Back in March a couple of friends and I did a road trip up the east coast to visit a couple of friends of ours out from London. On one of the nights my friend Kate – who I have known my whole life and who had recently walked the Camino de Santiago across Spain, cooked us a delicious but simple dinner of roasted chicken breasts with chorizo, baby tomatoes, black olives and peppers and I knew I wanted to at some stage recreate it on my blog. She also added par cooked new potatoes to the tray making it a one-pan-all-in-easy dinner with minimum fuss.
I didn’t write any quantities down and when I landed up testing it in my kitchen last week, I used only 4 breasts because I live alone. I am however going to give the suggested quantities for 4 people and you can adjust it accordingly up or down. You will also need a fairly large oven tray to bake it in. I also decided to add a splash of sherry to the pan because it’s Spanish and the perfect elixir to this dish, but you could totally leave it out. I had every intention of adding the potatoes in too but then the pan looked rather overcrowded. I decided to rather fry them in the fat I’d cooked the chicken in, and that was a delicious decision.
I love a dish where the sauce or pan jus is made without much interference. The flavours render out naturally and blend together. The Paprika and fat from the chorizo and the chicken mingle with the tomato juice, lemon juice and sherry, creating a delicious warm dressing for the chicken. Serve with a crusty loaf to scrape up any leftovers.
I had also attended the launch of the Springfield Estate new Albariño wine in Feb and was looking for the perfect dish to serve this with. It’s an exciting wine and only the second Albariño to be produced in South Africa from the Spanish Albariño grape variety. Although Springfield suggests it’s the perfect pairing with seafood (and it is) I thought the bright acidity of this wine with the fruit notes of apricot and nectarines went really well with this roasted chicken and spicy chorizo dish. It’s an excellent food wine in general and one to look out for next year when their second vintage becomes available. Sadly 2018 (their maiden vintage) has already sold out. If you are lucky enough to spot it on a wine list or pick it up in a boutique store, grab it with gusto.
This one of those recipes where the quantities don’t really matter too much and you can add additional chilli if you like some heat.
Recipe – serves 4
- 12 – 16 new potatoes
- 8 bone-in skin on free range chicken breasts
- 2 tsp smoked paprika (divided)
- 1 large red or yellow pepper cut into medium-sized chunks
- 200gms to 250gms baby tomatoes
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and sliced
- 1 large red onion cut into wedges / 8ths
- 150gms chorizo sliced
- ½ cup Calamata olives
- ¼ cup medium cream sherry (optional)
- Finely grated zest of a lemon
- Juice of a lemon
- A couple of sprigs of thyme optional.
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Olive oil for cooking
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and bring a pot of water to the boil. Cook the new potatoes until they are knife tender halfway through (3/4 of the way cooked through).
Add a splash of olive to a large non-stick pan. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and 1 of the teaspoons of smoked paprika. Fry them on either side until they just start turning brown but are not cooked through.
In a large oven-roasting tray, line the pan with the red pepper chunks, onions wedges, garlic, tomatoes, chorizo slices, olives and sherry. When the new potatoes are par-cooked add them to the tray and drizzle over a splash of olive oil and toss things around. Ensure that things are more or less in an even layer. Place the browned chicken on top of the vegetable mix and then grate over the zest of the lemon and add the juice. Sprinkle over the remaining one teaspoon of smoked paprika (over everything), season well with salt and pepper and scatter over the thyme if you are using. Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve with a big green salad, crusty bread to mop up the juices and wine.
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