We had D’s parents over for dinner Friday night and while normally I go all out with my menu when cooking for company, I decided to keep it on the simpler side as I didn’t want one of my weekend days to consist of nothing but grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning. I consulted my Great Tastes One Pot Cookbook and found what turned out to be an immense crowd pleaser with my “Chicken in Samfaina Sauce.” As I had no idea what Samfaina was I quickly discovered it is one of the most famous Catalan dishes (or sauces in this case). And for anyone not on the up and up (tsk tsk), Catalan refers to inhabitants from the Spanish region of Catalonia although for the majority of Catalans, they want autonomy from Spain altogether but a political science lesson this is not.
As you can see, the recipe consists of three steps and showcases the beauty of one pot cooking. To round out the meal I served it with French bread slices that had been topped with sherry marinaded goat cheese slices and for dessert, a wickedly simple blackberry cobbler (a post and recipe on this is forthcoming).
The chicken was well received by all and is a recipe I would definitely make again in the future.
Chicken in Samfaina Sauce
2 lb 4 oz chicken, cut into 8 pieces (I just used chicken breasts)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1 14 oz eggplant cut into cubes
3 garlic cloves, crushed
12 oz zucchini, cut into strips
2 green or red peppers, cut into 1/2 inch strips
2 14 oz tins chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped herbs (such as thyme, oregano, and flat-leaf/Italian parsley)
1/2 cup white wine
-Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add the chicken in batches and brown well on all sides. Remove from the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low.
-Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, or until softened. Add the eggplant, garlic, zucchini, and peppers and cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.
-Stir in the tomato, bay leaf, herbs, and wine, and return the chicken pieces to the pan. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the eggplant is soft. Season well with salt and pepper before serving.