Portuguese and Spanish ingredients—inimitable port wine, paprika, cilantro, and olive oil—flavor this tapas-style dish. Set out cocktail picks, or toothpicks, for nibbling on these delicious little bites. To cook these bites once and enjoy them twice, double the recipe, omitting the cilantro, and freeze half the batch. Then just thaw them in the fridge and reheat them in in a skillet, adding fresh cilantro before serving.–Kate Heyhoe
LC Hah! Note
If you’re anything like us, you may as well forget satisfying your and three other appetites with this tapas, as suggested by the number of servings above. Hah! Just can’t be done, not when it’s so tricky to stop tossing back small bites of warmly spiced chicken. Perhaps consider it an entree instead, for two not four, spooning the chicken over rice to soak up every last drop of that sauce.
Port and Paprika Chicken Bites
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 30 M
- Serves 4 as tapas
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons port (ruby or tawny)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size chunks (about 1-inch dice)
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup finely diced onion
- 1. Grind the garlic and bay leaves together in the work bowl of a hand blender or mini chopper. (Alternatively, chop the garlic by hand and finely crumble the bay leaves and combine.) Add the port, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the vinegar, paprika, and salt and pulse until well combined.
- 2. Pour the mixture over the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
- 3. Just before cooking, chop enough cilantro to make 1/2 cup. Scatter the cilantro on a serving plate.
- 4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat in a wok or large skillet. With a slotted spoon, scoop the chicken pieces out of the marinade and into the hot oil, arranging the chicken in a single layer and discarding the marinade. Cook until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes, then stir-fry until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Scoop the chicken out of the pan, leaving any excess oil behind, and place the chicken on the cilantro.
- 5. Add the onion to the oil in the hot pan, return it to medium-high heat, and cook, stirring, until the onion is browned at the edges, about 2 minutes. Scoop the onion out of the oil and strew it over the chicken.
- 6. Serve the plate of chicken bites hot or at room temperature, sprinkled with a touch of salt and with cocktail picks or toothpicks for handling.