Love me, love me: Chicken and chorizo stew


Sometimes when you’re having people round for dinner, you find yourself planning an elaborate and expensive menu because you really really want to impress them. What that actually means is that you really really want them to like you. You think if you cook something absolutely mind-blowingingly complicated and sophisticated then your guests minds will be so befuddled and amazed that they will forget all your perceived shortcomings and will simply adore you for the rest of eternity. You even dream that they will forever refer to “that” meal as the benchmark against which all their future meals will have to be measured against.

This is a lot to ask of a meal. What will in fact happen is that you will spend a hundred pounds or more in Sainsbury’s eliciting a snort of shock and derision from your <husband/boyfriend/life-partner>. You will spend the entire day in the kitchen making your own bread, ice-cream, truffles or whatever else, getting yourself flustered and stressed. When your friends finally arrive you’ll be completely behind schedule, half-dressed and make-up not done. You’ll spend the whole evening in the kitchen frantically throwing together your carefully planned masterpiece in a blind panic, leaving your mates to be entertained by your other-half, which will involve a merry and frequent topping up of wine and the inevitable regression to youtube. By the time the food is served, you’ll be close to tears whilst everyone else will be half-drunk and completely incapable of differentiaiting between fish and chips and michelin starred food. It will, in short, be a complete and utter waste of your time.

In any case, the truth is your friends don’t actually want a ballotine of chicken wrapped in spinach stuffed with creamed leeks with a brandy mustard sauce. What they really want is an honest to goodness, blow your socks off, lick your plate clean chicken and chorizo stew.

The first time I had this dish it was at my friend Vron’s house. She cooked it, I loved it (and loved her for it) and I immediately begged the recipe from her. I’ve since cooked it a few times for friends and it is a winner every time. It’s easy to prepare too, leaving you with all the time in the world to actually hang out with your friends (which is presumably the point of having them round).  Forget the complicated fine dining – leave that in the restaurant where it belongs. Cook this and I promise that your friends will love and adore you forever. What’s more, they will compare all their future meals against this simple but totally perfect stew.

There really is no secret to this dish. It will be belting no matter what. But, if I’m being pernickity then I would say you want to get nice cooking chorizo sausages. These unearthed ones are good and you can pick them up in Waitrose.

Also, use really nice paprika if you can. I love this La Chinata sweet smoked paprika.

Chicken and chorizo stew

  • olive oil
  • 3 red onions, finely chopped
  • Lots of fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 fresh chilli,  finely chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 250g cooking chorizo, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • 6 cloves garlic, very finely sliced
  • 2 glasses white wine
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 4-6 chicken thighs
  • 1 can of butter beans (or chick peas, or cannellini beans)
  • 1 tbsp sundried tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • sea salt & pepper

This recipe really just requires you to add each of the ingredients one after the other and then leave to simmer for 45 minutes.

You need a hell of a lot of red onion.

And a hell of a lot of garlic, sliced as thinly as you can manage.

First heat a few generous glugs of evoo in a large pan and add your mountains of red onion. Fry off for a couple of minutes and then add the thyme and oregano and cook until the onions are soft and beginning to brown.

Then add the smoked paprika, cayenne and chilli. The onions will go into a big cloggy mess (but it will smell amazing). Cook for another minute or so; if necessary add a splash of water to loosen it a bit.

Chuck in the chorizo and fry for a further few minutes before adding the sliced garlic.

While that is cooking, pulse your chopped tomatoes quickly in the blender so you have a smooth passata. Add the white wine to your onions and chorizo (it should sizzle and smell amazing). Then add the chopped tomatoes.

Meanwhile, seal your chicken thighs in a pan before adding them to the stew.

Finally, add your drained butter beans…

…and both your tomato pastes and give a good stir.

Season well with sea salt and pepper and simmer for around 45 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Et voila. Beautiful, ain’t it?

Serve with saffron rice and a bountiful glass of Rioja. A meal for kings.

btw, I should throw a shout out to Duncan and Kim who ate this with us. Duncan is my most avid reader and was kindly assisting us with a legal matter over dinner, so is a double legend.

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15 Comments

Filed under Chicken, Chillies, Chorizo, Main courses, Recipes, Rice, Thyme, Tomatoes, Weekday dinners, Wine

15 responses to “Love me, love me: Chicken and chorizo stew

  1. I actually just chuckled out loud at my desk reading your description of what actually happens when you invite people to dinner and try too hard. Are you sure you don’t know my friends because that is a damn uncanny description, right down to the still cooking, half-dressed with no make-up when guests arrive, and leaving them to the mercies of copious booze, my boyfriend and Youtube! The only thing missing is when the slightly drunken guests politely offer to help and end up getting reluctantly roped in to the kitchen chaos, a particularly regular occurrence at our annual Fake Christmas meal.

    Happens every single time without fail, no matter how much I think I’ve planned and promise myself I’ll prepare in advance, I never learn. Except perhaps now I will, and I’ll just make them all chicken and chorizo stew, since it looks so incredibly delicious. Then I join in on the wine and videos of cats playing the piano for once.

    • I truely think we’ve all been there. I try to hide my laptop now as it is totally inevitable that someone will utter the immortal line…. “have you seen that hilarious clip on youtube?” and then night is over from that moment on… kung-fu, kittens, skate-board, people spazzing out, practical jokes, it goes on and on.

      The chorizo stew is the cure. No more unsupervised boyfriends authorising a descent to viral video!

  2. Tes

    Wow it looks so delicious. The chicken looks so tender and perfect. The herbs and spices in the recipe seems to work together well.
    My family will love this.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Tes

  3. I have those exact Unearthed cooking chorizo in my freezer!

    I’m gonna make this, yes I am ..

  4. Tes: My absolute pleasure. I hope they enjoy it.

    MiMi: How very fortuitous. They’re lovely aren’t they. And you are so right, EVERYTHING is better with chorizo. I always have chorizo in my fridge for grazing on and for making our fave quick mid-week pasta (http://bit.ly/cbi1PE).

  5. Stephen 'Dad' Waldron

    Evoo?? Is this olive oil? Why is it evoo? Anyway, as ever, a great blog and I want Sandy to cook it soon!!

  6. kirsty

    yum yum yum, defo going to rustle this up this week! xxx

  7. Goodness me, I totally know what you mean about the frenzied planning and cooking only to end up funnily half finished ;] I realized later that if I keep it simple and delicious, I can actually spend time with my guests.

    Your chicken and chorizo stew looks yummy, especially over that saffron rice!

  8. Love that your so generous with your use of garlic. I think it adds so much more flavour. The photos look amazing! Love stews with chorizo in it.

  9. Pingback: Fight Hunger, Eat In: Fernandez & Leluu’s Unearthed Dinner « Feed & Gastro

  10. Sherri

    This was absolutely fabulous! Used some kashmiri and habanero chilis and fresh oregano with Hungarian Hot Paprika – everyone raved about it! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  11. Juno

    Loved your writing – your account of dinner party prep made me laugh as I recognised it only too well! A great looking blog, great recipe and really appreciate the step by step instructions!

  12. Emma @ Sweet Mabel

    Oh yum, going to try this tonight!

  13. Pingback: Meal Plan Monday – 30th April « Clutter to Clear

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