Recipe: Spanish braised chicken with chickpeas, lemon and garlic

My little sister is off in Peru at the moment – for a large proportion of the year she’s been teaching herself Spanish. Whilst this isn’t a Peruvian dish, the similarities are much the same as they are heavily influenced by Spanish cuisine. Both heavily dominated by spicy and savoury flavours.

Plus, real Peruvian specialities would be difficult in Australia where we keep guinea pigs (or capybaras) are pets and not for food.

Side note: capybaras are adorable! See more.

This recipe is dedicated to my sister who requested this recipe for things that are easy to cook, whilst she is overseas living on her own for the first time.

This recipe requires very little standing-next-to-the-stove time, and can be left to do it’s own thing. I’m always thinking of and looking out for you, sis.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken thigh fillets, cut into strips
  • 1 onion, chunky slices
  • 1 400g can of chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, approx juice from 1 lemon
  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh chilli, optional

Method:

  1. Sauté onions in a bit of oil in a large pot until translucent.
  2. Add in chicken, paprika and garlic. Stir to coat chicken in onion and spices. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. In a measuring jug or bowl,  mix together mustard, lemon juice and chicken stock. Pour over chicken. Add in chickpeas and chilli (optional). Give it a good stir.
  4. Bring to boil, cover with lid and simmer for about 20 minutes. Tip lid on side so a bit of steam can escape.
  5. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes, uncovered. (You could skip this step if you want it more soupy, i.e. more to mop up with bread).
  6. Serve in a bowl and sprinkle lemon zest on top. Serve on it’s own or with bread or cous cous.

Notes:

There are many different types of paprika. I used half smoked (brown-coloured) paprika for flavour and half Hungarian-style sweet paprika for a bright red colour.

Chicken thigh has the best flavour, it’s sweeter than breast and harder to dry out but feel free to substitute. Emily, I know you’ll find the fattiest meat you could find, so no need to take note of this point.

You could easily substitute the chickpeas for any type of legume. Lima beans are native to Peru but kidney beans could also be used.

Vegetables like capsicum cut into chunks could go very well in this dish too, adding a bit of sweetness and would give off a lot of juices too. Add in with the chicken in step 2.

This recipe takes a while to cook but you can really make it as short as you want if you skip step 5. I like recipes that you can walk away from temporarily and do other things i.e. wash up mess from prepping. I’m all about that multi-tasking. Plus, this recipe should be fail-safe. Good for people like my sister!

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