March 14, 2006
Chicken Chorizo Stew

chickchor.jpgI have a love-hate relationship with chorizo. I love the fact that it's peppery. I love the fact that it's - almost - a reasonable substitute for pepperoni on a pizza. I hate the fact that it's greasy and has that weird unreal red color. (Come to think of it, if I were still cooking back in the US I would probably have the same love-hate relationship with pepperoni.) I am in a constant quest to find a nice chorizo that will have a lower than average fat content and a higher than average heat. This means that whenever we make home-made pizzas I have left-over chorizo. I always buy two different ones, in the hope that one will transport me back to Giordano's Pizza in Chicaog.

They never do.

But it means I often have leftover chorizo in the fridge.

And so I decided to try to use it in a spicy chicken stew. And I think I found a good use for leftover chorizo: spicy and chewy and - somewhat - less fatty than usual. Chicken and chorizo stew.

You can slice a chorizo thinly and serve it uncooked. The spices have essentially "cooked" the sausage and all you need to do is slice and eat it, relishing the pepper flavor and chewy texture. But if you are going to cook it anyway, you would do well to cook it first...and drain off the fat. I think that is what makes this dish worthwhile. You have the chorizo flavor and depth but only about half the fat. Given the fact that it's half fat, that's already a good start.

Chorizo and chicken stew

3/4 cup (or about 10 cm) chorizo, cubed
2 chicken breasts, cut in bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup or one small tin of sweet corn
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Tbs oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp spicy paprika or cayenne pepper
a drizzle of olive oil
1 jar tomato sauce/2-3 chopped tomatoes

Put a little olive oil in a deep frying pan and heat it over a fairly high flame. Add the chorizo and onions and cook until the onions are soft and the chorizos have given up a serious amount of grease. Pour off the grease and add the garlic and chicken. Allow the chicken to brown a bit before turning. When they are browned on all sides, deglaze the pan with a few tablespoons of water, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the spices and allow to cook for a few minutes. Add the tomato sauce and corn and let simmer for ten minutes or so, while you make some brown rice.

Serve over brown rice with a hearty red wine or a nice cold beer. It's a very meaty dish and will not be appreciated by my vegetarian co-bloggers. But it hits the spot on a cold night and is simple and quick to make.

Posted by Meg in Sussex at March 14, 2006 2:18 PM Print-friendly version

Is pepperoni unviable in France? I would have hoped with Italy so much closer that some enterprising Italian would import the stuff for Giordano's-pining ex-pats.

I've seen a number of places here offer Bosnian sausage on pizza. I haven't tried it, but it's getting traction with the influx of Bosnian immigrants to Chicago.

Posted by barrett on March 14, 2006 at 4:11 PM

I'm going to try this with chicken chourico, a spicy locally-made Portuguese sausage that we get here in Rhode Island, and the last of the summer's tomatoes that I slow-roasted with garlic, thyme and olive oil. Thanks for the recipe!

Posted by lydia on March 14, 2006 at 7:48 PM

Nope, Barrett - spicy Italian sausages are impossible to find here. I once had a long conversation with the (Italian) guy who ran the Italian specialty shop in our old neighborhood and he said no one bothers importing it because there is no market for it. At the time I was looking for a freshy spicy sausage for a lasagne, but we discussed pepperoni too.

I suspect the reason we can find spicy Spanish sausage is two-fold: there are a lot more Spanish and Portuguese immigrants in Paris than Italian ones and French people tend to expect Spanish food to be spicy. The spicy side of Italian food is less known and so they would never look for it and wouldn't know what to do with it if they found it.

Posted by Meg in Paris on March 15, 2006 at 1:11 AM

Lydia, I hope it turns out great! Those tomatoes sound wonderful...! I can't get anything but anemic tomatoes at the moment, which is why I used a jar.

Posted by Meg in Paris on March 15, 2006 at 1:12 AM

For the vegetarians, I'm certain that a favorite of mine, Soyrizo, would be a most excellent substitute. Meat eaters would probably like it too - highly seasoned but none of the chewy internal organs! MM! I've seen it at several grocery stores but Whole Foods carries it for sure.

Posted by Earthchild on June 8, 2006 at 6:49 PM

Oh my God - I can see why you think chorizos are greasy. I moved to Paris in May and have found that 99% of the chorizos sold here are gross. I grew up with chorizo in Miami - the appetizer kind is dry and not greasy, and the stew kind is crumbly and has just a little fat inside. I found one place that had great chorizo from Avila, Spain - they had both the dry and the crumbly one. They stopped carrying that brand and I am sitting here gagging on the taste - practically no meat all fat. I'm shocked and found your blog entry by googling "chorizo" and "Paris." The closest to pepperoni I have found is someting similiar, not too greasy, and very picante and tasty from the Italian grocer on rue Lecourbe 75015.
I preplexed why in a great city like Paris they put up with such mediocre chorizos (whether French or Spanish made) and the absence of pepperoni from Italy. I'm going to go check out the food market at GLafeyette. They carry Pata Negra ham, perhaps they carry good chorizos.

Posted by Maryli on November 27, 2006 at 1:19 PM

Not sure why my 1 posting replicated to multiple postings. - Maryli

Posted by Maryli on November 27, 2006 at 1:48 PM
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