Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew

Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew (1)

Chicken and chorizo is a fantastic combination – I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it. To celebrate the swiftly approaching weekend, I decided to treat my husband to this – one of his favourite dishes.

Hubby loves chorizo. When I buy and slice up a chorizo ring, I always give him the raw ends attached to the string to chew on. Typing does make it sound a little as though he is a dog, but I promise he is human.

This is a really warming stew; the broth is flavoured almost entirely by the chorizo – so make sure you buy a fairly decent one, if you can afford it. The spinach and chopped tomatoes add a nice bit of health, and the butter beans make it very hearty. We had a nice loaf of ciabatta on the side of our stew, but you don’t really need it – we used it simply for its juice mopping capabilities.

This will serve 4, and take about 40 minutes to make.

Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew (2)

Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew

250g chorizo ring

6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

200g button mushrooms

1 smallĀ  glass red wine

400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 x 400g tins butter beans

100g spinach

1. Slice the chorizo and add put in a large casserole dish over a high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the whole chicken thighs. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring often, until the chicken is browned.

2. Add the sliced mushrooms, then tip in the red wine. Let it boil down, then add the chopped tomatoes. Fill the chopped tomato tin with water, and add this too. Put a lid on the dish, turn down the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add the drained butter beans and cook with the lid off for a further 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, stir through the spinach, and when it’s wilted, you’re done!


Beef Stew with Parsley Dumplings

What food could be better for a cold, wintery evening than stew and dumplings? It’s the sort of food that gives you a cuddle, that doesn’t judge you for wanting to eat it in front of the X Factor in your pyjamas and odd socks.

Although they take a long time, stews need very little effort – the oven does all of the work. And though dumplings can seem a bit daunting if you haven’t made them before, they always work perfectly and are so worth the little bit of work required.

You can add any other wintery vegetables you like to this stew – swede and parsnip would work well.

This will take 3 hours in total to make, and will serve 4 hungry people.

Beef Stew with Parsley Dumplings

450g stewing steak, cut into bitesize chunks

25g butter

25g plain flour

1 large onion

3 cloves garlic

2 carrots

1 large leek

1 large potato

200g chestnut mushrooms

250ml red wine

1 pint beef stock

1 sprig rosemary

1 handful thyme leaves

1 tbsp Lea & Perrins sauce

200g self-raising flour

100g beef or vegetable suet

1 handful fresh parsley, chopped

1. Season the plain flour with salt and pepper and roll the steak in it, ensuring it is comppletely covered.

2. Melt the butter in a large casserole dish over a medium-high heat and add the steak. Brown lightly and then place in a bowl to one side.

3. Chop the onion and garlic and add to the casserole dish. Cook for 2 minutes, then put the steak back in and add the sliced carrots, sliced leek and chopped potato. Pour in the wine and add the mushrooms. Bring to the boil, then add the stock, rosemary, thyme and Lea & Perrins.

4. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and place in the oven at 150 degrees.

5. For the dumpings, tip the self-raising flour, suet and parsley into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add cold water a little at a time – you’ll probably need 150-200mls total – until it forms a pliable dough.

6. When the stew has been in the oven for 2 hours, take it out (leave the oven on). Form little balls (about 1.5 inches in diameter) with the dough and place evenly spaced on top of the stew. This mixture made 14 dumplings.

7. Put the lid back on and return to the oven for another 25 minutes. You won’t fail to enjoy this!