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Stewed Turresilano Farmyard Fowl - Gallo de Corral Turresilano

Just a glance at the names of villages like Pollos (Chickens), Venta de Pollos (Chicken Sales), and Pozal de Gallinas (Hen's Pail) tells you how traditional poultry rearing is around Tordesillas. This was a grandmother's dish, as locals put it, till chefs looking for something local that would work on restaurant menus revived it. Carlos Gayubo, native of Aranda de Duero and chef at the Tordesillas Parador, gave me this recipe. Ideally, he says, it needs to be made with a farmyard cock with the kind of mature red meat that needs plenty of cooking to tenderize it. But if that is difficult then a hen would also do. In the old days the cock's crest would have been included but recently it has been banned from slaughterhouses.

Makes 10-12 servings.

Prep Time: 30 min.

Cook Time: 3 1/2 hr.

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8 - 9 lb farmyard cock or hen
3 cups water
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 onion
3 tbsp whole blanched skinned almonds
3 tbsp unprocessed bread
3 cloves of garlic
1 parsley stalk
2 cups rancio Rueda wine (an oloroso sherry is a good substitute)
Triangles of toast
Flaked or finely sliced blanched almonds
Fresh parsley

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Clean the bird, chop it into pieces for stewing and season them. Make a stock with the neck, spine, and feet, simmering them together in the lightly salted water, for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, sauté the pieces of fowl or hen in the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Remove and keep to one side. Add the bay leaves, onion, almonds, bread, garlic, and parsley to the pan and sauté for 5-10 minutes, turning well. Pound in a mortar (or blend briefly in a food processor or liquefier). Pour the wine over the mixture and then add the cock. Cover with the stock and cook slowly, covered for 2 1/2 hours. Transfer the fowl to a heated serving dish and decorate it with the toast triangles, almonds, and fresh parsley.

Selected by Vicky Hayward
Recipe courtesy of Spain GourmeTour magazine.

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