Gallina En Pepitoria
The chicken in pepitoria is a typical Spanish dish because it appears in La Rioja, Andalusia, Asturias and even appears a pepitoria to the Catalan, but its greatest incidence is in the two Castilles so it seems that its origin is Castilian.
The word pepitoria means stew that is made with all edible parts (including offal) and is a Spanish way of cooking different meat dishes (usually with chicken or chicken); as a rule, the juices obtained from the preparation of meats are enriched with hard boiled egg yolk and ground almonds. When done like this, the dish receives the nickname pepitoria. Some authors argue that the word comes from piperitoria, in turn from piper (pepper). There is no doubt, however, that this stew had as ingredients, in ancient times, bird offal.
It is a recipe that has evolved over time. Although not very clear origin, it seems very likely its Arab roots, both by the cooking method and by its ingredients (saffron and nuts). As early as the thirteenth century, recipes such as the “hen Ibrahimiya“ due to Ibrahim ibn al Mahdi in whose sauce contains the egg yolk appear in Hispanic-Arab cookbooks, which could be the antecedent of pepitoria.
In the sixteenth century it appears in recipes such as that of Granados and it is named Cervantes in the Quixote and in the prologue of the exemplary novels where he writes” You can not do with them pepitoria because they have no feet or head", Francisco Delicado in "La Lozana andaluza", Gongora and Quevedo, among others, in some of his works. Later it appears in treatises on cooking such as that of Diego Granado (1599), the New Art of cooking of Juan Altamiras (year 1758) and in the art of cooking, pastry, Vizcocheria and Cannery of Martinez Montiño (year 1763) and in later ones in which, curiously, there is no egg yolk and clear warnings are made against its use. On the other hand they add saffron as a dye.
The dictionary of authorities, (forerunner of the current Dictionary of the language of the RAE) in its 1732 Edition, defines pepitoria as:
"Stew made from the offal of birds, such as wings, necks, feet, livers and gizzards”
Currently the word pepitoria is collected in the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy of language which gives us the following meanings:
Stew that is made with all the edible parts of the bird, or only with the offal, and whose sauce has egg yolk.
Set of diverse things and without order.
By another name, the same dictionary mentions that pepitoria is a word used when something is scrambled. Other authors (Joan Corominas, in his critical Etymological Dictionary Castilian and Hispanic, of 1954) mention that the word comes from petit-OIE, whose meaning is" little goose", since with the minudillos of these birds were made in France pepitoria. Nestor Lujan also insists on the petite-OIE and in particular the hochepot AU petite OIE which was a stew of goose minudillos, medieval dish that was made with the small parts of the goose (minudillos and spoils) and that according to him is the origin of our pepitoria. But this reference is very doubtful because there is no reference to the word pepitoria in the French gastronomic literature, despite being one of the dishes that Alejandro Dumas picked up on his trip to Spain.
As we have seen, pepitoria is not an exclusive formula to stew the chicken, although this is the most used, are known pepitoria lamb, goat and others. The pepitoria was usually done with The Spoils of the bird or animal with which it was made; so it was a dish that used to be eaten on Saturdays, since according to the custom of the time on that day could not eat earth animals but only their spoils. It is a dish that reached its maximum popularity –according to Nestor Lujan– in the mid-1800s, during the reign of Elizabeth II and was one of the favorite dishes of the Queen. So much so that Ramon Gomez de la Serna said he did not know whether Elizabeth II " was a queen in pepitoria or a queen's pepitoria”.
- 1 piece chicken
- 1 piece onion
- 1 piece white bread
- 2 cloves garlic
- 10 pieces almonds
- 2 pieces eggs
- 50 milliliters olive oil
- pinch ground cumin
- 1 tablespon lemon juice
- pinch cinnamon
- pinch ground cloves
- pinch saffron
- ground black pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
- Divide the chicken into 12 parts: legs, thighs, wings and Breasts cut in half.
- In a thick-walled pan, lightly fry the bread and garlic in olive oil, then remove them, and in the pan, fry the chicken until Golden brown. Transfer the fried chicken to any other dish.
- In the same oil, fry the onion until soft and return the chicken. Pour in the water, add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, cinnamon and cloves, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- In a mortar, crush the toasted garlic and bread with almonds, saffron, cumin and the yolks of boiled eggs. Add 70 ml of water, mix and pour into the pan to the chicken. Simmer with the lid closed for another hour on low heat.
- At the end of the time, add the finely chopped protein, mix and remove from the heat.