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Monday, November 16, 2020

Chicken with chestnuts and Arafo wine

'Tis the season for eating chestnuts

Arafo wine made with the listan blanca (Palomino) grape variety is a wine of the Güimar Valley par excellence, therefore, to make the Chicken with Arafo wine we choose another very special product in Tenerife, the chestnut, for a perfect, comforting, seasonal dish. 

(The Bodega Valle de Güímar has a Tienda (Online Shop) if you can manage Spanish. In English, there is a Listan Blanco from the Bodega Tajinaste in Valle de La Orotava. At a pinch, you could use a Palomino Fino sherry from your favourite local purveyor.)


8 chicken thighs
½ sweet onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
150-200 grams of mushrooms
300 grams of peeled chestnuts
1/4 of Arafero wine (It can be purchased under the D.O. Valle de Güimar)
100 cl of chicken broth
2 sprigs thyme
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Some flour


Prepare the chestnuts in advance, as sometimes peeling them is 'entertaining'. (How to Peel Chestnuts With Ease). Clean the chicken thighs, remove the skin and dry them well. Peel the onion and chop it, and give the garlic cloves a bash to release their flavor, but without peeling them. Clean the mushrooms and cut them in half. 

Heat a pan with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and brown the chicken thighs, seasoned to taste. When they are browned on the outside, remove them, add a little more extra virgin olive oil if necessary to poach the onion, and add it keeping the heat at low temperature so that it is poached and candied slowly, add a pinch of salt, and also the garlic cloves.

When the onion is confit, add the mushrooms and chestnuts, give them a couple of turns then add back the chicken, then the wine and the chicken broth, add the thyme sprigs and a little more freshly ground black pepper and bring to a boil.

Once it begins to boil, lower the heat and let the chicken cook for about 30 minutes, first covered and then letting the steam escape so that the sauce reduces. The cooking time can vary depending on how big the chicken thighs are and the heat during cooking. If, when they are done, there is a lot of liquid, dissolve the flour in a little broth and add it to the pan after removing the meat. When you've achieved a creamy sauce, add back the chicken and let it rest for five minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more chicken broth.

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