Friday, January 11, 2008

Recipe of the week: Chicken with Pears

This is one of my favorite Spanish recipes. I had two Spanish flatmates who each cooked their own version of this dish, and I managed to figure out the recipe and adapt it to my tastes. Below is a translation of the recipe from my TV chef Karlos Arguiñano.

Pollo con Peras (Chicken with Pears)

1 whole chicken (about 2 pounds), well rinsed
5 pears (any variety, but I usually use Bosc)
½ cup of chicken stock
½ cup of white wine
3 cloves of garlic
Olive oil

-- Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
-- Salt the outside of the chicken. Place the three cloves of garlic, salt, and a whole pear (with skin) inside the chicken.
-- Place the chicken in an ovenproof dish with the remaining pears. Drizzle with the chicken stock, white wine, and some olive oil. Place in the oven.
-- After 20 minutes, turn the chicken over, adding more broth if needed to keep the chicken from drying out.
-- After 20 minutes, take the chicken and pears out of the oven.
-- Pour the liquid from the cooking pan into a pot or bowl. Dilute cornstarch in cold water and add slowly to the pot to create a thick sauce.
-- Cut the chicken in pieces and the pears into quarters. Place chicken in the center of each plate and pears in the corners. Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with chives.

-- The version I learned from my flatmates does not use an oven (since we never had one). Instead, we used chicken parts (thighs, legs, etc.) without skin and sautéed the chicken with sliced onions and pears, adding a bit of white wine and apple juice (or pear juice, if possible) towards the end of cooking. We then added diluted cornstarch/water to the liquid to create a thick sauce.

-- You can also add mushrooms and/or spinach to the stovetop version.

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