Iberian Chicken has many variations but the version I know is the one I found in Lori Baltazar’s cookbook- “Dessert Comes First.” It is a recipe by Chef Ed Quimson who passed away 2 years ago.
Chef Ed pioneered fusion cuisine in the Philippines when it was still relatively unknown. From his creations such as tinolang paella to his trademark Iberian chicken, chef Ed left his mark on the culinary industry.
This recipe is simply a chicken roasted low and slow in a bath of extra virgin olive oil, cosseted in cloves of garlic, onion, herbs, and packed with peppercorns. It requires minimal prepping time before being baked in the oven. So it means it is perfect for busy weeknights!
Tip: I always use some of the leftover oil to make sinangag or fried rice since it is so flavorful. Do use lots of garlic!
Chef Ed Quimson’s Iberian Chicken
One large chicken, approximately 4-5 servings
1- 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, quartered
6 heads of garlic, smashed, cloves peeled but kept intact
About 30 baby potatoes, rinsed
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspon ground thyme
1 tablespoon rock salt
1/2 cup white wine
1 large chicken, weighing approximately 1 kilo, rinsed and dressed
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, baby potatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and rock salt. Lower heat to medium. Stirring occasionally, cook until onions become transluscent and potatoes begin to brown. Stir in the white wine and let it come just to a simmer. Turn off heat and set pot aside.
Place chicken breast side up in a large and shallow roasting pan. Using a large, long handled spoon, stuff chicken with the just-cooked potatoes and aromatics, scattering the remainder around the pan. Pour remaining cooking liquid over the potatoes and aromatics, not the chicken. Top chicken with whole black peppercorns. Roast chicken for 50 minutes to 1 hour, checking occassionally. Baste with rendered juices as necessary. Chicken is done when its juices run clear.
Serve hot with plenty of steamed rice or thick slices of country bread for dipping into the oil and for spreading on the now blissfully soft and jam-like garlic cloves.