Thursday, February 13, 2014

Spanish-style Chicken and Chorizo Stew

This Spanish-style stew is packed with tons of flavor and highlights saffron, sherry vinegar, and Spanish chorizo.  Chorizo as you know comes in two forms – Spanish, which is a cured, firm sausage, and the Mexican version, a spicy ground pork which you may remember I used in the pan-grilled chicken with vegetables and chorizo confetti here.

I like both chorizos because they are so different, not only in texture, but in taste. Where the Mexican needs to be cooked and is hot and spicy and a little goes a long way, the Spanish chorizo has a depth of flavor that comes from smoky paprika and is fully cooked and ready to eat with your favorite cheese and wine.

The two chorizos are not interchangeable and Mexican chorizo should not be substituted in this recipe. Imported Spanish chorizo can be found at La Tienda and Amazon, two on-line sources. Goya also makes a version that is available in supermarkets. The one shown below is from Palacio and is an authentic Spanish chorizo made from a generations-old recipe by a family owned company in La Rioja and was the first Spanish brand to be available in the US.

Saffron threads and Spanish sherry vinegar are the other major flavoring ingredients in the stew and can be found in most large supermarkets and specialty stores. La Tienda and Amazon stock both on line. It’s handy to have a bottle of sherry vinegar on hand. I use it quite often in many recipes, including two of my favorites - a sophisticated and attractive arugula salad tossed with truffle oil and sherry vinaigrette here, and a French lentil salad with goat cheese here.

The chicken breasts in this recipe are poached, so you’ll want to take great care not to overcook them or they will be tough. If you are in a hurry, purchased rotisserie chicken could be shredded, eliminating the poaching step, but be sure to make up for the cooking liquid that would have accumulated while poaching the chicken. Actually I think we will use rotisserie chicken next time to avoid overcooked stringy chicken. The stew can be made in advance, but if you do, add the shredded chicken when you reheat the stew and stir in the vinegar at the last moment. Wedges of southern-style savory cornbread would be an excellent accompaniment to the stew.

Spanish-style Chicken and Chorizo Stew
Adapted from Cooking Light, serves 4, easily doubled

Poached chicken:
2 cups fat free, low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 garlic cloves
1 onion, quartered
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
2 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat

6 ounces chopped Spanish chorizo
3 cups cubed red potatoes
1 ½ cups chopped onion
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon saffron threads, dissolved briefly in warm water
1 ½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

To poach the chicken, combine all of the ingredients except the chicken in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and bring the mixture to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat and simmer about 14 minutes or until chicken is done, checking at about 11 to 12 minutes. Take extra care not to over-cook the chicken or it will be tough and stringy. Remove the chicken, reserving the cooking liquid. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve, save and discard solids. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred and set aside.

Wipe the saucepan with paper towels and sauté the chopped chorizo over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, onion and bell pepper to the pan and sauté 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt & pepper the vegetables, then add the garlic, cumin and the saffron and sauté 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the reserved cooking liquid and bring to a simmer. Simmer 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.* Add the shredded chicken and simmer for a minute or two, just to warm the chicken. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vinegar. Ladle about 1 cup of stew into each of 4 bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve right away.

*Cook’s note: If you are making the stew in advance, stop at this point. Add the chicken when you reheat the stew so as not to make the chicken tough and the stir in the vinegar at the end.

This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, & Food on Friday at Carol's Chatter.   
Have a great weekend everyone.


  1. I look forward to making this delicious recipe. My late husband and I have had both kinds of chorizo. When we lived in Spain while he did his tour for the US Navy, we had the Spanish. Before we came back to the states, we bought chorizo to take on the train with us as we started our 9 country tour by Eurail. We bought cheese and bread along the way, and enjoyed this throughout our trip.

    I bought some Mexican chorizo in the last year or so and love the flavor of it too. They are different.

    Thank you for this recipe. I will think of my dear husband and our life together as I enjoy this meal.

    Happy Valentine's Day to you ~ FlowerLady

  2. Replies
    1. Lorraine, as to whether this can be made in the crock pot, I suppose so. However I've never cooked in a crock pot, so I wouldn't have a clue as to how to do it. Sorry. But please let me know if you try it in the crock pot. It sounds like a great idea.

      If any other reader has an answer as to how to convert this recipe to a crock pot, please share your ideas. Thanks so much.

  3. When I saw the shot on Google +, I couldn't wait to get over here and read about it. The stew looks and sounds outstanding and I wish I were setting out by your pool having a bowl right now for breakfast.

  4. Will try this as soon as I order some Spanish chorizo - looks great!

  5. This pot is delicious to behold. I can only imagine how delicious it must taste!! I'm making a grocery list this morning for my first trip to the grocery store in almost two weeks. Chicken is on the list and chorizo will soon be. That little jar of saffron that was tucked into my Christmas stocking will be happy to see the inside of a pot!!


  6. Yummy! It looks perfect for the cold winter snowy day we are having here. Lucky woman you are to be in Florida...

  7. I can imagine how tasty this is..not to mention the colors..I find colors so appetizing!

  8. PS Happy Valentine's day to you two lovebirds:)

  9. Sam, Looks good to me...although I'd have to leave out the bell pepper. Maybe substitute a jalapeno instead! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  10. Mmm, that is a meal in a bowl! It would be perfect to ride out this storm with! I'll bet your home smelled amazing!

  11. Yum. Love the idea of mixing chicken and sausage - balancing out fat and lean.

  12. Can't wait to try this, Sam. The flavour, colour and taste....perfection, Sam.

  13. Yum! Perfect warmup for this chilly weather!



  14. Gorgeous colors Sam, everything is gray and white here today! This sounds like a very warm, hearty and flavorful stew:@)

  15. This looks amazing! I love one dish meals like this, especially one so colorful and fresh looking!

  16. Love, love this soulful stew.


  17. Looks and sounds delicious. I almost always have chorizo in the house. It is a favorite for us.

  18. Oh, Sam, this sounds ideal for this snowy evening! What perfect comfort food...with a little spice :)

  19. Larry's on G+??? I thought I'd never see the day. Sam, I love what you're doing with Chorizo, and as you know I've recently discovered saffron. Pinning this one.

  20. this looks great great for cooler temps we have had snow here

  21. That looks marvelous, Sam. Hearty and warming. Love what you're doing with Chorizos...and your tutorials.

  22. The stew has to be delicious with the chorizo and saffron for added flavor.

  23. Stew sounds so good right now, even though we've now thawed out from the snowstorm last week. I'm sure that the precious saffron added to the chorizo stew had an amazing flavor! Hope you're staying warm in FL, Sam!

  24. This looks really, really good. may be tomorrow nights dinner. Publix and a lot of stores carry El Quijote chorizo. It's sometimes in the sides display. It's the one I use. very good.

  25. Hi Sam,
    I can't wait to try your Spanish Style Chicken and Chorizo Stew. In reviewing the recipe the flavors will just be fantastic, one of those recipes that you can almost smell and taste.

    Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  26. EVERYTHING you make I love Sam! What a fabulous, full-of-flavor stew! I'll be making this soon! YUMMY!

  27. Looks fabulous! Thanks for the idea to look on Amazon for Spanish chorizo, Sam! I also have to look for Andouille sausage, which I can't seem to find anywhere local.

  28. This looks delicious Sam. I think our Publix carries the Spanish Chorizo. It sure is good to be back in Florida where it is warm.

  29. Wonderful stew ! Perfect stew for this time of year! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  30. Oh, but that sounds perfect for a chilly night!

  31. Oh my goodness, this sounds so delicious, Sam. I have never tried Spanish chorizo and have a feeling I will like it. I might try Whole Foods before I order it online. I love one pot meals like this one.

  32. Dear Sam, Looks delicious!! Blessings, Catherine xo

  33. oh this looks so delicious! I want to warm up with this soup asap! Thanks for sharing it on Foodie Friday.

  34. This stew looks delicious many flavors...and so colorful!
    Have a wonderful week :D


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