Friday, 29 December 2017

Stewed Chicken with Chorizo, Beans & Leeks

This is a version of a popular Spanish stew, perfect for cold and snowy days. Traditionally it will use chick peas, but I had other beans. In fact, we grew the other beans. Chick peas continue to elude us.  But there is no reason not to use them if you prefer.

The saffron is pretty subtle, and also expensive, so you can leave it out, but I do think it is worthwhile. On the other hand, when I went to try to buy some saffron last time we were in Spain, the proprietor of the small grocery in the small town store we were in stared at us like we were crazy, and offered us yellow (spice based) food colouring because nobody was stupid enough to spend money on real saffron. Well, we were, but we were plainly the exception. Of course, we were in northern Spain and saffron comes from the south.

With or without the saffron, this is delicious and a real rib-sticker. 

4 servings
1 hour 15 minutes - 30 minutes prep time
not including cooking the beans

Stewed Chicken with Chorizo, Beans & Leeks

Cook the Beans:
1 1/2 cups dried kidney or pinto beans
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 bay leaves

Pick over the beans and put them in a large pot with plenty of water to cover them. Bring them to a boil, then cover them and turn off the heat; soak them for 3 or 4 hours to overnight.

Change the water, and bring them up to a boil again. Add the salt and bay leaves, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer, stirring regularly, until tender but still whole. This can be done up to a day ahead, and probably should be. At this point the cooking water should be mostly gone; if not, drain much of it off - the beans should have a bit of a puddle but that's about it.

Make the Stew:
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons chicken fat, bacon fat, or sunflower seed oil
4 large chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
3 large leeks
1 large carrot
1 cup diced celeriac OR 2 stalks celery
4 to 6 cloves of garlic
125 grams (1/4 pound) mild or spicy chorizo
1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon rubbed thyme or savory
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads (optional)

 Add the chicken stock and tomatoes to the beans. Heat them over medium to medium-low heat and let simmer.

Heat the fat or oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken thighs on both sides for 5 or 6 minutes, until well browned.

Meanwhile, wash and trim the leeks. Cut them in half lengthwise, then into 1" slices. Peel and dice the carrot. Peel and dice the celeriac or chop the celery. Peel and mince the garlic. Cut the chorizo into 1/4" slices.

When the chicken pieces are browned, lift them out of the fat with a slotted spoon, and add them to the pot of beans. Keep the pan on the stove; add the carrots and celeriac and cook gently for 5 minutes or so, stirring frequently. Add the leeks and continue cooking gently and stirring for another 10 minutes, until the leeks are quite softened but not browned. Add the chorizo, the paprika, the thyme or savory, and the garlic, and cook for 3 or 4 minutes more, mixing well.

Add the chorizo and vegetables to the pot of beans. Mix the saffron into the vinegar, if using, and mix the vinegar into the pot of beans. Let the pot simmer gently for another 45 minutes or so; stir occasionally.

Serve with some good crusty bread. 

Last year at this time I made Apple & Rutabaga Soup

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This looked stunning & that is why, i made it & served out with home-made sourdough bread! The perfect combo!