Pollo en Escabeche

It was 9-yo’s turn to help with dinner prep, so we picked this dish from
The Cuisines of Spain: Exploring Regional Home Cooking
to try. Mainly I also wanted to compare it to Filipino adobo and escabeche, which share some similarities with this recipe, in terms of preparation and ingredients. I didn’t have any major revelations cooking this dish, except for the chance to marvel again at what good olive oil can do in a dish such as this that’s marked by simplicity. One of my most favorite tuna recipes (when we still ate tuna steaks regularly) was a similar one marinated in at least a cup of olive oil, and just the littlest bit of citrus. The olive oil suffuses the tuna with richness, giving you mouth-melting flavor without being mushy. Same thing here with the chicken. Incidentally, I also love olive oil for its healthy properties — and I’m not just talking about Omega 3. My friends (who are more knowledgeable about natural methods of healing than I am) always recommend olive oil for things like yeast infections, skin rashes, dry scalp, etc. I’ve even used it on occasion to moisturize my hands after doing the dishes.

Teresa Barrenechea says you can keep this dish in the fridge for a few days, and serve it cold or at room temperature. Lovely in the summer.

2-pound chicken cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces (we skipped the cutting, and used more chicken than called for)
Salt
1 yellow onion, cut into thin rings
1 clove garlic, minced (being a garlic lover, I am tempted to use more next time)
2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar (we used the latter, a yummy one from Spain)
3/4 cup olive oil

Season chicken with salt and place in a bowl. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns, and mix well. Add vinegar and olive oil, toss to combine well. Marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 2 hours and up to 24.

Transfer to a deep skillet or wide saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is tender (because we used larger pieces, I increased cooking time to 30 minutes).

Remove from heat and let cool. Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate in its sauce and serve cold.

2 comments

  1. Jenn Miller says:

    Yummy! I love the simplicity and taste of Spanish cooking.

    Interesting that this dish is served room temp or cold.

    Would you recommend this book?

  2. stef says:

    Absolutely, Jenn! The recipes and pictures are just mouthwatering, and while I find myself salivating over the sweets (dairy- and egg-rich as to be expected), the book has so much to offer for those of us avoiding common food allergens.

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