Sweet Pimenton Paprika

Pimenton Dulce of Murcia by El Ruisenor

I am inspired by ingredients. Today, while browsing the isles of my local Crate & Barrel, I stopped dead in my tracks at a most beautiful sight. It wasn't the impressive hurricane lamps or the beautiful teak vases. It was Pimenton Dulce.
Pimenton Dulce, or sweet pepper paprika, is a wonderful spice condiment typically used in Spanish dishes. The best pimenton dulce originates from Spain where sweet capsicum red peppers are said to be dried and smoked over burning branches of oak. That process gives the paprika its aromatic smell and flavor.

Needless to say, I couldn't resist and quickly planned my trip to the market to survey the local fresh produce and proteins that might complement the dish. Here is the recipe that made itself, all from a few sprinklings of a delicious spice from Spain.

Pollo Dulce with Golden Peppers and Sweet Jasmine Rice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 heaping Tablespoons of Pimenton Dulce
A generous sprinkle of sea salt

Rub the pimenton dulce liberally over the front and back sides of the chicken thighs. Sprinkle with the sea salt.
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat and sear the chicken just until lightly browned , about 1 minute per side.
Remove from the pan and set aside. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup chicken stock and scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound golden bell peppers [about 2} seeds removed and cut into strips
1/2 pound Vidalia or sweet yellow onion, peeled and cut crosswise into thin half-moon slices
1 clove of garlic, cut into thin slices

In the same pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion, peppers and garlic just until soft, but not browned. Add the parsely and 1/2 cup dry white wine and reduce liquid by half.

2 Tablespoons chopped italian flatleaf parsely
1 cup of San Marzano whole canned tomatoes and juice
1 cup Bella Cucina Sweet Pepper pesto {a bit of a shameless plug, but certainly optional}
1 cup chicken stock
1 Tablespoon Italian flat leaf parsely, chopped
* you can skip all the ingredients after the chicken and simply add a jar of Bella Cucina Sugo Alla Peperonata {another plug!}

Add the tomatoes {breaking them up slightly with a knife}, sweet pepper pesto, reserved pimenton broth and the chicken stock. Layer the chicken thighs on top and bring to a light boil. Cover and simmer over medium low heat until the flavors marry, the sauce thickens and the chicken thighs are tender and cooked completely. This will take about 1- 1/2 to 2 hours, for the best flavor.
Serve over aromatic steamed Jasmine Rice. We like the organic kind from our friends at Lotus Foods {www.lotusfoods.com}

Serves 4.

Buon Appetito!
Copyright 2008 Alisa Barry

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