I love spending my Sundays with my slow cooker. I know most people will use theirs while they’re at work – lobbing in ingredients and rushing out of the door. Not me, I like to enjoy the smell and remove the lid (ill-advised, I know) and poke around inside. I can’t help myself.
The one thing I haven’t managed to grasp is the amount of liquid needed for stews, since the liquid doesn’t reduce in the same way as in a normal oven when you remove the lid. If anyone has any advice on this it would be greatly appreciated!
Anyway, the recipe. Why sweet and smoky? The red peppers and butternut squash make it sweet, and the chorizo and smoked paprika make it ~smoky~.
Chicken thighs are my new meaty hero, at less than £2 for a pack of 6 in Lidl, bone in. They’re great for slow cooking and stews as the darker meat doesn’t dry out as much as the breast, and the bones make a lovely stock. I add my chorizo half an hour or so towards the end to stop it from over cooking too, I find slow-cooked chorizo can loose its flavour and get a weird texture.
Sweet and Smoky Spanish Chicken Stew
Ingredients – serves 4-6
- 4 inch section of chorizo sausage, cut into slices
- 6 chicken thighs, skin off, bone in
- 1 small white onion
- 1/2 a small butternut squash
- Red and yellow peppers
- Tin chopped tomatoes
- Tin chick peas
- 3 cloves garlic
- Handful rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
- 1/2 chicken stock cube
- Pint or so of water
Chop your onion into smallish slices, I like mine a bit chunky so I do a mix of finely chopped and chunks. Slice your peppers into ribbons and peel and slice your butternut squash. Blend your butternut squash with a little water into a puree and set to one side. You can leave it whole in chunks too but I wanted it to thicken the sauce a little.
Take your chicken thighs and fry them gently in a little oil until they are slightly browned on all sides. Add to your slow cooker pot with the chopped veg, garlic, butternut squash puree, tomatoes, chickpeas, rosemary and half a chicken stock cube. Add water until it covers most of the ingredients and set to cook for 6-8 hours.
Towards the end of the cooking time, prepare your chorizo by frying in a small pan (no oil needed, it will secrete its own as it gets hot). Add to the slow cooker for another half an hour or so. Serve on its own with some crusty bread or mix in to rice for a jambalaya style dish.