Garlic Chicken (Pollo Al Ajillo)

DSCF7338 (640x480)Sherry Vinegar does wonders. I can’t fully describe the taste, but it’s somewhere between a strong, semi-sweet and tangy Filipino Vinegar from the north and a light balsamic vinegar from Europe.  Just like a Filipino vinegar, it matches perfectly well with garlic and olive oil (or regular oil) . Finding a fine, aged Sherry vinegar was one of my goals while I was in Madrid. I went to their supermarkets and surprisingly didn’t find one either,  but I was fortunate enough to find one in a small fruit and vegetable stand just beside my hotel which really sold for cheap. I grabbed it immediately thereafter. I also searched the aisles of supermarkets here in Toronto and couldn’t really spot one. All there were was Italian or Greek. I haven’t really gone to the Latin side of town and ask due to time constraints. There was always something coming up that turned this agenda from weeks to months and maybe to even never. I really couldn’t tell and have scratched it altogether.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, my eating habits for the last week or so have been altered.  Small, light meals have become norm, well, lately, and the search for classic ‘Tapas’ still beckons. This one is of no exception. I was so eager to try my Sherry Vinegar for this particular recipe and was not disappointed.  I bought a couple of chicken breast, seasoned and marinated them and proceeded based on the recipe (having a ‘Tapas’ cookbook at hand, as guide).  I changed the procedure, of course, according to my liking.


  • Boneless Chicken Breast
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken Stock
  • Paprika
  • Garlic, minced to a paste
  • Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • Bay Leaves
  • Sea salt & pepper
  • Pimenton Picante

Marinate the chicken breast with paprika, olive oil and salt & pepper overnight.

Leave the breast at room temperature and pre-heat the sauté pan.  Sear the breasts on both sides until golden brown, transfer into a roasting pan, and finish them off in a pre-heated 350’C oven.  Let them rest when done.

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Meanwhile, remove the pan from the heat. Add the garlic (preventing it from burning and turning brown, as Filipinos love them), deglaze with the Sherry Vinegar, followed by the stock, Bay leaves and fresh Thyme. Reduce to simmer or until all the flavours incorporate.  Sprinkle with Pimenton Picante and/or add more garlic, olive oil, stock, vinegar and herbs if necessary and repeat the process, at a very low heat. Discard the Bay Leaves when the appropriate consistency is achieved

Chop the breast into bite size pieces. Transfer into a ‘Cazuela’ and pour the sauce over. Garnish with fresh Thyme.

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