When I was mulling over purchasing the Barcelona Wine Bar cookbook a few months ago, I knew that I’d have to have a pretty compelling reason to do so in order to avoid Michael rolling his eyes at my wanting yet another book to add to our library. In all fairness, he’s right to do so–it’s not worth wasting time and shelf space on books that just sit and go unused, mocking me with their lack of utility. So I did a little digging on their website and took a peek at the three recipes featured, all of which were completely new to me and intrigued me instantly. That, combined with the knowledge of which of our favorite tapas from the menu were also included, was enough reason for me to add this book to my birthday wishlist on Amazon.
This particular recipe sang out to me for several reasons:
- we never order the entrees whenever we’ve visited the restaurant,
- it was inspired by a Sicilian dish,
- which itself was originally served with pasta.
When Michael offered to make me anything I wanted on Halloween, I knew that this would do quite nicely.
I naturally had to endure a little teasing because I wanted to switch out the suggested potato accompaniment with spaghetti, but I didn’t care–it was what I was in the mood for that night. In order to get it right we splurged on a kosher chicken from Fairway; while more expensive than a regular chicken, the sparse amount of ingredients that went into this dish required that all of them be of good quality.
I also splurged a little on the white wine, thanks to Jorge at Vino Fino, going for a better white than I normally would for cooking purposes, which also was worth the few extra dollars. I’m normally not a white wine drinker, but Jorge guided me well–I love a glass of garancha roja, and this white version was crisp, clean, and neither overly sweet nor dry.
Most of our cooking was done during our shift to give out candy for the trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood, and the sizzling chicken created such a racket between the action on the pan and the occasional sound of the smoke detector (usually because an errant breeze blew through the kitchen window) that I had to leave a note on our door to please ring the bell in lieu of knocking.
A little minor chaos, though, was nothing compared to what appeared on our table: between the gravy-esque sauce, the sweet peppers, and the tender meat, I now understand why Barcelona patrons order this up to four times in a week.