Sunday, May 26, 2013


I made this up the other night, and had the Aglianico reviewed below with it.  I think I read a recipe that had the spinach/almond thing a few years ago, so I can't take credit for that concept.

½ chicken, but up into 5 pieces
1 bunch spinach, washed thoroughly
Good handful raw almonds
¼ large red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
¾ cup dry sherry (fino or manzanilla)
¾ cup chicken broth
Olive oil salt pepper

Toast up the almonds in a dry skillet or in the oven for 3-4 minutes.  Don’t burn.  Put in a bowl and set aside to cool. 
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then brown well in a bit of olive oil a sauté pan.  When you flip them, add the garlic.  Try not to let the garlic burn too much while the chicken is browning or it will get bitter.  When the chicken is nicely browned, turn up the heat and add the sherry and broth, bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes, then turn down to very low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
While the chicken’s simmering, splash 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large coverable skillet or pot, and add the onions.  Soften over medium-low heat until they start to color.  Add the spinach with whatever water is clinging to the leaves (or, if the leaves are dry, add ¼ cup water), mix well with the sautéed onions and then cover and turn the heat down to low and stem until wilty-soft (5-6 minutes).
While the spinach is steaming, put the cooled toasted almonds in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.  When the spinach/onion mixture is done, squeeze out most of the liquid into a bowl, reserving the liquid).  Then add the spinach mixture to the food processor and pulse until it’s pureed with the almonds.
After the chicken has simmered for 30 minutes covered, turn the pieces and continue to simmer over low heat for 15-20 more minutes with the cover slightly askew.
When the chicken’s done, remove the pieces from the pan, and put them in a nice serving dish (the serving dish should be warm).  Season the braising liquid in the pan liberally with salt and pepper.  Return the pan to the heat and then mix in the pureed spinach/onion/almond mixture.  If there’s not much braising liquid left add some of the reserved spinach water.  When this sauce is heated through, pour over the chicken pieces.  Taste to see if the sauce needs more salt and pepper, since the spinach/almond puree needs a lot of both.  Serve over rice.
Serves 2-3 people, depending how big the chicken is.

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