Migas is originally a shepherd's dish prepared over an open fire, which made use of day-old or stale bread. Today it is eaten in many parts of Spain, wherever there is a legacy of pastoral or shepherd culture, and people absolutely adore it. I do too. Migas Extremenas is one of my favorite comfort foods from Spain and it is the breakfast of champions in this part of the country. You can prepare this recipe with or without the bacon, depending on your own personal preference. Migas taste almost like a freshly baked Italian focaccia bread, but far more roasted and complex. They are so delicious, accompanied by some sweetened coffee made with milk and a farm-fresh, sunny-side up egg. -A.S.
Cut the bread into tiny slices and place in a large bowl, pressing down gently to lightly pack them into the bowl. Sprinkle with 6 tablespoons water and the salt, cover with a damp cloth and let stand overnight.
The next day, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a cast-iron or heavy skillet. Add the garlic and peppers and saute, stirring often, until caramelized and roasted from the hot oil, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the garlic cloves and peppers from the oil and reserve in a separate dish. They will be used as the garnish for the final dish.
In the same skillet, fry the bacon until golden and crisp. Drain the bacon and set aside, to be added back to the skillet a little later in the recipe. Remove the skillet from the heat and drain off any excess oil (leave 1 to 2 tablespoons of fat in the skillet).
Stir in the pimenton. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the reserved sliced bread and bacon. Let the underside of the bread roast in the hot oil until golden, about 3 minutes. With the edge of a large metal spoon, break up the mixture and stir and fry in the oil, while gradually adding 1 tablespoon water, one drop at a time. Continue to fry, stir and break up the bread and bacon, incorporating the golden crust into the crumb mixture, until the crumbs are the size of rice kernels and are golden and crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.
Serve hot, accompanied by the fried peppers and garlic cloves in a separate dish to be added to each serving for garnish.
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This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
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