A heavy responsibility sits on the shoulders of this recipe; it’s the chosen one! What a difficult decision to make. Should it be something classic, something groundbreaking, something trendy? Really, I’ve been thinking about it a fair bit. In the end I decided to go for a firm favourite of mine, something I’ve cooked for a decade and a half, honed over the years, a recipe so familiar to me that I can summon it to mind at the shortest of notices. I don’t need the recipe written down anymore, but I’ve done just that for your benefit.
Please don’t think of this in terms of a traditional stew. It’s not heavy, it’s not boring and it’s not brown. This is Spanish style, baby. It’s fresh, interesting, and tasty, and anyone who tries it will love it. There are some big flavours in here, but they all work together; it’s a very convivial little party that will be taking place in your stewpot.
It’s perfect for some summer eating: take it outside, if you can. It’ll be great with bread and a salad; in the chillier months it’ll be great with some cous cous or sauté potatoes. It’ll be even better with friends. So make a big batch and get your pals round – this recipe takes care of itself so you can take care of having fun.
- 8 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
- 1½tbsp plain flour
- 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
- 2tbsp rapeseed oil
I love to use rapeseed oil, which is great to cook with and is locally sourced. But if you can’t find or it isn’t local to you then you can substitute olive oil
- 200g chorizo, cut into 1cm slices
- 12 shallots, peeled and left whole
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into medium-sized chunks
I normally use a regular bell pepper, but went fancy with these lovely looking small sweet peppers – well, it is the inaugural recipe
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1tbsp smoked paprika
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only
- 1tbsp sherry vinegar
- 500ml hot chicken stock
Homemade stock is so lovely in this dish, but a stock cube will do if it’s all you have
- Pinch saffron threads (optional)
I don’t always add this but it’s a bit of celebration so it’s going in today. The dish still works brilliantly without it
- 50g thick cut marmalade
I used Seville marmalade, but that was purely for poetic authentic reasons – you choose your favourite
- 150g olives
It’s easiest to use pitted – choose your favourites
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into 1″ cubes
- 2tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper
- In a large bowl, mix the plain flour and cinnamon and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken pieces and toss to thoroughly coat in the seasoned flour.
- In a heavy bottomed saute pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook for 4-5 minutes, until golden and starting to release the wonderful, paprika-ish scents.
- Add the chicken and cook for 6-7 minutes, turning to ensure that all sides are nicely browned. Remove from the pan and add to the casserole dish.
- Add the shallots, red onion, red pepper and garlic to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the smoked paprika and ground cumin and cook for another couple of minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove from the pan and add to the casserole dish.
- Add the saffron strands to chicken stock, if using. Deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar, stirring to bring out all the flavour sticking to the bottom of your pan. Add the marmalade and about 100ml of the chicken stock and stir to combine.
- Add the olives and the butternut squash to the casserole dish and pour over the pan juices. Add the rest of the chicken stock and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 50-55 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked through and the butternut squash is soft. Sprinkle with the parsley.
- Serve with the side of your choice, and enjoy! Thank you for being here!
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