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Pollo en Pepitoria

After making a couple of desserts today, I wasn’t quite sure what to make for dinner. I usually turn to chicken when that happens, as it’s easy to cook and generally I can come up with a quick dish to make. But I’ve been reading my mother’s recipes lately, which I have written down on odd pieces of paper, and came across this traditional dish, which I haven’t had in a long time. It’s usually served during the fall or winter, but it can be enjoyed anytime of the year, and can also be made with rabbit/hare or other poultry.
Pollo en Pepitoria is thought to have originated with the Moors, in Andalucia. And today, it’s prepared pretty much everywhere in Spain. It’s typically made with almonds, instead of cashews; but they can be used interchangeably or even together. Also, you can add chopped cooked egg yolks to the sauce at the end, if you wish.

Pollo en Pepitoria (Chicken with Almonds/Cashews)
Ingredients

  • 1kg chicken pieces, thighs and drumsticks
  • sea salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • corn starch (I use Maizena brand)  coconut flour or cornstarch replacement
  • arrowroot powder or tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds or cashews
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, cut julienne style
  • white wine, about 1 cup or slightly more
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Turmeric (Curcuma)
  • 6-7 tablespoons olive oil
  • water
  • bunch parsley, chopped
Process
Rinse chicken pieces and sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and  arrowroot powder on both sides. Set aside.
In a saucepan, over medium heat, add the olive oil, cashews and garlic cloves, whole. Saute for 1-2 minutes, until the nuts start to turn brown. Remove from saucepan and place in mortar. With the pestle, roughly grind the garlic and cashews.
In the same saucepan with the same oil, place the chicken pieces and brown on both sides. Add the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes longer. Add white wine and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add water, just enough to almost cover the chicken pieces. Add the turmeric, and cook for about 50 minutes, or until chicken is done. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary. The sauce should be thick and plentiful.
Add the ground cashew and garlic and chopped parsley and cook 5 minutes longer.
We ate our pollo en pepitoria with quinoa and broccoli, with some additional sauce from the chicken.

Garbanzo Lemon Tart with Moscatel de Chipiona

I had placed some garbanzo beans to soak overnight two nights ago with the full intention of making hummus, which I love. But last night I was rummaging through old recipes that I have written down from my mother, and I found one that intrigued me.
Garbanzos may seem like a strange ingredient for a sweet dish, but this actually tastes delightful, and you cannot pick out the bean flavour at all.
Garbanzo Lemon Tart with Moscatel de Chipiona (Tarta de Garbanzos con Moscatel de Chipiona)
Ingredients
  • 250g garbanzos beans, soaked overnight and cooked
  • 10 eggs
  • 275g honey
  • zest of a large lemon
  • juice of half lemon
  • 3/4 cup Moscatel de Chipiona*
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • juice of half lemon
Process
Preheat oven to 200C.
Soak the garbanzo beans in plenty of water overnight. Drain and cook in fresh water, without salt, until tender. Once the garbanzo beans are cooked, drain and allow to cool at room temperature. In a blender, grind thoroughly.
With a hand mixer (or in a blender), whisk 8 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs. (Reserve the egg whites.) Add the honey, blend well. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and ground garbanzo beans and blend well.
Butter and line with parchment paper a spring-form baking pan. Pour the mixture into the pan. Bake at 200C for 40-45 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool about 15 minutes. Pour the Moscatel over the cake, fully drenching it. Allow to soak and cool thoroughly before removing from pan. Once the cake is cool, remove from pan and remove the parchment paper from the cake.
Place on serving platter.
Beat the reserved egg whites, until soft peaks form. Add 2-3 tablespoons of honey, depending on how sweet you desired the meringue, and the juice of half a lemon. Continuing mixing until stiff peaks form. Pour into a piping bag and pipe onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Pipe into desired shapes (I made little star-shaped mounds). Bake at 160C for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Watch carefully, as they can burn quickly.
Decorate the sides of the cake with the meringue mounds and garnish with marigold leaves.
*Moscatel is a sweet wine made in the province of Cadiz, and originates in the region of Jerez, more specifically in the town of Chipiona. I’ll write more about this wine in another post.
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