onion and celery
After the chicken marinades, add half the veggies, a little more fresh chopped garlic and a few tablespoons of stock to the roasting pan and crack from fresh black pepper over it
Place in the oven and cook for about an hour or until the juices run clear
While the chicken slow roasts place the other half of the veggies (including garlic) in a large skillet
Add a little olive oil and sweat the veggies until they soften, add the rice and allow the rice to toast a little
Add the stock to the rice and season with coriander, a little bit of paprika and black pepper.
Allow the rice to come to a boil and back down to a simmer. Cook until the rice becomes tender
In the last five minutes of cooking add the cilantro