The beauty of Spanish cuisine is its simplicity, the best quality ingredients combine in only a few steps to create a delicious meal. The basics of simple Spanish meals are usually the same: extra virgin olive oil, garlic, sea salt and occasionally wine, lemon juice or sherry vinegar and peppers or paprika.
This delicious and easy weeknight meal of garlic pepper chicken is no exception to the Spanish style of cooking. What is important here is the quality of your meat and produce. In northeastern Spain (where chicken is most popular) there is a tradition of eating corn fed, free range chicken. The taste is wonderful. As always, extra virgin olive oil is recommended (it is the best oil in Spain for cooking and frying, despite popular myths).
Here the chicken is first sautéed in the olive oil and garlic, then simmered with roasted red peppers in white wine, making a delicious (and quick) sauce. It is a easily prepared in 30 minutes, making it a good weeknight dish. Traditionally, it would be served with a simple potato side, such as homemade french fries or garlic mashed potatoes. It is also lovely with red kidney beans and potatoes for a hearty meal. For a non-traditional take on things, you could also serve it over angel hair pasta, or for a less starchy side, it would go well with steamed broccoli.
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (you can substitute thighs or drumsticks if preferred)
- 5-6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- Salt to taste
- 2 roasted red peppers
- 12-20 oz dry white wine or sherry (such as fino or manzanilla)
This recipe makes about four full servings. If serving over potatoes or pasta, it could be enough for six.
First, start by peeling and thinly slicing the cloves of garlic. Set aside.
Salt the chicken breasts on both sides. Pour the olive oil into a large, heavy bottomed frying pan and place on medium heat. When hot (but not smoking), place the chicken breasts in the pan and brown on all sides.
After chicken is seared, sauté the sliced garlic in the pan with chicken over a low heat.
Cut the red peppers in half and place in the frying pan alongside the chicken and garlic.
Pour 12 ounces of dry white wine into the pan and cook over a medium heat until the chicken is completely cooked through and its juices run white. If the white wine completely evaporates, add about four ounces more and continue to cook.
When the chicken is cooked through, slice the chicken and place it on a serving platter with the garlic slices and red pepper. Pour the wine sauce over top and serve.