We were in the mood for Spanish food again last night, and happened to have the typical Spanish ingredients on hand (onions, garlic, olives, red bell pepper, sherry, tomatoes, oh and did I mention sherry?) to make this quick, delicious, after-work chicken dish. To me, the hint of sherry in Spanish dishes is what gives them their uniquely Iberian, wonderful depth of flavor. A note on pine nuts — make sure you use only European pine nuts. I learned the hard way that Chinese pine nuts cause “pine mouth,” which is a bitter aftertaste that throws off the taste buds for days. I even read that the pine nuts that grow in Asia are not even edible! Anyway, I hope you’ll try this dish after a hard day’s work some night!
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced once down the middle, then sliced cross-wise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp dry sherry
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup pitted black olives, sliced once lengthwise
2 Tbsp pine nuts, nicely toasted in a skillet over medium heat
3 Tbsp yellow raisins
Sprinkle 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper over chicken.
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken with slotted spoon and set aside.
Add another 1 Tbsp olive oil to pan. Stir in onions, garlic and bell pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in sherry and cook another minute. Stir in wine, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, olives, pine nuts, raisins and the chicken. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with saffron rice.