Friday, January 19, 2007

Tapas: Pollo con Limón y Ajo (Chicken with Lemon and Garlic) and Champiñones al Ajillo (Sautéed Garlic Mushrooms)



So here we are with tapas, take two.  I didn't get crazy with some blood sausage (mostly because I couldn't find any), but I did make some pretty delicious lemon chicken and garlic mushrooms.  The mushrooms especially had some pretty nice liquid to sop up with a piece of good bread.  These two dishes could really make a meal themselves, flamenco guitar not included.

Pollo con Limón y Ajo (Chicken with Lemon and Garlic)
From Tapas: Traditional and Contemporary Tapas Dishes

4 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
5 tablespoons Spanish olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Grated rind of 1 lemon, finely pared rind of 1 lemon, and juice of both lemons
4 tablespoons chopped fresh flatleaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
Salt and pepper
Lemon wedges and crusty bread, to serve

Using a sharp knife, slice the chicken breasts widthwise into thin slices. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

Add the sliced chicken to the skillet and cook gently for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the ingredients are lightly browned and the chicken is tender.

Add the grated lemon rind and the lemon juice and let it bubble. At the same time, deglaze the skillet by scraping and stirring all the bits on the bottom of the skillet into the juices with a wooden spoon. Remove the skillet from the heat, then stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the chicken in lemon and garlic, piping hot, to a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle with the pared lemon rind and garnish with parsley sprigs. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over the chicken, accompanied by chunks or slices of crusty bread for mopping up the lemon and garlic juices.

Makes 6 to 8 servings


Champiñones al Ajillo (Sautéed Garlic Mushrooms)
From Tapas: Traditional and Contemporary Tapas Dishes

1 pound white mushrooms
5 tablespoons Spanish olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Lemon juice
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
Lemon wedges, to garnish
Crusty bread, to serve

Wipe or brush clean the mushrooms, then trim off the stems close to the caps. Cut any large mushrooms in half or into fourths. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom skillet. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and sauté over high heat, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have absorbed all the oil in the skillet.

Reduce the heat to low. When the juices have come out of the mushrooms, increase the heat again and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the juices have almost evaporated. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and cook for an additional 1 minute.

Transfer the sautéed mushrooms to a warmed serving dish, then garnish with lemon wedges and serve piping hot or warm. Accompany with crusty bread for mopping up the juices.

Makes 6 servings

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