Chicken in Chile Sauce (Ají de Gallina)
['8 quail eggs (optional)', '4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices firm white sandwich bread, crusts discarded', '1 cup whole milk', '1 medium onion, chopped', '2 garlic cloves, chopped', '3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided', '1/2 teaspoon turmeric', '3 to 4 tablespoons bottled ají amarillo or ají mirasol paste (sometimes labeled "crema")', '2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth', '1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano', '1/2 cup walnuts (1 1/2 ounces)', '8 small chicken breast halves with skin and bone (5 1/2 pounds total)', 'Accompaniment: Peruvian rice and lentils', 'Garnish: pitted black Peruvian or Kalamata olives', 'halved; lime wedges (preferably Key limes)']
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
If using quail eggs, cover with cold water in a very small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, 5 minutes. Rinse eggs under cold water to stop cooking, then peel.
Soak bread in milk until softened, then mash with a fork.
Cook onion and garlic in 1 1/2 tablespoons oil with turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir in chile paste and bread mixture and simmer, stirring occasionally, until very thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in broth and cheese and simmer 1 minute. Carefully transfer to a blender with walnuts and blend until very smooth, about 1 minute (use caution when blending hot liquids). Transfer sauce to a medium saucepan and keep warm, covered, over very low heat, stirring occasionally.
Pat chicken dry, then season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot, then brown half of chicken, skin side down first, turning once, about 8 minutes total. Transfer, skin side up, to a 4-sided sheet pan. Pour off oil from skillet and wipe clean, then brown remaining chicken in remaining tablespoon oil in same manner.
Roast chicken in oven until just cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Halve quail eggs lengthwise.
Spoon some of sauce onto a large platter, then arrange chicken on top. Garnish with quail eggs and serve with remaining sauce on the side.
Concha y Toro Terrunyo Casablanca Valley Sauvignon Blanc '07
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