Chyrel's Recipes From Friends

Chicken Zarzuela Casserole Recipe

Chicken Zarzuela Casserole
Posted By: jack Mon 19 Dec 2005 12:56 pm
Ground almonds thicken this Spanish zarzuela sauce, traditionally used with seafood. If you like potatoes, boil up a few, cut into chunks and add to the casserole before heating through.


16 Skinless chicken thighs (about 4 lb/2 kg)
1 tsp (5 mL) Salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) Pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) Vegetable oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) Dry white wine (or chicken stock plus 2 tbsp/25 mL white wine vinegar)
1 tbsp (15 mL) Extra-virgin olive oil
2 Spanish onions, chopped
6 Cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) Tomatoes
4 tsp (20 mL) Sweet paprika
1 tsp (5 mL) Dried marjoram or oregano
1/4 tsp (1 mL) Saffron threads
1/3 cup (75 mL) Ground almonds
1 tbsp (15 mL) Lemon juice
1 cup (250 mL) Large green olives, pitted and halved
1/4 cup (50 mL) Chopped fresh parsley


Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of the salt and pepper. In large nonstick skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat; brown chicken in batches, 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to 13- x 9-inch (3 L) glass baking dish. Drain off any fat from skillet. Add wine; bring to boil, stirring to scrape up brown bits. Pour over chicken. Wipe out skillet; heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook onions and 4 of the garlic cloves until golden, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, paprika, marjoram and remaining salt, breaking up tomatoes with wooden spoon. Bring to boil; pour over chicken. Cover loosely with foil and bake in 375F (190C) oven until chicken is no longer pink inside, about 40 minutes.Meanwhile, crumble saffron into bowl; pour in 2 tbsp (25 mL) hot water and let sit for 5 minutes. Add almonds, remaining garlic and lemon juice. Uncover casserole; stir in almond mixture and olives. Bake until heated through, about 10 minutes. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes. Transfer to airtight container. Refrigerate, uncovered, until cold. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Or freeze for up to 2 weeks; thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours. Reheat in 375F/190C oven until hot, about 40 minutes.) Stir in parsley.

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