We’ve had Claudia Roden’s beautiful book Food from Spain on our bookshelves (not, note, in the kitchen) for a long time and we have hardly cooked anything from it. That changed last night when we made two dishes, both delicious and simple. Yes, some of the recipes in the book require rabbit or venison, but there are also gems like this that use cheap ingredients, are quick and easy. They both passed what I have previously called ‘the Frank Bath Alchemy test’ with flying colours.
I was lucky enough to meet Claudia Roden in 1997 when I was working for NPR and I am pleased to report that she was charming, gracious, and chatted to me for way longer than she needed to.
This is a simplified version of Claudia’s recipe. Fed 2 hungry boys and their dad.
- pack of 4 chicken thighs (I used fillets but this would be even better with skin-on unfilleted chicken)
- 1 onion
- half a big pack of smoked bacon lardons
- 2 fat cloves of garlic
- 500ml apple cider
- as many salad / waxy potatoes as you want, halved
- 2 handfuls of frozen peas
- salt, pepper, olive oil
Chop & gently fry the onion in a casserole dish until it starts to go soft, then add the lardons and then the chicken on a higher hear. Season well with salt & pepper. When the chicken is browning nicely, add the chopped garlic and continue to fry. Before the garlic can burn, add the cider, and the peas. We cooked the potatoes separately but I would suggest adding them to the pot now. Reduce heat to a simmer and put a lid on.
Cook for 30 min and serve on soup plates with crusty bread to mop up the sublime juice.