Weather update: still flipping miserable. What you need is a warm, comforting stew to tuck into while the wind howls and the rain lashes… and we’ve got just the one! Chunky veg, chorizo and chicken that just melts in your mouth in a delicious tomato sauce. This is inspired by a pork and chorizo stew that we made in Spain but the pork there is something else, we couldn’t find anything to match up to it here so we went for chicken. Make sure you use chicken thighs in this – they are so much more suited to stews, casseroles and slow cooking, they’ll be beautifully tender. Now imagine yourself on a sun-drenched balcony, sipping a glass of Rioja as the sun just starts to set…
Ingredients for 4 people
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
2-3 carrots, roughly chopped
2-3 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
3-4 new potatoes, sliced
red/green pepper, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
About a 10cm piece of chorizo, cubed
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each cut into 3/4 pieces
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
2 heaped tsp plain flour
1 carton of passata
Chicken stock (enough to cover – about 500ml)
1 tin of butter beans (or any other beans you fancy!), drained
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
A handful of black olives – optional
To start with heat the olive oil in a large pan/casserole dish and add in the vegetables. Cook over a low heat for around 10 minutes until soft and slightly caramelised. Add in the chorizo and garlic and stir together until the beautiful oil starts to come out of the chorizo.
After this time turn the heat up slightly and throw in the paprika, stir to coat all of the vegetables in it. Then whack the chicken in and immediately add in the flour. Cook all of this together, stirring almost constantly for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is lightly coloured all over. Tip in the passata and enough water to just reach the top of the meat and veg – they will squash down as they cook. Stir in the beans, sugar, salt and pepper and then cover and bring to the boil. Turn it right down to simmer and leave to cook for around 1-1.5 hours by which time the vegetables should all be soft and the sauce should be thickened slightly and coating everything beautifully. About 10 minutes before the end chuck in a handful of olives if you like them (we love them!).
We had ours with some braised cabbage but this would be lovely on its own, or with a big hunk of crusty bread!
While white fish has a delicate flavour which is perfect just with a slice of lemon, sometimes you want to spice it up with some big, hearty flavours and this recipe is perfect for those occasions! A smoky, slightly spicy, white wine-infused sauce, slices of potato, flaky white fish fillets and then the fresh, lightly peppery parsley. This dish is also great because it’s ready in about half an hour but seems so much more impressive than that, so if you have friends round, or you want to fancy up your week night give this a try.
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
50-100g chorizo (picante or regular), thinly sliced
400-500g salad or new potatoes, thinly sliced
4 tbsp white wine
2 skinless fillets of white fish (we used haddock but any firm white fish will work)
a large handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
half a small bunch of parsley, chopped
green vegetables and a slice of crusty bread to serve
Heat a large frying pan with a lid that fits (we used a small wok and the lid from a completely different pan… maybe Father Christmas will bring us a shiny new pan set this year?), and add the oil. Throw in the chorizo and fry for a few minutes until it releases it’s oils. Then tip in the sliced potatoes and a little black pepper. Splash over 3 of the 4 tbsp of wine (or just chuck a good glug in like we did – who wants to measure wine?!), stick the lid on and leave to cook for 10-15 minutes, giving it a little stir every now and then.
Season the fish with pepper, then after stirring the potato mixture again add the cherry tomatoes and most of the chopped parsley to the pan, stir again and place the fish on top. Splash in a bit more wine (or 1 tbsp if you like measuring things), put the lid on and ignore it for 5 minutes or until the fish is white and flaky. Scatter the remaining parsley over and serve with some green veg and a slice of bread. Now the bread might seem like carb overkill but believe us, you will want something to soak up the amazing sauce!
Bird had had this before, or something similar, cooked by her mum but had mostly forgotten what it was like and we were so impressed – the wine, chorizo oil, tomatoes and starchyness from the potatoes combine to form the most delicious smoky, spicy sauce which manages not to overwhelm the delicate fish because of the acidity and freshness from the wine, tomatoes and parsley. This definitely took us back to Spain – simple, bold flavours and great ingredients.
We told you it wouldn’t be long before we were back with the recipes! This one is one of our favourites, we have been known to have it every other week sometimes if running low on inspiration. It’s another one-pan wonder (neither of us are fans of washing up) and the ingredients can be swapped around -there are several different variations which we will share with you at a later date.
This one is the Spanish version, it feels particularly Autumnal but is gorgeous any time of the year.
Ingredients (for 2 hungry adults):
4 chicken thighs – bone in and skin on
About 5-80g of chorizo – you can choose normal or picante depending on how spicy you like things – cubed
1 410g tin of butter beans
2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1-2 red peppers, cut into chunks
200ml chicken stock
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 whole bulb of garlic (we forgot to buy any for this time and it was still nice without it)
Grab your chopped vegetables and place in a large roasting dish along with the butter beans and the chorizo. Make up the chicken stock and squeeze in the juice from the orange and then stir in 1tsp of the smoked paprika. If you’re using the bulb of garlic leave it whole but remove as much of the papery skin as possible so that each individual clove is exposed. Place this in the middle of the roasting dish nestled amongst the vegetables.
Pour the stock/orange/paprika mixture over all of the vegetables trying to get everything coated, then place the chicken thighs on top (skin side up) and sprinkle them with sea salt. Put this in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 40 minutes, checking about halfway through to make sure the pieces near the edge aren’t burning. After 40 minutes mix the remaining 1tsp of paprika with 1tsp of olive oil and brush this over the chicken thighs which will have started to go beautifully crisp by now. Whack this back in the oven for 10 minutes and you’re done!
We love this meal not just because it’s ridiculously tasty but it’s low maintenance, you can get on with other stuff while it cooks and it will forgive you if you overcook it because the stock keeps the chicken really moist.
Give it a go and keep an eye out for the other variations!