SHerry and garlic are the smells of Spain, of course, but not just because you smell them when you’re there. The Sherry smells of warmth and complexity – it’s not a one-note ingredient – which confirms how I felt about Spain as a country. If it’s not dry, it can be quite buttery with hints of caramel, especially once you’ve reduced it. Here, the sherry vinegar reduces the sweetness while adding more depth and “oakiness.”
Makes a great quick dinner. Serve with roasted potatoes in olive oil (cooked with rosemary or thyme) or good bread and a green salad. I know it sounds painful to keep the thighs on the bone – and in small pieces – but that’s what makes this dish so good.
Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 8 to 12 chicken thighs, bone-in, skinless
- 1 head of garlic, plus 4 finely chopped cloves
- Olive oil, for cooking
- 2 teaspoons of sherry vinegar
- 125 ml of sherry (upstreamillado or oloroso, no sherry cream)
- A handful of finely chopped parsley leaves, for serving
- Using a meat grinder or a sharp knife, cut the thighs into 2-inch pieces, leaving the bone. Check that there are no small bone chips where you made the cuts. Sprinkle with salt and let stand 10 minutes.
- Separate the garlic cloves from the head, but do not peel them. Press down hard on each one with the side of a large knife and the heel of your hand to crush them a bit and break the skin.
- Heat about 2 cm of olive oil in a large skillet until heated through. Add the chicken and whole garlic cloves and cook over high heat – so that they have a good color – for 4 minutes. Keep the chicken and garlic moving all the time.
- Lower the heat a little and cook for another 10 minutes or so, turning the chicken occasionally.
- Drain everything in a large sieve to remove all but ½ tablespoon of oil (do not wash the pan). Add the chopped garlic to the pan and cook gently for a minute (you don’t want the garlic to burn), then add the vinegar and sherry. Bring to a boil by scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, lower the heat and return the chicken. Season.
- Heat the chicken and let the sherry reduce so that it covers the meat. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.