Recipe and photos contributed to Hispanic Kitchen by Veronica Shine
Andalusia is the region that conjures up the fabled and romantic images of Spain as described many times by playwright Federico García Lorca.
Gypsies dancing the flamenco, Moorish palaces towering above white-jeweled pueblos, bullfights on Sundays, all these snapshot remain true, even in contemporary times.
The region consists of a vast land mass located in Southern Spain. Andalusia borders Portugal on the west, Gibraltar on its south, while its eastern shores touch upon the Mediterranean Sea. The northern region borders Castilla La Mancha and due to the narrowness of the Strait of Gibraltar, is in fact closer to Morocco than to Barcelona. Andalusia is home to the snow-capped Sierra Nevada which frame the ancient Moorish city of Granada, the golden beaches of the Costa del Sol, and to the bodegas of the world famous Jerez sherry. This region’s menu is just as far ranging. Andalusian food can be subtle and refine or brash and spicy from its Moorish roots. Households tend to use only locally grown produce that are in season, such as asparagus.
Often called the “food of kings,” asparagus is a vegetable that plays an important role in many a kitchen. It is in season for seven months out of the year. Asparagus is native to the Mediterranean countries and in Spain it is an inexpensive enhancement for any recipe. It can be used as a side dish, made into a soup, used as side tapas or added to chicken or seafood dishes.
Andalusians in the know take pleasure in adding asparagus to the simplest recipes of recipes such as “Pollo con Espárragos (chicken with asparagus)” and making it into something special.
“Pollo con Espárragos” is a one pan dish good to serve in the colder months. It can be created in less than 15 minutes, giving you quality time to spare at the dining room table.
Number of servings: 4
• 1 oz butter
• 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
• 4 shallots finely chopped
• 4 skinless chicken breast fillets cute into cubes
• 1 large onion minced
• 1 scallion minced
• 2 cloves garlic chopped
• 2 bundles of fresh asparagus (either white or green)
• 1/4 cup of dry white wine
• 1/4 cup of chicken stock
• 1/6 cup of heavy cream
• 2 to 3 tablespoons parsley
• A pinch of saffron
• Dash of cayenne
• Salt and pepper – to taste
1. Melt the butter with the oil in a cast iron or teflon frying pan over medium heat.
2. Add the shallots, onions, scallions, and sauté until they are soften, 2 minutes.
3. Add the cubed chicken and stir-fry for about 8 minutes until the meat is sealed and lightly brown.
4. Add the garlic and fry for 1 additional minute.
5. Pour the wine, and stock, bring to a simmer and cook gently for 5 minutes.
6. Add the asparagus and cook for 3 minutes.
7. Stir in the spices and heavy cream, stirring and cooking for a further 3 minutes.
8. Serve over rice with warm bread and a white wine, such as a Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc.