Ohmygaaaawd, did you hear that Orangette is marrying some boy who wrote fan mail to her about her blog??!! I'm a bit out of the loop 'cos I only just heard of this, but heck...love on the blogs! I don't know if this is wonderfully uplifting or a bit sad. I get some fan mail (and very lovely it is too), but only from girls. That's no use! :-) Hmmm...I'm guessing it's the cakiness of the blog. I'm not going to turn suddenly all meat-heavy on you, although it's actually more that way I eat. I really have more of a salt tooth than a sweet one, but baking is much more fun to photograph and blog about than some random chunk of steak I grilled with some broccoli. Yawn. There's no poetry in writing about a bit of chicken. There's poetry in baking things that people dream about.
My friends said they'd sabotage the site if I made any attempt to start trawling for a husband ("hello?!! Axe-murderers?! Crazy internet people!?! WEIRDOS?!"), so I'm not, although I'm yet to be convinced that there's a marauding team of crazy, internet murderers slavering over a foodblog about cakes! I have higher opinions of you than that! Maybe there's some fetish niche out there I don't know about; I do get some pretty suggestive Google references to my site.... But, still, it's good to know I'm so well protected. :-)
But, there you go. Somebody has proven you can find love on a foodblog, and that's a wonderful thing.
So, in a self-conscious meander away from baking, here's a BIG BLOKE savoury meat dish. No, I didn't whip it up especially for this post; it's something I made ages ago. I had this thing in my head (a "hot nut" in Anthony Bourdain-speak) about a chicken and chorizo stew. I didn't have a recipe for it, so I hunted around a bit on the internet and kind of played around with it from there. It should have used chicken thighs, but we only had breasts. Do try to use thighs, because they don't turn into balsa wood like breasts do (that sentence seems disturbingly suggestive) after long cooking. Thighs remain moist and juicy (there I go again...).
I'm not a big fan of chickpeas, but am coming around. This used a tin of them, and actually I loved it. I added a carrot and a few handfuls of spinach, just cos we had them. In fact, the whole dish was really great. It has really big, gutsy flavours. I didn't have Spanish smoked paprika, so I went heavy on the sweet Hungarian stuff and loved it. The chorizo was salty and punchy and I could have drunk the sauce like soup. My brother, who is pretty suspicious of the things I cook - "the stuff you cook is weird!" -was a big fan; reckoning that it tasted like Mexican food (???). Interesting. But, hey, if my very blokey brother liked it, I've done well in the appealing- to-men-thing. ;-) Definitely something I'd make again, especially as we seemed to have bypassed autumn and skidded into winter.
Read on for the recipe:
Chicken and Chorizo Stew
Adapted from a recipe on the website of the UK supermarket Waitrose.com
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 carrot, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika (or Hungarian)
1 teaspoon chilli powder
200g chorizo sausage, peeled and thickly sliced
1 organic chicken, cut into 6 pieces (chicken thighs are easier)
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g chickpeas, soaked for 24 hours, then boiled until half-cooked (I used a can)
1 bay leaf
Handful fresh spinach
salt and ground black pepper
Sauté the onion, carrot and garlic in the oil until soft. Stir in the cumin and paprika and fry for a few seconds before adding the chorizo. Fry until lightly coloured, then add the chicken, turning the pieces to ensure they are evenly coloured. Stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas, bay leaf and, if necessary, a little water. Season to taste and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Add the spinach at the last minute.
This recipe was first published on Waitrose.com in October 1999.
Tagged with food & drink