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Spanish chicken with garlic and fresh bay leaves

Neil Perry
Neil Perry

Ward off 'hangry' outbursts with this speedy, sumptous Spanish chicken dish. Alternatively, this simple braise works well with duck or diced lamb - just add olives at the end and serve with good crusty bread.

A simple braise suitable for a midweek dinner.
A simple braise suitable for a midweek dinner. Photo: William Meppem


2 free-range chicken breasts, wing bone attached, and skin on

2 free-range chicken legs

sea salt 

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 whole garlic bulbs, skin on, cloves separated

6 fresh bay leaves

3/4 cup fino sherry


CUT BREAST PIECES in half. Take the legs and cut the drumstick from the thighs at the joints. Season chicken with salt. 

HEAT THE OIL in a deep, heavy-based saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid. Fry the garlic cloves (with skins on) over a medium heat until lightly golden, remove and set aside. Add the chicken in batches and fry until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Pour off any excess fat rendered from the chicken. 

RETURN THE GARLIC to the saucepan along with the bay leaves, and pour in the sherry, shaking the pan to help the wine
emulsify with the oil. Simmer for two minutes while turning the chicken in the sauce.

ADD ½ CUP WATER, place on lid and simmer for four minutes. The leg pieces will take longer to cook, so remove the breast pieces once cooked and set aside. Continue to cook the remaining chicken until ready, adding more water to the sauce if needed. Add all the chicken and warm through. Check seasoning.

SERVE with pilaf and seasonal greens. Finish of your feast with Neil Perry's Spanish quince and almond tart.

Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.

Main ingredient:
Main-course, Dinner
Midweek dinner, Family meals

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