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)

  • 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
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.

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