Spanish-Style Chicken Stew

Spanish-Style Chicken Stew

Serves 4-6

1 Good tasting supermarket rotisserie chicken

3 ounces Spanish-style chorizo (or hard stick salami), casing removed, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly-ground pepper

1 large onion, peeled, cut in half through the poles, and cut crosswise into thin half-moons

3 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and minced

1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, in juice

2 cups chicken broth (canned or boxed is fine)

2 15-ounce cans cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2-3 roasted red peppers from a jar, drained, patted dry with paper towels, and cut into strips (I like Divina brand, they seem to stay together better)

3/4 cup small pimento-stuffed green olives

For serving: cooked rice, couscous, pasta, noodles, or polenta

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot, then fry the chorizo pieces until they’re browned. Remove the sausage pieces with a slotted spoon and drain them on a paper-toweled lined plate. You should have about 3 tablespoons of oil in the pot — if not, add more olive oil. Add the onions and a little salt and pepper and saute until the onions just start to brown. Stir in the garlic and the smoked paprika, and cook for another minute or two. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and chicken broth, along with the chorizo pieces. Stir in the olives and the red pepper strips. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Start with the pot uncovered, and once the level drops by a third, cover the pot and continue to cook until the 20 minutes are up.

While the stew is cooking, cut the chicken into serving pieces. You can either leave the skin on, or remove it and use it to garnish the dish (see the note, below). When the stew has cooked for 20 minutes, stir in the chicken pieces and allow the stew to simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper, and serve with any of the rice or pasta accompaniments.

A note on the chicken skin: If you want the dish to be extra-special, remove the chicken skin when you cut up the chicken. While the chicken is heating in the stew, spread the skin pieces in a large, non-stick skillet. Put the skillet over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, turning the pieces at least once. The skin will crisp up beautifully. Serve the stew with a piece of the crispy skin on top of each portion.

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