Thursday, 20 May 2010

Chicken and Chorizo Stew

Chicken and Chorizo Stew - The Inky Kitchen

So obviously, I like to cook. It relaxes me, makes me feel accomplished when I come up with new recipes and improvements to existing recipes... and then you get to eat. Eating is good. Yes.

But sometimes after a long day at work, I'll get home and think 'Bleugh... I really can't be bothered to cook tonight'. Now I'm not saying that I never buy ready meals, as I am usually on some form of diet I do get low fat frozen meals but they never taste great and they have all those nasty little additives and preservatives and colourings in that we could all definitely do without. So the solution to this? Make your own ready meals!

This is quite a big thing around the blog community at the minute, there are lots of OAMC (Once A Month Cooking) recipes and planning tools popping up all over the place. I'm not that dedicated to the cause, most nights I do like to get home and potter about in the kitchen cooking up dinner listening to some good tunes or one of my many, many, MANY Vincent Price radio recordings. However, I know a lot of people have much harder jobs than I and spending one day cooking up a months worth of meals that will save hours for the rest of the month will be very appealing to them, so here is a recipe to add to the plan.

Chicken and Chorizo Stew - The Inky Kitchen

Chicken and Chorizo Stew
Makes around six 250g portions

2 tbsp olive oil
300g onions, cut into fairly large chunks
3 medium cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
225g chorizo sausage
400g mixed coloured peppers, cut into around 1" chunks
800g chicken, cut into around 1.5" chunks
Large pinch of Maldon salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
150ml single cream
1 chicken stock cube
400ml boiling water
2 tbsp cornflour

Large soup/stew pot or casserole dish
Six foil food containers with card lids
Permanent marker

Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil on a medium heat until soft and then add the chorizo and cook for a further five minutes - the chorizo will release its fat and tint the onion a lovely orange colour.

Tip in the mixed peppers and fry for another five minutes, then add the chicken and cook until the chicken is coloured all over. Season with the salt, white pepper, cayenne and smoked paprika and let cook for ten minutes stirring quite often before adding the cream and mixing thoroughly.

Dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water and add to the pot, stir well and turn the heat down to medium low. When the pot comes to a strong simmer stir again and leave to cook through for 30 minutes. You want there to be a good amount of liquid left and it will seem quite watery - you now stir in 2 tbsp cornflour to thicken the sauce, mixing well so you don't get any lumps.

When combined, take off the heat and leave to cool for half an hour. Decant the stew into the food containers and mark on them the date that it will be in one month - this is your use by date.

Leave to cool completely and then freeze. To reheat straight from frozen place the container on a baking tray and cook at 160 C / 320 F for 45 minutes. Serve over rice or pasta or for a more special meal with some cheesy roasted potatoes.

Chicken and Chorizo Stew - The Inky Kitchen

I get my foil containers from Wilkos, they come in packs of ten for about a pound.

If you don't like spice, just leave out the cayenne pepper - the smoked paprika doesn't add heat, just a smoky sweet flavour that emphasises the chorizo really well.

This could easily be made vegetarian - I think replacing the chicken with mushrooms, aubergine pieces, tofu or sweet potato would work wonderfully.

The meats could also be changed, pork should work well as would a fairly firm fleshed fish such as monkfish or even some nice big prawns.

Please don't forget to write the use by date on the containers, we don't want anyone getting ill from eating a nice dish of year old zombified stew!!!

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