Part of my quest of being a grownup is to develop a set of recipes I can cook, from scratch and from memory, on those nights where it’s all a bit much but you’re feeling too self righteous for takeaway. I got this idea from perusing a Nigella cookbook during one of my heinous part-time retail jobs, and the concept really appealed to the image of adulthood I’ve been working to create.
I stumbled across this casserole by accident, and it’s definitely become a staple in our winter diet. It’s warm, filling, easy, and most importantly contains chorizo. It also keeps well in the fridge and makes a great leftover lunch that makes your colleagues jealous (maybe the greatest benefit).
So, to start, the ingredients (to make sure you don’t accidentally buy too much chicken, the quantities below serve 4. I usually double the batch and we scarf it for lunch and dinner the next day too).
500g skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 tbsp mild olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 red capsicum
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
3 tbsp dry sherry or white wine
1 x 400g chopped tomatoes
200ml chicken stock
1 x 400g can chickpeas in water, drained
1 small handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces (my concept of bite size varies depending on how patient I’m feeling that evening), and cut the chorizo into thin slices. Put a heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat and add olive oil, then add the chorizo. Fry the chorizo for 3 minutes, or until it is starting to crisp and has released some of its red oil.
Lift the chorizo out of the pan and set it aside on a plate. Try not to eat all of it while continuing with the rest of this recipe. Add the chicken to the pan, season with salt and pepper, then fry for 5 minutes, stirring as required until golden.
Thinly slice the onion and garlic, and de-seed the capsicum, cutting it into chunky strips. Add the veggies to the pan and turn the heat down. Allow everything to cook for 10 minutes until the onions, pepper and garlic have softened, stirring only occasionally.
Stir in the cinnamon, paprika and thyme, and fry for 1 minute until fragrant. This is like magic to me – the fragrancy is actually apparent!
Turn the heat to medium. Splash in the wine (take a swig from the bottle) then add the tomatoes and stock. Stir, then allow to simmer uncovered for 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is tender.
Add the chickpeas and chorizo to the pan, stir well, and simmer for 2 more minutes.
Your food is done now, but if you want it to look like adult food, roughly chop the parsley leaves then stir them through the pan. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with some oil and serve with crusty bread.
By the time we got to eating this, I’d had a few wines and forgot to take a final serving photo. But I promise you, it’s delicious, and it looks as delightful as it tastes.