Braised chicken recipe

My mom’s braised chicken

My mother is over for a few days to spend some time with her grandsons and she is cooking some of hers most popular dishes. My youngest nephew particularly loves this one.

Use a pot where the chicken pieces fit in a single layer to get a good gravy.

Ingredients

  • One chicken cut in pieces
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • Olive oil
  1. Brown the chicken in medium heat.
  2. Add onions and garlic keep cooking until brown.
  3. Add brandy and cranck up the heat until alcohol evaporates and the vigourous boiling ends and becomes a frying matter.
  4. Add water but do not cover chicken completely, turn down the heat and add salt. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Turn the chicken pieces and cook for another 15 minutes.
  6. Serve. It goes well with a green vinegary salad.
macaroni, potato and chicken stew

My mom’s macaroni and potato chicken stew

A dish beloved by my sisters, sons and nephews. What can you say about it when you see three generations enjoying this simple recipe?

Use as much olive oil as your conscience allows you. It brings everything together.

  • Half a chicken cut in bit sized pieces (for a big mouth, if you ask)
  • An onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup macaroni
  • 2 medium floury potatoes, cubed
  • A mild flavored olive oil
  1. Brown chicken pieces in olive oil. How dark should it be? If in doubt, give it another 5 minutes.
  2. When the meat is nicely browned, add the onion and let it cook until it darkens.
  3. Add water until it almost covers the chicken and cook for 30 minutes. Add salt.
  4. Add potatoes and cook for another 5-10 minutes (the time depends on the potatoes you use).
  5. Finish the dish adding macaroni, covering the pot, cooking for another minute or two and let it stand for another 10.

The trick here is to add the right amount of water so we do not end up with a watery sauce. It should be thickish and with just the right amount to make it whole instead of just a mix of ingredients with no character. Pasta and potatoes do not always soak up the same amount of water. You should adjust to what you use.

 

Spanish Green Beans with Chorizo

Galician Green Beans with Chourizo

I spent several summers as a kid in the farm where my grandparents sourced chourizos for their deli. Food was simple, but it will always be among the most delicious I’ve ever tried.

Green beans were at their peak and we would start every meal, day in, day out, with large platters of boiled potatoes and beans, plates with pieces of fried pork belly and a bottle with a strong homemade vinegar to dress the vegetables. This is the dish, but using chourizos (chouriços, in Portuguese; chorizos, in Spanish) instead of pork belly.

Don’t skip this recipe because it seems simple and dull. If you use good produce, you’ll repeat more than once.

  • A bunch of green beans
  • Two medium-large potatoes
  • Chourizo sausage, on the uncured side.
  • Olive oil
  • Wine vinegar
  • Salt
  1. Cut potatoes in big cubes and gently boil in salted water for 7 minutes.
  2. Cut green beans in medium pieces and add to the pot with the courizo. Boil for another 10 minutes.
  3. Drain.
  4. Serve and dress with olive oil and vinegar.

You can add a boiled egg to each plate. It goes very well with this dish.

Tip&Tricks: Because I don’t think you can find Galician chourizo, use either Portuguese or Spanish, as less cured as you can get. They will have a much nicer texture than the dry ones and will give potatoes and nice reddish hue.