Yida’s Portuguese chicken from The BC Wine Lover's Cookbook

Try your hand at this Portuguese chicken recipe for dinner this week

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A delicious recipe excerpted from The BC Wine Lover’s Cookbook by Jennifer Schell.

Delicious food is even better when paired with a great glass of wine. Award-winning food and wine author, Jennifer Schell, is very well aware of this fact and showcases it perfectly in her most recent book, The BC Wine Lover's Cookbook. A collection of family stories and recipes from 50+ wineries located across British Columbia, the book gives readers great insight into the people that make the booming wine industry tick.

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This chicken recipe from Schell's cookbook is inspired by CedarCreek’s winemaker, Taylor Whelan, who grew up on Vancouver Island. Each year, his family purchased a pig to be raised by his best friend’s parents, Jim and Yida Scott.

“Yida’s family is Portuguese,” explains Whelan, “and they made their own chorizo sausage from the pigs with heaps of smoked paprika, red wine and cumin mixed with the pork, smoked and cured. Over the years, my family adopted the recipe for this comfort food dish. If I get an evening off during harvest, I can whip up a big batch without too much fuss, and it is even better the next day.”

Yida’s Portuguese Chicken

6-8 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 heaping tbsp smoked Spanish paprika
1 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 3-4 lb roasting chicken, section
1 cup dry white wine, (preferably CedarCreek Sauvignon Blanc)
6 Sieglinde potatoes, halved
6 semi-cured Spanish chorizo sausages, sliced into 1- to 2-inch pieces
chopped Italian parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a bowl, combine the garlic, olive oil, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Roll up your sleeves and massage the mixture all over the chicken pieces—the longer the massage, the better the flavour! Pour the wine into the bottom of a large roasting pan, and top with the chicken pieces, arranging so they are all in one layer. Arrange the potatoes around them.

Roast, uncovered, until the chicken is just starting to brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and add the chorizo pieces, distributing them around the chicken and potatoes. Turn the chicken pieces to allow for more even browning. Return the pan to the oven and cook until the juices in the chicken thighs run clear and the pieces are fully browned about another 30 minutes.

To serve, divide the chicken, chorizo and potatoes between plates and top with the flavourful jus and a sprinkling of parsley. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread and a bright salad topped with almonds and blue or Manchego cheese and drizzled with sherry vinegar. Cheers!

Notes from Jennifer Schell

To section the chicken, cut apart the legs, back pieces and breasts for a total of six pieces. If it’s a large chicken, you may also want to separate the drumsticks from the thighs and halve the breasts. If you’re not comfortable sectioning a chicken yourself, ask a butcher to do it for you.

Also, make sure you purchase Spanish or Portuguese chorizo, not Mexican (which contains cumin), and use smoked paprika, not regular.

Pair with CedarCreek Sauvignon Blanc.  This crisp wine cuts through the fat in the chicken and sausage, and the paprika makes the acidity race. You are left with a lovely clean finish.

Serves 6
Prep Time:
20 minutes
Cook Time:
1 hour