Lemony Chicken and Chorizo Stew

Oh, chorizo and chicken combination, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

This must have started as an iffits dinner somewhere along the line because I don’t remember ever seeing a recipe for it, and also because I change it all the time. Sometimes, I put squid in this too. Sometimes I put tomatoes in. Sometimes it’s very spicy. Sometimes its very winey. I wouldn’t usually put lemon in with wine or tomatoes. Anyhow, it’s the sort of dinner that doesn’t mind too much what you do with it. This particular version has a lot of garlicky, lemony sauce so I would get some crusty bread to mop it up with.

chicken chorizo stew

  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on, bones in
  • 100g chorizo, roughly chopped into 1 inch square chunks. (Piccante or dolce, doesn’t matter. Just don’t buy the presliced stuff)
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1  onion, roughly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, squashed
  • 100g chestnut any mushrooms, but chestnut for preference, quartered
  • 1 red pepper, cut into about 8
  • 250g minature new potatoes
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • salt & pepper

You could brown the chicken in a pan first of all if you wanted to. Alternatively:

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6. Put the sliced onion, smashed garlic and olive oil in an ovenproof casserole with some salt & pepper. Sweat off the onion over low heat, and after about 5 minutes and the onions have started to soften, add the chorizo and stir. What will happen is the chorizo will start to release it’s lovely paprika-ey oil and the onion and garlic will start to go a nice reddy-gold.When onion is fully softened, stir in the pepper, mushroom and potato. Stir everything round, rest your chicken pieces on top and pour on the stock. Turn the heat up and bring to a simmer, and then pop it in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the chicken browns. Take it out of the oven and put it back on the hob, and simmer for another 20 or so minutes until the sauce has started to thicken and the chicken and potatoes are completely cooked through.

Scoff.

Italian Cod with Chilli, Capers & Garlic

This recipe is from a book called Valentina’s Italian Regional Cookery, by the brilliant Valentina Harris, where the dish has the slightly more romantic title of Filetti di Merluzzo all ‘Istriana . Sadly the book is out of print now but you can still get it second hand from Amazon Marketplace, dirt cheap. This makes a very flavourful meal, just looking for some vegetables or new potatoes to go with it. Serves 4. Would work with haddock. This may not be the most glamourous looking dinner I’ve ever served up but it was great.

italian cod

  • 4 cod fillets, weighing around 500g in total
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 handful of fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers, rinsed and dried. Chopped very finely.
  • 2 canned sardines, but get the ones in oil – olive oil for preference, chopped
  • 1 smallish potato, peeled & grated
  • 60 ml of stock, veg or chicken
  • 1 dried chilli
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper

Put the cod in a large heavy bottomed pan and on top, add the onion, garlic,  parsley and oil. You might think either the cod , the onions or garlic are not going to cook properly – they will. Cook over a low heat for about 12 minutes, but please watch the fish doesn’t overcook. Especially if the fillets are very thin. Remove the fish from the pan carefully, with a spatula or slice and place on a warmed plate or serving platter. Keep it warm while..

Add the chopped capers to the oil remaining in the pan and stir. (A confession: While I was making this, the fish skin stuck a bit, so I just put the original pan in the wash and started the sauce again in a new one – hardly matters) Stir in the sardines, grated potato, stock & chilli. Stir and simmer for about 7-10 minutes, or until the potato is cooked. I must tell you that there were  times making the sauce that I thought, ‘Hm, this looks like fishy wallpaper paste’, but persevere because it was delicious. Put the cod carefully back on top of the sauce and heat through again for about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove the chilli and serve, sprinkling with the lemon juice.

Koftas

206Because we are not from the north, dinner is an evening meal. Except on Sundays, when Sunday dinner is always, always at lunch time. It was never always thus; before I had Greedy Boy I only bothered with a big midday meal if it was Christmas day or I was going to someone else’s house for lunch.On sundays we usually have a roast dinner – lamb, beef, chicken and pork on a rough rotation.  I don’t know if I have a great deal to say about the Roast Dinner, but I think this is an excellent blog on the matter. Greedy Boy loves a roast dinner, and it takes the idea of something special to dissuade him. Sometimes, in the summertime, thats the promise of a barbecue – but I’m too much of a control freak to enjoy barbecues much, men always need to take over and I don’t like the potential for poisoning in allowing someone else to cook my chicken over flames- but sometimes I can talk the boy into a kitchen cooked alfresco lunch. Today it was ‘Meatball Sandwiches’ – I knew he would never eat something I called Koftas in a million years – kids are funny like that, no?

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Serves 4:

  • 500g minced lamb, I got the ‘reduced fat’ one.
  • 2 small FREE RANGE eggs, beaten
  • 3 tbsp pinenuts
  • 75g stale white bread, crusts removed
  • 90g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 20-25g flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • Olive oil for frying.

First, heat a small frying pan on the stove, and without adding oil, put in the pine nuts and cook over a medium heat for about four minutes until browned. Leave to one side to cool down. Take your bread and tear it into a bowl, cover with cold water and when soaked through, squeeze out the water as best you can. Put the soaked bread in the bowl and add all the remaining ingredients apart from the olive oil. Now, mix this thoroughly with your hands until the ingredients are completely combined. When mixed, you need to shape it into koftas – this amount should yield 16-20 larger koftas or up to 30 small ones. For my purposes larger koftas were better, but should I have wished to serve them in a sauce with rice I would have probably made them smaller, for which I would have scooped up dessertspoon sized portions and made them about the size of a pingpong ball. I suppose the ones that I had today were about the size of a golf ball, just flatter (you can get more in a pitta if they’re flatter).

Preheat the oven to Gas 6. Heat up some olive oil between 3 and 5 ml deep in a large frying pan and start adding koftas, 5 or 6 at a time. Fry until browned on both sides and remove to a baking sheet. Repeat the process until you’ve browned all the koftas and then put the baking tray into the hot oven. Cook the koftas for 10 minutes approximately, until they’re cooked through. I served mine with pittas, raita, grilled halloumi and a greek salad. I think it suits eating in the garden very well.

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