Chicken with Peppers, Onions, and Paprika

Armi do Gayna


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

Sephardic Flavors: Jewish Cooking of the Mediterranean

Sephardic Flavors

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 2000

  • About

Armi do gayna resembles pollo al chilindrón from Rioja and Navarre in Spain, the regions famous for peppers. But the addition of allspice is a decidedly Turkish one. I also like a bit of hot pepper here—a subtle hint of heat in the background. Suzy David calls this gaina kon zarzavat and adds dill for a leafy touch. Serve with rice and pass lemon wedges to brighten the taste.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large frying chicken, about pounds, cut into serving pieces
  • 4 or 5 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 large red bell peppers, seeded and sliced lengthwise
  • tablespoons sweet paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch of cayenne pepper or hot paprika (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup water or chicken stock, or as needed chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
  • lemon wedges (optional)


Warm the olive oil in a large heavy sauté pan over high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken pieces and fry, turning as needed, until golden on all sides. With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add the onions to the oil remaining in the pan and sauté over medium heat until softened, for about 10 minutes. Add the bell peppers, sweet paprika, all spice, bay leaf, and the cayenne or hot paprika, if using. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and add the ½ cup water or stock. (If the pan is not large enough to hold all of the chicken, transfer its contents to a stew pot along with the chicken.)

Cover tightly and simmer over low heat until chicken is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Check the pan from time to time, and if the pan juices evaporate, add more water or stock. Taste the pan juices and adjust the seasonings.

Transfer the chicken and pan sauce to a platter. If you like, sprinkle with a bit of parsley and pass the lemon wedges.