Make Ahead

Walking Spanish Down the Hall Chicken Thighs

September 29, 2009
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

There are a couple of inside jokes in this recipe. One of which is that "Walking Spanish" is the title of a Tom Waits song. It also figures in my friend Josh Ferris's novel, THEN WE CAME TO THE END. —pierino

What You'll Need
  • 4 to 6 chicken thighs, with bone and skin
  • 1/3 cup superfine flour (Wondra)
  • 1 tablespoon pimenton, piment d'esplette preferred
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Spanish olive oil
  • 6 small white potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup small olives, arbequina preferred
  • zest of one small orange
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. On a plate or in a pie pan mix together the flour and pimenton (the Spanish name for paprika). Piment d'esplette comes from the French Basque town of Esplette.
  2. Pat dry the chicken thighs with paper towel and dredge in the flour and pimenton mixture. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. In a large Dutch (or French, if you are of that persuasion) oven heat the olive oil over medium heat just until it simmers but doesn't begin to smoke. Add the garlic and the onions and stir until the onions are just translucent.
  4. Push the onions and garlic to the back of the pot, and add the chicken thighs two at a time and brown on both sides. When the first pair of thighs is finished remove and add the next pair.
  5. When the browning is complete spoon off excess fat being sure to leave those good, crusty bits on the bottom.
  6. Add the wine and reduce, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon, then return the chicken thighs to your pot.
  7. Add the tomatoes along with their juice and bring to a simmer covered. Then add the olives and the thyme. After about 10 minutes add the potatoes and recover. That means to put the lid back on.
  8. Total cooking time is about 30 minutes but check the chicken with a knife or better yet with an instant read thermometer. Stir in the orange zest and continue to cook uncovered until the sauce is to your liking. Taste for salt and pepper.
  9. Taste once more and serve.
  10. Note to cooks: about the olives, I prefer to leave the pits in. My guests know that olives have pits. They also know how to fasten their seat belts without an instructional video.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • recipegal
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.

2 Reviews

LeBec F. January 21, 2014
p, i want to thank you for this recipe.Made it tonight and it was a big hit for both of us.My Love had been pushing for a braised chicken dish and I had found this last night while perusing your recipes (after seeing you often on the Hotline.) VERY unlike me to follow a recipe verbatim, but i pretty much did that with this; only changing it by doubling the red wine, adding some frozen artichoke hearts,and adding some toasted cumin seeds and extra pimenton dulce. (and I would have added evoo fried almonds but i burned them) It was unctuous and divine. Loved the fact that it was a complex layering of flavors in just the right amounts to stay subtle rather than creating overkill.

Served it with a bed of wheatberries topped with a melange of okra, corn, onion, garlic, artichoke hearts, mushrooms and lemon; and the 2 dishes worked well together. Congrats and thanks so much for an inspiring experience :-}
recipegal September 29, 2009
Sounds lovely...I might saute wild mushrooms with the onion and garlic.