Chorizo is a type of spicy pork sausage which originated in Spain and Portugal. The principal spice used in its production is paprika, which is dried, ground (and sometimes smoked) red bell peppers and is a very popular spice used in Spanish cuisine. It is this spice which gives the dish its distinctive color as well as its flavor. There are certain types of chorizo which are sold ready to eat and others which must be cooked before they are consumed. The small chorizo used in this recipe were specifically labelled and sold as being for cooking purposes.
The reason I chose chicken thighs for the preparation of this recipe is that they are my favorite eating part of a chicken. I think they are the tastiest and definitely the most succulent and tender when cooked in an appropriate fashion. You could, however, easily vary the recipe by using chicken drumsticks, a combination of chicken legs and thighs or even chicken wings. A further alternative would be to use a whole chicken chopped in to portions, double all the other ingredients quantities and make the dish serve four people. One point to know though is that whatever part of the chicken you do use, it should be cooked with the skin intact and on the bone for maximum tenderness and flavor.
If you are unable to get chorizo in your location, you may find it possible to buy it online for home delivery. Alternatively, you could simply use ordinary pork sausages and perhaps increase the quantity of paprika used to two teaspoons.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 4 large chicken thighs, skin on and bones intact
- 4 cooking chorizo sausages (each around two inches long)
- 2 medium sized baking type potatoes
- 1 small red onion
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 1 medium size and strength red chili
- 14 ounce can of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
- 1 pint fresh chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 shredded basil leaves to garnish
- Fresh bread to serve (optional)
Peel the red onion and cut it in half down through the center. Lay each half flat on your chopping board and medium finely slice across the way that you have slices which will separate in to individual strands in the pot. Peel the garlic cloves and cut them in half down through the center. Large garlic cloves like these ones have a tough, well developed and indigestible inner core which it is better to remove and discard before they are included in a recipe, unless you are perhaps grating the cloves. You should be able to easily pop these cores free with the point of your knife when the cloves have been halved. The flesh of the garlic cloves should then be finely diced. Peel the potatoes and chop them in to around one inch chunks.
Removing the seeds from the chili is optional. Do note however that it is the lighter colored membrane which hold the seeds in place that contains the heat and not the seeds themselves, so if it's additional heat you wish to avoid, the membrane must be scraped out and discarded with the seeds. Seeded or unseeded, the chili should then be finely diced or sliced.
Pour the olive oil in to a large stew pot and bring it up to a medium heat. Put the chicken thighs in the pot and turn them as necessary with cooking tongs until they are evenly browned all over. This will take a few minutes. When they are done, remove them temporarily to a holding plate.
Add the sliced red onion and the garlic to the pot and saute over a low to medium heat until the onion strands are separated, softened and just starting to turn translucent. This will only take a maximum couple of minutes.
The chopped potatoes and diced chili should go in to the pot next, followed by the canned tomatoes and chicken stock. Season with the paprika and some salt and pepper. Stir well and turn up the heat under the pot until the liquid just reaches a simmer.
Carefully lay the chicken thighs back in to the pot using your cooking tongs, skin sides up, and gently press them down in to the liquid. They should be almost covered by the developing sauce. Bring the liquid back to a simmer, cover the pot and leave to cook for thirty to thirty-five minutes, depending on the size of the thighs.
When the initial cooking time is up, the chorizo should be placed in to the pot, interspersed between the chicken thighs, and the stew brought back to a simmer for a further twenty minutes.
Very carefully, so as not to burn yourself, taste the stew and if necessary adjust the seasoning. Tongs should again be used to lift the chicken thighs and the chorizo to a clean holding plate.
A slotted spoon is best used to divide the potatoes and other solids between two serving plates, subsequently adding as much of the liquid as you desire.
Lift two chicken thighs and two chorizo on to each plate and spoon over a little more of the sauce. Roll the basil leaves together and finely slice before scattering over the servings as a final garnish. Serve immediately with some fresh bread and perhaps a nice glass of chilled Spanish white wine or beer per person.