I have fond memories of a family vacation to southern Spain some ten years ago, particularly of Seville. It was springtime, and the city was perfumed with orange blossoms; during a sudden gust of wind, little oranges would come loose from the trees and rain down on the terraces. This recipe, taken from the October 1993 issue's "Cooking with Cinnamon" feature, incorporates the succulent flavors of oranges and raisins, while the Sherry in the sauce gives it an unmistakably Spanish flair.
Seville-Style Braised Chicken with Oranges, Raisins and Almonds (serves 4)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- a 3-pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
- 2 onions, chopped fine
- ¾ cup fresh orange juice
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons medium-dry Sherry
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup raisins (I used golden raisins)
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 2 navel oranges, the peel and pith cut away with a serrated knife and the sections cut free from the membranes
- In a large heavy flameproof casserole, heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking
- Brown the chicken, patted dry and seasoned with salt and pepper, in batches if necessary, transferring it as it is browned with a slotted spoon to a plate (NOTE: use your best browning method here to get crispy skins)
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat and in the remaining fat cook the onions over moderate heat, stirring, until they are golden.
- Stir in the orange juice, the broth, the Sherry, the cinnamon, the cloves, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the chicken, skin sides up, the raisins, and the almonds, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 20 minutes
- Add the orange sections and simmer the mixture, covered, 5 - 10 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
- Transfer the chicken with tongs to a heated platter and keep it warm, covered loosely.
- Boil the sauce, stirring, until it is thickened slightly and spoon it over the chicken.