Sofrito Chicken is another name for chicken, potatoes and garlic. Add a touch of lemon and you have the perfect winter comfort food.
1 T sunflower or canola oil
1 small whole chicken, about 3.5 pounds (I cut the backbone out and then cut through the breast bone so I could have two halves of chicken)
2 onions – 1 quartered and 1 chopped
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 t sweet paprika
1 t smoked paprika
1/4 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t Aleppo pepper or 1/4 t chile flakes
Freshly ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1 2/3 lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch dice
25 unpeeled cloves of garlic
Oil for frying potatoes
Salt chicken and marinate in juice of 1 lemon for a few hours or overnight.
Mix paprikas, sugar, salt, chile pepper and some black pepper (to taste) in a small bowl.
When ready to cook, heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute the chopped onion until translucent. Add the garlic cloves and saute about 30 seconds more. Add the bay leaf. Place the chicken flat in pot, skin side down and sear for about 5 minutes until golden brown.
Season all over with seasoning mix. Squirt juice of 1/2 lemon on top. Turn the chicken over so that the skin side faces up, add the quartered onion to the pot and cover with a lid. Decrease the heat to low and cook for 1 hour. Lift the lid every now and then to see if there is about 1/4 inch liquid in the bottom of the pot. If necessary add a bit of chicken stock to keep the chicken from sticking. (I did not have to add liquid.)
While chicken is cooking, heat oil over a medium high heat, in a large skillet. Fill the skillet to a depth of about 3/4 inch. Fry the chopped potatoes and unpeeled cloves of garlic in two batches, for about 6 minutes per batch, or until they crisp up and take on some color. Using a slotted spoon, lift potatoes from the oil and drain on paper towels. Season with salt. Fry second batch and repeat.
After the chicken has cooked for an hour, lift it from the pot and spoon in the potatoes and garlic. Return the chicken to the pot, placing it on top of the potatoes for the remainder of the cooking time, about 30 minutes. The chicken should be almost falling off the bone and the potatoes should be soaked in the cooking liquid. Drizzle with the juice from the remaining half of the lemon. Check for seasoning. You may need more salt and pepper.
I served this with roasted carrots. Prepare your carrots and place in an oiled pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and rosemary. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Turn about the halfway point so they get golden on all sides. Cook until fork tender. These are delicious!
*Does not include the marinating time.
Thank you (Yottam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Jerusalem)
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