(Side note: While I looked for a flamenco musician as well, I failed on that front and found myself instead momentarily stunned by the countless willing mariachi impersonators working at the Mexican joints which pepper this city. Keep this in mind for your next taco party.)
Ingredients (serves 4-5):
- 6 to 8 whole chicken legs
- 2 cups of rice
- 6 to 8 cups chicken broth
- 4 large carrots, peeled and quartered
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen peas
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 medium tomatoes peeled, chopped and seeded (or half a can from a store)
- 2 pinches of saffron
- pimenton (or regular paprika if you can't find this)
- olive oil
- Fresh cilantro, basil and mint for garnish
Season chicken legs with salt and pepper and a generous dusting of pimenton (or paprika) and turmeric. Heat a large, shallow pan or braising pot and coat bottom with olive oil, tossing in onions, green pepper and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and sautee these vegetable for a couple of minutes. Then add garlic and chicken legs, mixing a few more minutes over medium heat to sear in some juices (and to not burn that garlic!) Toss in your tomatoes, stirring and add enough broth to almost cover chicken, about 3 to 4 cups. When the broth comes to a boil, add your saffron, rubbing it gently between your finger tips first, then cover and reduce the stew to a simmer for about 35-40 minutes or until chicken is tender and done. (Check half-way through and add more a bit more broth if it has reduced).
Meanwhile, prepare your rice, using the additional chicken stock and if you have a pinch of saffron left over, as an added luxury, toss it in as well. About 3-4 minutes before the rice is done, add your peas without stirring and cover again quickly. (They are so small, they will cook in the remaining heat and liquid).
When rice and chicken are done, serve at once, making sure to ladle extra sauce from the chicken stew over your rice. Garnish each plate with your fresh herbs. We enjoy this dish best with a good serving of hot sauce drizzled on top as well, while our daughter prefers it with a squeeze of lemon, if we have it.
NB: While we eat gluten and dairy, many of my recipes including this one are gluten and dairy free, in addition to being egg-free, nut-free and shellfish-free.