This was a very fun dinner to make! It was a miserably wet, windy and cold day. I worked until 6pm and got soaked while walking (more like running) to my car. The rain was being swept in sheets by the wind. There is nothing worse than sitting in a car feeling all wet and shiver-y. And, now I was going home to make dinner! I defrosted the last of what I had in the freezer that morning – 15 chicken drumsticks and two chicken breasts and there they were, waiting fo me when I skidded in the back door.
I couldn’t think so I made myself a cocktail and sat down…As I was trying to use up the last of everything in my fridge I remembered I had 2 peppers? Paprika came into my head for some reason and I decided that I would use that along with the peppers and make dinner. I did not have a plan. One step blindly followed another and everything came together in a sort of magical way. I was very pleased that boring old drumsticks were transformed into a delicious dinner and that the simple cure for feeling wet and cranky was to hang out in my crappy kitchen and make food for my family!
You will need: 15 chicken drumsticks, 2 boneless chicken breasts (I usually put breast into a dish like this to satisfy the more “delicate” palate?), 3 tbs olive oil, 1 medium yellow onion, large dice, 1 red pepper, very large dice, 1 yellow pepper, very large dice, 2 garlic cloves, chopped roughly, 1 vegetable bouillon cube, 14 oz can of skinless plum tomatoes with their juices, chopped roughly, 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, 1 heaped tbs flour, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 1/2 tbs sweet paprika, 1 tsp coarse sea salt (I used Maldon), 2 cups water. Fresh spinach & Rice on the side (optional – as in, use any side-dish you choose).
Preheat oven 400*
1 – Lay chicken on large plate or board and sprinkle with 1/2 tbs paprika. In a big saute pan add 2 tbs oil and turn heat to high. Lay a single layer of chicken (paprika side down) into hot pan and sear until brown. While it is searing sprinkle the “up’ side with another 1/2 tbs of paprika. Turn and sear other side. You will have to do this in batches.
2 – As they cook transfer to a heavy casserole (deep enough to hold the entire completed dish). They can be stacked on top of each other.
3 – Turn pan down (add more oil if necessary) and add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes.
4 – Add the peppers and thyme sprigs and continue to saute for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5 – Add the flour, 1/2 tbs paprika and bouillon cube and stir and let cook for about 1 minute before adding the tomatoes, water, cream and salt. Turn up heat and when it comes to a simmer turn off heat. Taste to see if more salt is needed?
6 – Pour entire pan of sauce on top of chicken. Cover with heavy lid and place in preheated oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes remove lid, turn oven temperature up to 425* and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. While chicken is cooking you can make rice, or potatoes or a salad to serve with the dish.
Remove from oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.