The Basques of northern Spain have long taken pride in their prodigious culinary powers. After all, this is the land of powerful wines, pintxos (an early form of tapas), and San Sebastián, one of the great gastronomic cities of the world. This dish combines some of the great flavors of northern Spain—smoked paprika, sweet peppers, piquant chorizo in a slow-cooked stew that could warm even the most frigid of souls. We’ve also taken just a few liberties with the flavors here in this basque chicken (dark beer isn’t exactly a Spanish staple, but it is a great flavor), but we promise that the results reflect the beauty of the Basque kitchen and will leave your taste buds in awe and your guests wanting more.
370 calories, 20 g fat (6 g saturated), 700 mg sodium
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 link Spanish chorizo, sliced into 1⁄4″-thick coins
1 bottle (12 oz) porter, stout, or other dark beer
1 1⁄2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 large onion, quartered
1 red bell pepper, chopped
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp smoked paprika
1⁄2 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
4 cups baby spinach (optional)
How to Make It
- Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat.
- Season the chicken all over with salt and black pepper and cook the pieces until browned on all sides, about 7 minutes.
- Add the chorizo and continue cooking for another 2 minutes, until the chorizo has browned as well.
- Transfer the meat to the slow cooker.
- Pour the beer into the skillet, scraping the bottom to loosen any brown bits.
- Add to the slow cooker, along with the stock, vinegar, onion, bell pepper, garlic, paprika, cumin, and bay leaves and cook on low for 4 hours.
- If using spinach, add it 10 minutes before serving, giving it enough time to cook down in the warm braising liquid.
- Before serving, discard the bay leaves and taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper.
- Serve in wide shallow bowls with a ladle of the braising liquid poured over the top.
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