Paprika is a quintessential ingredient in Spanish cuisine. It is a flavor profile that makes many of the dishes we know as Spanish unique to the gastronomy. It was brought to Spain by Christopher Columbus from the Americas. Sometimes it is a little sweet, other times it is smokey and earthy, or sometimes it is a mix of both. Nonetheless it is a magnificent spice to use.
Pimenton as it is known in Spanish is a deep red color, so be careful when cooking with it because you don't want to stain your clothes. Basically it is ground up red chilis. That is what brings that deep red color to the dishes that use it. One dish that most everyone knows that uses paprika are deviled eggs. It isn't spicy, but more warming and bold. Don't be afraid to add it to many different dishes, it will give your dish this complexity of intense earthy, sweet, and acidic flavors. Plus you can't beat the aroma of it either. That is one reason I love cooking with spices. The aromas are so delicious and when you are preparing the meal it starts to entice your appetite with the smells of the kitchen.
Yields 4 servings
6-8 Chicken Thighs- boneless skinless
2 chorizo links- small dice
1 yellow onion - small dice
1 large zucchini- - diced
3/4 cup corn
1 garlic clove- minced
8-10 yellow fingerling potatoes or petite potatoes
2 tablespoons orange zest
2- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper, paprika, and 1/2 the orange zest.
2. Add 1/2 the olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Sear the chicken thighs for about 3 minutes on one side. Flip the thighs to the other side and cook for about another 2 minutes and add the diced chorizo. After the chicken is almost cook remove it with the chorizo and add to a clean plate. You will return the chicken and chorizo back to the pan with vegetables later.
3. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and the onions. It is great when you cook the vegetables after browning because it picks up even more flavors and adds more depth to the dish. Add a pinch or 2 of salt to let the onions sweat.
4. After about 1-2 minutes add the zucchini, corn, and garlic. After a few minutes, add the paprika 1 teaspoon at a time. Let this cook over low medium heat. After 4-6 minutes, add the chicken and chorizo. You may want to add a few tablespoons of broth so that the dish isn't dry. Over low heat let this cook for 10-12 minutes.
5. While the dish cooks, bring a pot of water to boil. Add salt to the water and boil the potatoes until tender. I recommend that you slice the potatoes before. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain the water and add to the pan with chicken and vegetables.
6. To finish the dish sprinkle with more paprika and serve.