Chicken Andalucia

This dish is really simple, but it’s absolutely bursting with flavour thanks to a long cooking time. As it gently stews the tomatoes and peppers melt away into a gorgeously gooey sauce, and the chicken becomes incredibly tender. Not to mention the fact that this is a fabulous plateful all in one dish, so there’s hardly any washing up.

A mixture of chicken thighs & drumsticks – one of those supermarket packets with 2 or 3 of each is perfect
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 onion
A big handful of black olives
A glass of red wine
Sweet chilli sauce
Salt & black pepper
Olive oil

Serves 2, with some left over (depending on how hungry you are!)

First of all, you need to brown the chicken – drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary, and then pop into a large pan on a medium heat. Keep an eye on it and turn the pieces over as they start to turn golden underneath, then once they’ve lost their raw pink colour all over, remove from the pan and put to one side.

Next, slice the onion (for this dish, I like to go for long slices rather than dice, but of course it’s up to you) and the peppers and pop in the same pan as the chicken with a good glug of olive oil. Add a generous sprinkling of rosemary and thyme, a bit of salt and pepper, and stir gently until the vegetables are starting to soften. Then add the red wine – putting it in at this point, as opposed to when all the liquid from the tomatoes are in there, means that the alcohol will burn off and stop the end result tasting bitter. Once the wine has mostly disappeared, add the tomatoes and olives, and a good dollop of sweet chilli sauce – I admit, this is probably not on the original Spanish recipe, but I think it really adds to the gooey sweetness of the dish. Leave it all to bubble for a few minutes.

Get out a large earthenware dish and arrange your chicken pieces skin-side-up in one layer. Then pour the tomato sauce over the top, spreading it out evenly, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, without stirring – until the sauce is just starting to blacken a little around the edges. You might think this would mean that it’s gone too far, but in my experience it means the sauce is just perfect. Serve up a generous plateful with a glass of red wine – gorgeous.