It’s been 9 years since I left for Northern Spain to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints which completely changed my life. Time to get nostalgic with this quick and simple classic Spanish dish.
SPAIN EUSKAL HERRIA
THE RAMBLE: WINNER FOR TEAM SPAIN!
LET’S TALK ABOUT the moment that changed my life 180 degrees and has made me the person I am today. I left to serve as an LDS missionary at age 22 and every good thing in my life and every good quality about myself is due to going and serving the people of Northern Spain. I had to learn Spanish, learn how to be brave, courageous, go forward without knowing exactly what I was doing or how to speak, learn the amazing culture, how to be loved and how to love. Above all, I learned how to love.
(image from Blakemore Walker Consultants):
I started in the little town Logroño in La Rioja (green). Such a richly charming town, full of wonderful people, with the coolest graffiti art, and great tapas as you will read and see in my post Spain vs Korea Recipes Face-Off: Small Plates: Spain Tapas vs Korea Banchan! (Part I), there I learned how to learn, continue in something even if I wasn’t perfect in it, then continued to Bilbao, Pais Vasco/Euskadi (purple), the city where my heart forever turned Basque, and had never felt so much love from other people in my life, with the most magical mountains and winter as you’ll read and see in my post Travel Without Moving: Txirimiri and Rustic Spanish Churros con Chocolate, and finished in Burgos (beige), where I became strong, confident, organized, sure, steadfast, and, just grown up. I was able to learn how to see the beauty in every living person and how to love them as a whole and just want happiness and the best for them. I have more respect, love, and admiration for everyone I served with than I can express in words. I learned so much from all my companions and mission president there in enchanting Northern Spain. I’m sure you’ve run into us missionaries before, we are the young kids with nametags that volunteer 1.5-2 years of our lives, unpaid, totally dedicated, to teach English, participate in service projects, and come knock on your door and ask if you’d like to give the Book of Mormon a go, yeah, kind of like that musical (except we’re the real ones!). We love what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has done for us, and we just want to offer it to everyone else. Like offering a really good recipe. Like this one…
Spain eats the best, rustic food, and this recipe captures the spirit of Spanish cookery in about 30 minutes. I go back to Spanish a collection of over 100 essential recipes Parragon recipe book again and again for these easy, classic recipes, so get yourself a copy! Similar to my Classic Spanish: White Beans and Chorizo with Homemade Tomate Frito, this has the Spanish staples, like lemon, chorizo, parsley, and red peppers. I have to say, it is all about the lemon in this dish. So, without further ado…
To pare the rind of a lemon, I like this tool on Amazon.**
If you love lemon and chicken together, check out my Fleshes: Fruit + Meat from around the Globe | America’s Test Kitchen Chicken Piccata.
WHO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT making great Spanish food: Sandee A @sandeea of her blog La Receta de la Felicidad and book Chocolate (y sorteo!) (can be translated to English); Asun @recetashuga of her blog Las Mejores Recetas de Huga; Miriam of her blog El Invitado de Invierno; Donostia Foods; Sonia of her blog L’Equisit; Laura and Eduardo of their blog Hola Foodie; Cristina of her blog Espía en la Cocina; Pecados de Reposteria; Mikel of Louis’s Bakery; Patricia of her blog Sabores y Momentos; the beloved Jenny Chandler’s The Food of Northern Spain; my newest favorite Spanish cookbook, Cúrate by el Bulli intern and Cúrate restaurant owner Katie Button; Janet Mendel of her blog My Kitchen in Spain and recipe books; Eva, above mentioned Miriam, and Raul of School of Tapas and their own sites Bake-Street, and fellow WordPress blog El Oso con Botas, Cristina @unpedacitodecielo of her blog Un Pedacito de Cielo.
Spanish Lemon Chicken and Garbanzos con Chorizo
Adapted from Spanish a collection of over 100 essential recipes Parragon recipe book, serves 4, easy level-fuss, about 30 minutes to make.
4 BLSL chicken breasts or 8 BLSL chicken thighs
4 TBS olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 Spanish or white onion, diced small
6 garlic cloves, grated/pressed/minced
zest of 1/2 lemon, then cut into wedges
pared rind of 1 lemon (**see above note)
4 TBS finely chopped parsley
Garbanzos con Chorizo:
3 TBS olive oil
reserved onion and garlic from Chicken
9 oz/250 gr/8-9″ of Spanish-style dry chorizo, casing removed, diced small*
2 (14 oz) cans garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6 jarred pimientos del piquillo, diced medium
1 TBS sherry vinegar (or to taste)
juice of 1/4 lemon
salt to taste
3 TBS finely chopped parsley, divided
really great bread
(*If you can’t find Spanish-style chorizo, use another dry cured sausage and add about 1/8-1/4 tsp smoked paprika)
- Place a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft and starting to turn color, about 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile, coat each piece of chicken evenly with olive oil (about 1 TBS per breast, about 1/2 TBS per thigh), then sprinkle both sides with salt (about 1/2 tsp per breast, about 1/4 tsp per thigh) and then pepper to taste. Add garlic to the onions, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds-1 minute. Remove onions and garlic from skillet to a small bowl, set aside to use for Garbanzos.
- Now place chicken in the same skillet (as many as will fit without overcrowding) and cook until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes on each side. Temp the meat in the thickest part. Breast should reach 160 degrees F, thigh 165. Sprinkle the lemon zest over the chicken, remove to a plate a set aside or in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. Repeat with any remaining chicken.
- Once all the chicken has been cooked, make the Garbanzos in the same skillet. Add olive oil and reserved onions and garlic. Once warmed through, about a minute, add chorizo and cook until slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add garbanzos and piquillos and heat until warmed through, about 1-2 minutes. Add sherry vinegar, 2 TBS parsley, lemon juice, and stir everything together, then test to see if any salt is needed (I never need to). Remove from heat and place in serving dish, place chicken on top, then garnish entire dish with lemon rind and remaining parsley. Serve with really great bread.
Try this out and let me know how it went for you in the comments! Good? Confusing? Clear? I’d love to hear from you so I can present the best form of these recipes!