Humble, rustic, vibrantly fresh One Pot Spanish Chicken and Potatoes, you say?
Yes okay CAN DO. I’m very much down widdat.
One Pot Spanish Chicken and Potatoes is one of those recipe names where you read it and say, mmm! yumm! sounds so good! …. erhhhhm, so, like, *ahem* what is it? Let me tell you what my version of Spanish Chicken and Potatoes is all about, you food interneter BFFs. Let. Me. Tell. You.
Once upon a time, I lived in Sevilla, Spain. I know, right?! I was studying abroad, learning Spanish (un café con leche, por favor) and eating my way through Spanish recipes lovingly prepared by my host mother, Fatima. It was an extremely rare time in my life to travel ALONE, which, just so you know, for me to do anything alone is a big deal and not always my favorite thing, and so now that I can check off this experience on my life list, I see no reason to do anything alone ever again. Bjork is so thrilled right now.
But traveling. In addition to traveling and seeing the most amazing parts of the world (Morocco! Switzerland! France! Portugal!) obviously it was a hugely wonderful way for me to learn about food. I wish I could tell you I was super cultured with my food interests at that point in my life, because wouldn’t that be a nice story? Young aspiring food blogger learns about food and culture through boldly and bravely eating her way through Europe.
That picture you have of well-dressed American Student Me walking around with a glass of red wine and my pinkie in the air tasting different types of olive oil in the market? Just… no. Let those images crash and burn, friends, and replace them with a cheap pair of flats that I wore for at least 149 out of my 150 days abroad, an old tattered brown jacket, and a box of crackers (Digestives, anyone? I sort of became obsessed) and maybe some buttered toast with my cafe con leche.
Living the dream.
Last weekend, I was back at my parent’s house looking for an apple crisp recipe that matched the one that I found in the fridge and single-handedly polished off somewhere in the 10pm hour, and as I shuffled through my mom’s million and one recipe cards, I found this old recipe in my mom’s recipe box labeled “Tomato Salsa” from my host mother, Fatima. Throwback! I knew right away I had to make it because you guys would love it. And I already do love it. And I like to love food with you, and maybe I can make up for the crackers-and-toast phase by putting this recipe FROM SPAIN out into my food circle. Maybe? Don’t answer.
Fatima would make this sauce all the time, and she called it “salsa” – simmered tomatoes, eggplants, onions, garlic, olive oil, and salt thrown in this contraption called the Thermomix (anyone?) and it would cook into this gloriously fragrant sauce that would then get blended up into something of a smooth, rustic tomato gravy. We would put it on Spanish tortilla (eggs/potatoes/onions/cheese — CRAVING NOW) and just eat it straight up from the pan with a spoon. I didn’t love all Spanish food, but this was one recipe that I remember loving so much that I would eat it cold out of the fridge at night when I was homesick. Weird visual, TMI, sorry.
It’s been at least five years since I even thought about this sauce, so bringing it back to life with chicken and potatoes and serving it to my family for dinner over a truckload of steamy white rice was food-time-warp-magic.
Wait, though, this recipe! I was going to describe it somewhere back there and then WORDS.
One Pot Spanish Chicken and Potatoes is a warm, comforting, fragrant, and humble dinner recipe that features (besides the obvious – chicken and potatoes) fresh tomatoes, eggplants, onions, garlic, and olive oil. The building blocks of the whole meal are chicken and potatoes, as in that’s what’s going to make you feel extremely satisfied and deeply nourished and ready to hunker down for the long winter. PS. It’s time. We hit 40 degrees in Minnesota. I wore a hat yesterday. Lock the doors, close the windows, and I’ll see you in April.
But you guys. The real show-stopper in this recipe is the homemade tomato sauce. We’re talking about that fragrant marriage of simmered tomatoes, eggplant, onions, garlic, and olive oil pureed into that richly delicious rustic sauce. Licking the blender clean required.
And they work together beautifully, those two. The chicken and potatoes are delicious on their own, but these two main ingredients are simmered in the magic tomato sauce to grab all the good flavor and the whole one-pot-party is topped with a handful of fresh parsley for color and a cool, fresh ping in your mouth against the deep, rich flavor and acidity of the saucy chicken and potatoes.
I see so many good things coming at you the very second you toss a piece of crusty white bread into that pan of homemade sauce, and/or when you pile this beauty up on top of a steaming pile of rice. Just imagine it for two seconds: the crusty white bread sopping up that extra sauce alongside the simple, unpretentious, and flavorful chicken and potatoes.
Dead, right? Me toooooo.
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 5 ripe tomatoes, cut in half
- ½ of a large eggplant, skin removed and diced (2-3 cups)
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ lbs. chicken breast meat
- 1 large Russet potato, sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon all purpose seasoning (I used poultry seasoning)
- ½ cup fresh parsley leaves
- crusty bread or rice for serving
- Sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic. Scoop the juices, seeds, and flesh out of the tomatoes into the pan. Add the eggplant pieces and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes or until everything is soupy-like and softened and very good smelling. Place the scooped out tomato halves over the sauce, open side down. Simmer for a few minutes until the tomatoes have steamed and softened. Break them up in the pan and simmer for another 5-10 minutes to get all the flavors real nice and yummy.
- Blend: Transfer to a blender or food processor, puree until mixture reaches your desired consistency, and stir in the salt. Taste and adjust to you liking.
- Chicken and Potatoes: In the same pan, add one more quick drizzle of olive oil and add the chicken and potato slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and seasoning. Saute for a few minutes on each side until they are browned.
- Finish: Add the sauce back to the pan, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are fully cooked. Top with fresh parsley and serve with crusty white bread or rice.