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Spanish Chicken Stew

Olives and almonds are staples of Spanish cuisine. Here, they are combined with chicken and slow-cooked with peppers, tomatoes and garlic for a powerful, full-flavored dish. Potatoes were brought back from the New World by early Spanish and Portuguese explorers; for an authentic accompaniment, serve the stew with roasted potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken, 3 to 4 lb., cut into 8 serving pieces, trimmed of excess skin
      and fat
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 2 red or yellow bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp. smoked hot paprika
  • 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas
  • 3/4 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted, plus more for garnish

Directions:

Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the oil. Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken and cook, turning frequently, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter.

Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pan. Add the bell peppers and onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and paprika.

Stovetop method: Transfer the chicken to a Dutch oven and add the bell pepper mixture. Set over medium-low heat, cover and cook until the chicken is tender and opaque throughout, about 40 minutes. Uncover and add the chickpeas, olives and the 1/2 cup almonds. Cover and cook until the chickpeas are warmed through, about 10 minutes more.

Slow-cooker method: Transfer the chicken to a slow cooker and add the bell pepper mixture. Cover and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions until the chicken is tender and opaque throughout, 3 hours on high or 5 1/2 hours on low. Uncover and add the chickpeas, olives and the 1/2 cup almonds. Cover and cook until the chickpeas are warmed through, about 30 minutes more.

Arrange the chicken on a warmed platter or individual plates. Garnish with sliced almonds and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking, by Melanie Barnard, Charles Pierce & Denis Kelly (Oxmoor House, 2008).