Spanish Tomato, Chorizo and Chicken Stew

This is good, old fashioned comfort food. Most comfort foods (at least the kind that I like) are high in fat, salt and carbs (french fries, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, deep fried mozzarella sticks…mmmmmmmmmmm…)…where was I? Oh yes, this is not like most of the comfort foods that I would normally be attracted to– it is healthy. It also happens to be tasty.
If you like things spicy, just toss in some red pepper flakes during cooking.

2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large chicken, cut into 8 pieces, skin removed, pieces salted
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into thin half moons
3 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
16 ounces (1 pint) dry white wine
16 ounces (1 pint) chicken broth
Big pinch saffron
100 grams (roughly 4 ounces) chorizo sausage, cut into small pieces
2 400 grams (14 ounces) tins diced tomatoes including juice
½ teaspoon dry thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1- 2 pounds potatoes (depending on how much you like spuds), peeled and cut into big chunks—any potato will work for this
100 grams (roughly 4 ounces) good quality olives (not Kalamata)—optional

1) Place a very large, heavy pot over medium heat and add in the oil. Brown the chicken in batches if necessary. Remove to a platter when done and keep warm.

2) Now add a drizzle more of olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic, stirring constantly, until soft.

3) Pour in the wine and chicken broth, turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Stir the brown bits up from the bottom of the pot. Allow to boil until reduced by about half.

4) Pour in the tomatoes, all of the herbs and spices and chorizo and stir to combine. Now add the chicken back in (with any accumulated juices). Cover, reduce heat to low or medium/low and allow to gently simmer for 1 hour, then add in the potatoes, raise the heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes, then add in the olives and continue cooking until the potatoes are just tender. Taste for seasoning, salt and pepper and serve.

This whole dish can be made ahead of time, cooled to room temperature then stashed in the fridge for up to two days. To serve, heat on top of the stove until hot and bubbling.

Serve with crusty bread and a big, green salad. Serves 4-6

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