Gala’s Spanish Mama is staying with us at the moment which, amongst other episodes such as flamenco outbursts on the beach, has provided opportunity to experience authentic Spanish cooking en casa (at home). Last night Libertad (translated as freedom, which perfectly captures her free spirit) cooked us her pollo en salsa (chicken in sauce) with ginger and carrots. She recounted that as far as she is concerned, this is the only way to cook chicken, learnt from her abuelos (Spanish grandparents) so it is really one of those recipes passed down through the generations, therefore you are privileged to have it to try.
Recipe (recounted verbally in Spanish free style, hence lack of strict measurements, but hey that’s what cooking should really be about, a bit of experimenting) :
Lots of garlic (a whole bulb) and lots of ginger (as I said, not very precise amounts!) crush the ginger, smash the garlic and mash all together. (crush, smash and mash, how eloquent!) Add paprika and salt to the mixture and then add to chicken generously and in the words of Libertad ‘caress it’. After adding a bit of olive oil, marinade over night. Take out of the fridge half an hour before sealing the chicken on the stove on a low heat. then add loosely chopped onions and carrots and sauté. Once the onions are white and the chicken is mostly cooked, add a few cups of water and a splash of white wine. Bring to the boil then turn heat down low to simmer for half hour or until the chicken begins to fall off the bone. Y ya esta (there we go), ready to serve with crispy potatoes or rice.
It was extremely rico (tasty), the ginger being subtle but still giving the dish a bit of a kick, and the secret being the whole crushed garlic thrown in. I will definitely pass it on to my grandma and my family to put their own twist on…