Cast Iron Chicken Thigh
Recipe Source: Coastal Cookery
About the Dish
There are lots of Spanish chicken recipes online. I’m not sure of the origin of this recipe or if it is even Spanish. Often, family recipes are creatively named or the names are passed down from generations without reason. They become more tradition than traditional. That may be the case here.
The most popular version of Spanish chicken is Arroz Con Pollo, a traditional one-pot chicken and rice dish that typically includes ingredients such as saffron, wine, bay leaves, chicken broth, onions, bell peppers, parsley, and peas. It’s been a staple of Spanish cooking since the 8th century, though both Spain and Puerto Rico claim to have originated the dish. The Puerto Rican version is usually made with beer and annatto.
This recipe does combine elements from Arroz Con Pollo, so it was likely derived from that dish and altered to suit a family’s specific tastes.
Recipe Source: Coastal Cookery.
I am cooking from the seventh edition of Coastal Cookery, published in 1965. The original was published in 1937. This collection of recipes was compiled by the Cassina Garden Club on St. Simon’s Island. This cookbook is utterly charming, with handwritten recipes and hand-drawn illustrations. Every page demonstrates the love of the coastal Georgia community who provided the recipes.
The Cassina Garden still exists. Their mission is to preserve and maintain the history of Hamilton Plantation cabins and grounds, and promote horticulture and civic responsibility on St. Simon Island.
The cookbook features lots of seafood recipes, as you’d expect to find in a coastal cookbook. It also has a section for Game recipes. I foresee lots of articles coming from this book.
One chicken, disjointed. Roll in flour and brown in hot fat. Pour off excess fat and add:
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch of thyme
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 can tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1 tsp. parsley, chopped
- 1 pimento, chopped
- 1 cup English peas
Place lid on pan when mixture boils, turn heat off, and cook for 45 to 60 minutes.
How I Cooked It
The cooking directions for this recipe were a little contradictory to me. I’m not sure how you cook something with the heat turned off! I wasn’t willing to take the risk, so I kept the heat turned on but low and cooked it for 60 minutes, which turned out to be perfect. The chicken was fall-apart tender and the sauce was slightly reduced to that of a stew-like consistency.
My family loved it. The only complaint was that I used bone-in chicken. I stood my ground on this. To keep the chicken juicy and tender, you need to use bone-in chicken. It takes a little more work to eat, but the dish is well worth the effort.
- 6 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 tbsp. bacon grease
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp. dried parsley leaves
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1 can peas
- 2 tbsp. chopped pimentos
- Mix flour, salt, pepper, and paprika.
- Dust chicken thighs with flour mixture.
- Heat bacon grease in a cast iron skillet and brown chicken.
- Remove chicken from skillet and add thyme, bay leaf, parsley, tomatoes, green pepper, peas, and pimento; bring to a boil.
- Add chicken back to the skillet. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 60 minutes.