One Year On…Pollo en Pepitoria – Chicken in a Saffron and Almond Sauce

Pepitoria – what a great word!  However, I couldn´t find a decent translation for it.  The dictionary comes up with “hodge podge” or “fricassée”.  I don´t think either of those translations suit the sophistication of this beautiful looking, wonderful tasting but oh so easy to prepare dish.

It´s often cooked for celebratory meals – probably because of the luxury of the ingredients (saffron and almonds) and the fact that it can be prepared for a large number of people in advance. It seems that it´s a year since I published my first post here on WordPress.  Wow, what a journey it´s been!  From no readers 😦 to a lovely group of new blogging pals who comment, support, encourage and inspire.  I thank you all, it´s great to have you along for the ride.

So, back to the food.  Don´t be put off by the word “luxury”, it´s actually luxurious in terms of quality and not cost.  Most recipes suggest using free range chicken or even an old hen or cockerel for long slow cooking and an amazing taste.  I used our old black cockerel who was no longer doing it for my lady hens…he had a great life, fathered many little chicks and was treated splendidly after his demise in this gorgeous dish.  Ok, on with the cooking.

You´ll need (for approx 6 people depending on the size of your chicken)

  • 1 large chicken cut into portions and floured
  • Olive oil
  • About 20 blanched almonds
  • 1 thick slice of day old bread
  • 6 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced in half lengthways
  • About 1 heaped tablespoon of chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon of saffron stamens (or you can use ground turmeric which will add a little flavour of a different kind, but it´s a good substitute)
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • Fresh black pepper for grinding and salt (I used Maldon)
  • About ½ litre of chicken stock
  • 2 large glasses of dry white whine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 hard boiled eggs

Start by putting a few good slugs of olive oil in the bottom of a heavy based pan that has a lid.  Brown the almonds and garlic and remove. Now fry the bread until browned and remove.  Put the bread, almonds, garlic, parsley and saffron in a jug with about half a cup of stock and blend until you have a thick smooth mixture.

Fry your chicken pieces in the same oil (add more if necessary) until browned on both sides then pour over the almond and saffron mixture,  one glass of white wine, enough stock to cover the meat,  the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.  Pour yourself the other glass of wine and drink while waiting for the pot to come up to a gentle boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook gently for at least an hour and a half.  I cooked mine for three hours as it was an old cockerel (bless him) and check every so often that the meat is covered with liquid.  If not, add a little water or chicken stock.

When the meat is tender, remove from the sauce and turn up the heat to reduce slightly.  Check for seasoning and add the mashed yolks of the 2 hard boiled eggs to further thicken the sauce.  Once it has reached the consistency of a thick pouring sauce, put the chicken back into the pot (or pour the sauce over your chicken if you are going to use a serving platter) and sprinkle with the chopped whites of the hard boiled egg and finely chopped parsley.  Serve with fresh lemon to squeeze over, rice, fried or mashed potatoes and ¡Buen Provecho!

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83 thoughts on “One Year On…Pollo en Pepitoria – Chicken in a Saffron and Almond Sauce

  1. Happy first blog birthday! And what a tasty way to celebrate…I’m going to have to try this. The almonds and saffron are a great combination with the chicken, and I like the way your ingredients include a glass of wine for drinking while cooking!

  2. I’m so glad that you started blogging. I love reading about your life in the sun, the adventures you have and the lovely food you prepare.
    This post made me smile as I was talking to a friend on Friday about how I’d love to have a house with land so I could have chickens and pigs and sheep. She was suitably horrified that I’d even contemplate eating animals that I’d kept myself. She won’t even eat the rabbits her husband shoots.
    I smiled and told her to send the rabbits to us! A splendid end for your old cockerel.
    Happy anniversary!

    1. Thank you so much Evie – what a lovely comment to read! I guess I was a little squeamish at the start but I´m over that now – better a tasty bird/pig/rabbit who has had a happy life than one wrapped in plastic and pumped full of hormones 😉 This was always a dream for me and sometimes I have to pinch myself to just check that it is real…

      1. We are so disconnected from our food it’s insane. Its refreshing to find other folk who aren’t so.

        And I rather get the feeling you don’t take your life for granted in any way. Enjoy!

  3. Congrats on getting to a year. Your posts are very intriguing, refreshing and definitely enlightening. Oh they’re pretty interesting and appetizing too. Wow, so many adjectives! Keep on blogging, I enjoy all the delicious food you share and the stories of your adventures!

    1. Thank you so much – it´s actually not that complicated, it just looks like you did a lot of “cheffery” to produce it! Thanks for the good wishes, any excuse here for a celebration 🙂

  4. Chica, Tanya, Happy Anniversary! It takes a bit of faith to leap into mid-air, and to speak words into the dark — a year ago you took a flying chance and so many of us are so happy you did! I think my husband and I will be celebrating Chica Andalucia with Pollo en Pepitoria tonight! (And just, by the way, this dish sounds amazing!)

    1. Ah, thank you so much! I do remember those days when I wasn´t really sure if anyone at all was reading or if I was just talking to myself (not uncommon in my everyday life, I have to say!). I still get excited by comments and feedback…and lovely, lovely words from gorgeous folk like you 🙂

  5. Happy Anniversary, Tanya! Did you ever think you’d find the blogging experience as rewarding as it is? It certainly is for me. Through it, I’ve been introduced to you & Big Man, and gotten a peak at your life Up the Mountain. And then on top of all that, there are your wonderful recipes and, yes, sewing projects. I do not, and will never, sew but I do enjoy seeing how you utilize your talents. As for the recipes, today’s is a case in point. It sounds delicious, bringing together spices and flavors that I wouldn’t think to combine. So, congratulations and here’s wishing you a most rewarding 2nd year and beyond!

    1. Ah, I want to run right over to Chicago and give you a big hug! Thank you so much – and I agree with what you say about how rewarding it all is. Who would have thought it, eh?!

  6. Oh, my goodness, has it only been one year, Tanya? Your community of blogging friends that follow you led me to think you had been blogging for years. Just shows me how inspiring you are to have attracted so many in such a short time. I adore your blog and this recipe is one of the reasons why… cuisine I would never have known about or tried if it weren’t for you:) So glad to be here to celebrate with you today! Happy Anniversary! xoxo Smidge

    1. Thank you so very much Smidge – I´m still a newbie (relatively speaking) to all this, still learning, growing but loving it all. Especially making such great new blogging pals as you and the rest of the “gang”. Thank you!

  7. Happy Birthday to you Blog! and congratulations to you. This is amazing post, I loved it. Thank you dear Chica, I am so glad to have a bloggeer friend like you, Blessing and Happiness, with my love, nia

  8. Happy Anniversary Tanya! I, too, thought you’d been blogging much longer because you’re so good at it! I certainly have enjoyed reading your posts for the 7 months I’ve been into blogging and I love your diversity of subjects. This dish IS luxurious sounding…I love the use of the two components of the hard boiled egg, not to mention the almonds and saffron…it sounds quite decadent in a lovely way. And of course having a glass of wine mid way through is also very important in most recipes I think! 😉

  9. Tanya, the best part of the recipe is stopping for another glass of wine!! I think we could be best friends in the kitchen!! I’m keeping this for my next dinner party. I love comforting, simmering dishes like this to serve to guests. And the combination of these ingredients sounds heavenly.

    1. Thank you for both your lovely comments! I think we´d be great in the kitchen together and a dish like this leaves you plenty of time to be with your guests and to drink those glasses of wine 🙂

  10. Good God darling, it took me twenty minutes to get down here to the bottom of the queue.. you are such a popular girl. And I agree. I just love visiting with you. Now, can you come over and help me pop off a few of my roosters.. i don’t know HOW!! Is it messy?.. but I want to make this, i have the saffron and the almonds! c

    1. It was a good day for visitors! I don´t “do” the roosters – Big Man or the Good Looking Son of the Butcher are in charge of that. GLSoftheB is super quick and matter of fact about it. Happy to explain but don´t want to horrify anyone who doesn´t want to know about how it´s done! Certainly adds to the flavour and you can only have so many roosters.

  11. Such a fitting tribute to the old rooster (I’ll definitely bookmark this one for next time we’ve got one that has to go, as it looks like such a good alternative to our usual coq au vin or chicken & dumplings). And happy blogging birthday!

  12. What a spectacular dish! Oh, and your recipe sounds great too! 😉

    Congratulations on your blogging anniversary: this is an outstanding accomplishment and one I’m very glad indeed that you’ve managed, as it meant you were around to blaze the trail for many others, including me, and I am grateful *and* entertained! I wish you a very happy blog-birthday! And many more to come.

    And yes, I’ll be testing this beautiful recipe soon! Thanks for that too. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much. It was a slow start, which was good I think. Helped me find my feet and start to meet and learn from others. Glad you like the recipe – whatever you use in it (old rooster, spring chicken!) it´s lovely tasting so hope you enjoy it if you do make it 🙂

  13. FELICIDADES !!!!!! , and this recipe sounds like something I would love to make, yummy and exquisito, looking forward for more one year posts of delicious recipes…..katya

  14. yumyumyumyumyum! Bless the rooster. I grew up in the suburbs of a small city and kept chooks, much to the amusement/irritation of our neighbours. I loved them (the chickens and some of the neighbours) even though the damned roosters crowed at the crack of dawn and I never ever slept through it.

    Not sure where you can get a good broiling hen these days. Oh well, will have to go with shrink wrapped then.

    Happy Birthday Tanya and I’m very glad to have found your lovely blog.

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely words. I used to get broiling hens from Halal shops but obviously that´s not available or to the taste of everyone. I think a regular chicken would taste good too!

  15. Oooooh, just the picture on my reader started making my mouth water. This sounds like the perfect combination of all the things I love – poultry, spices (saffron being one of my favorites!), and almonds. Not to mention that I love, love, LOVE saucy foods!

      1. Mmmmmm, the bread soaked in sauce is the best part. And Happy Anniversary – I’m so glad I found your blog! I always look forward to your new posts and recipes!

  16. Happy Anniversary, Tanya!
    I am with John, I love reading your posts, getting to know you and big man and hear about life up the mountain and Alfi’s adventures (I hope he is all better no relapses)
    Thank you for all the time and effort you put into this

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