A roast chicken is not only about the succulent, juicy meat but the golden, crispy skin not shy of a few roast potatoes, thirst-ly absorbing the sweet, salty juices as it collects in the pan. The sticky jus like sticky maple, the encrusted odds and ends and the eagerly awaited morsel of glossy roast-ness. A true traditional roast chicken has inspired us to take that one step further and enhance our senses for more deeply flavoured “Sunday Roasts” and for the better, I think.
We all love an enriched gravy, wine stock or an aromatic chicken that has mustered in flavour. So, this weekend I felt all warmed up with the thought of winter and the excitement of oven-cooked dishes got me thinking, what about a Spanish pot-roast with soul. I subtly browned some tender thighs in very hot oil infused with garlic and tossed in sweet sherry, juicy plums in syrup, golden almonds and a generous handful of grandma’s potatoes. Oh, and did I mention the slightly salted almonds were Spanish, or that the plums were sun-kissed in Spain and that the sherry couldn’t be any more Spanish… OK so maybe I went a little overboard with the patriotism, but when in Spain… Anyway, my favourite part of this dish is that it is a one-pot wonder, not a drop of favour is lost and all the goodness intertwines into the most delicious sauce leaving you mouthwatering with sheer temptation.
4 large thighs, (with or without skin)
200 grams new potatoes, cut into thick slices
Garlic, a whole bulb
80 grams slightly salted almonds
100ml sweet Spanish sherry
A generous handful of purple plums with 100ml of syrup
Generous amount of olive oil
Freshly ground Maldon sea salt and pepper to season
A small handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
Preheat the oven at 200˚C/ 400˚F/ Gas mark 6.
Heat a casserole dish onto a high heat and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil into the dish.
Once hot sprinkle some Maldon sea salt and pepper into the oil and add the bulb of garlic. Allow the sizzling sounds to fire up the oil for about 30 seconds and add the chicken thighs.
Slightly brown on one side and season the facing side of the thighs with salt and pepper.
After 5 minutes add in the sherry, prunes and syrup, leave to bubble vigorously for a few seconds to burn off the alcohol and add in the potatoes, almonds and water.
Roast in the oven for 25 minutes.
Season with a small handful of parsley and serve.