In typical Catalan style, this unusual and uncommonly good regional specialty combines poultry, shellfish, and nuts. Yet contrary to what it might seem, this dish will not at all startle the taste buds. Any gap that exists between surf and turf is bridged by the almond and hazelnut wine sauce.
- A 3–3½-pound chicken, cut in serving pieces
- Freshly ground pepper
- Flour for dusting
- 20 medium shrimp in their shells
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 1½ teaspoons minced oregano or ¼ teaspoon dried
- ½ teaspoons thyme leaves or ¼ teaspoon dried
- 1 bay leaf
- A 3-inch piece of leek (white part only), well washed, cut lengthwise into 4 slices
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 5 blanched almonds
- 5 hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon brandy
Sprinkle the chicken pieces on all sides with salt and pepper. Dust with flour. Shell the shrimp, reserving the shells. Sprinkle the shrimp with salt and dust with flour.
Heat the oil in a shallow casserole and brown the chicken on all sides. Transfer to a warm platter. Briefly sauté the shrimp and remove to the same platter. Add to the casserole the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion has softened. Stir in the tomato, parsley, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, and leek, then add the chicken broth, the wine, and the shrimp shells. Add the chicken, cover, and cook 30 minutes.
In a mortar or mini processor mash to a paste the almonds, hazelnuts, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in the brandy. Add to the casserole and cook 5 minutes. Strain the sauce and return to the casserole. Add the shrimp and cook 5 minutes more.
Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving and based on using a 3 pound chicken.