It’s not always possible to jet set and experience another culture, but you can travel easily with your tastebuds experiencing other cultures through food.
It’s amazing to go back and looks at some cuisines of Europe and then see the influence that has spread into regional cooking in the US. If your looking for a fun tour- try looking into countries that were into exploration.
I happened to find a great deal on a bottle of saffron. Saffron is the dried stigmas from a small purple crocus. Each flower provides only three stigmas, which must be carefully hand-picked and then dried, an extremely labor-intensive process. It takes 225,000 stigmas to make one pound of saffron, making saffron the most expensive spice in the world. Saffron is used in spice blends for paella, curry, and bouillabaisse. Saffron is native to the Mediterranean, and most imported saffron comes from Spain.
This recipe is for a braised chicken dish. Last week I was using different thickeners for sauces. This sauce is really interesting in that it uses hard boiled egg yolks and nuts to thicken the sauce. Chicken thighs, unlike chicken breasts, do better when cooked longer. Chicken thighs, which are less expensive, are dark meat full of flavor and can hold up to stews and braising without drying out.
Season chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. I happened to get skinless, so when adding to the skillet add a little olive oil.
Brown on both sides. This will take about 10 minutes total. Then remove the thighs to a plate. Add 1 diced onion and 3 cloves minced garlic. When the onion is translucent add 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon and 1 whole bay leaf. Stir. Add 3/4 c. sherry, 1 c. chicken stock, and 1 can diced tomtaoes. Bring to a simmer. Add chicken back into skillet, cover and place in a 350 degree oven till chicken reaches 190 degrees.
When the chicken comes out of the oven, ladel out about 1 cup of the liquid/sauce into a blender with 2 hard boiled egg yolks (save the white for garnish), 1/2 c. toasted slivered almonds, and a pinch of saffron.
Add puree to chicken and stir in. Squeeze a half of lemon over the sauce. Serve into bowls and top with chopped egg white and parsley. Enjoy a taste of Spain!