Spanish-Style Chicken & Dumplings

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This is a delicious spin on chicken and dumplings, a classic comfort food, that I made for my friend Kim. It takes a Spanish angle — with chorizo, saffron and sherry — and instead of a traditional dumpling, uses my favorite Jiffy cornbread for a topping, which made this almost like a pot pie. The chicken dish itself is thick and hearty, with lots of yummy mushrooms, onion, garlic and thyme, and it was great reheated for leftovers. Credit goes to Rachael Ray for the recipe.

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TW’s Tips

  • I’m a mushroom lover, so I threw in more than the recipe called for
  • I actually used vegetable stock (homemade of course) instead of chicken for this — still delish
  • Careful when choosing the chorizo, especially on the West Coast — you want Spanish chorizo, not Mexican, which is uncooked. If you can’t find Spanish chorizo, use linguica or a chicken sausage (spicy is best). The key is that it isn’t crumbly. You should be able to slice through it and keep it intact.

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Spanish-Style Chicken & Dumplings

Ingredients

  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 pinches saffron
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 pound chorizo, casings remove and chopped or crumbled
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast tenders, diced
  • 3/4 pound medium to large white mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 rounded tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1 small box biscuit mix or mix to prepare 8 drop biscuits, prepared to package directions, (recommended: Jiffy)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Directions

In a small sauce pot combine the stock and saffron, bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer to allow the saffron to steep.

In a large deep skillet with a lid or a Dutch oven heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and render and brown for 2 minutes, then add the chicken and lightly brown. Stir in the mushrooms, onions and garlic as you chop them and add the bay leaves, salt and pepper, to taste, and thyme. Put a lid on the pot and increase the heat to high for 5 minutes to soften the vegetables. Stir in the flour, add the sherry and stir a minute more, then add the saffron broth.

While vegetables soften, put the biscuit mix in a bowl and stir in the parsley and paprika. Add the liquids to package directions for the biscuits.

Drop 8 small mounds of biscuit dough onto the surface of the chicken and sauce. Cover with tight fitting lid and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.

Ladle into shallow serving bowls and serve.

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Chicken and Chorizo Romesco with Spanish Potatoes and Kale

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If you’ve never had Romesco sauce, you’re in for a treat. I’ve discovered it’s one of my faves. Made of roasted red peppers, garlic, roasted tomatoes, garlic, toasted bread, almonds and sherry vinegar all blended together, it’s super flavorful and nutty and garlicky, and you’ll want to put a big dollop on every bite you take of this meal. The meal, by the way, combines this delicious sauce with chicken and chorizo, and some Yukon gold potatoes smashed up with kale and manchego cheese. I love the idea of getting the kale in with the potatoes so you get your greens. And it adds some nice depth and crunch to the potatoes.

This is a Rachael Ray recipe, and unlike some of her recipes, I actually think this took about 30 minutes! Shocking. To make it even faster, pound the chicken out a little bit so it cooks through more quickly. The leftovers from this were delicious as well.

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TW’s Tips

  • On my first go-round, I toasted the garlic a bit too much — I was afraid it would taste burnt, so I redid it. Take it easy on the heat.
  • If you have leftover Romesco, slather it on some fresh baked bread or use it like a pesto on a sandwich — yum.
  • I might try a spicier sausage next time around.

Chicken and Chorizo Romesco with Spanish Potatoes and Kale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup shredded manchego
  • 1 to 3 slices stale bread, toasted, cut 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup pequillo peppers or roasted red peppers
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes, drained, about 1 1/3 cups
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup marcona almonds (Spanish toasted almonds), substitute toasted sliced or peeled almonds if unavailable
  • 4 pieces boneless skinless chicken breast or thigh meat
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest or lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 3/4 pound Spanish chorizo, casings removed, cut into 8 pieces on the bias

Directions

Heat about 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and slowly cook until crisp and golden brown.

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water, bring to a boil, season with salt and cook 15 minutes or until tender, drain and return to hot pot. While the potatoes cook, simmer kale in salted water 10 minutes then drain. When you are ready to serve, mash potatoes with stock and cheese, fold in kale, adjust salt and pepper.

While potatoes come to a boil, move forward with the meal. Add to a food processor: toasted garlic (reserve the oil), some of the toasted bread in pieces, the peppers, tomatoes, sherry vinegar, almonds, and salt and pepper. Turn processor on and stream in reserved “garlic-oil” and add the rest of the toasted bread in pieces until you get a pesto-like consistency. Transfer sauce back to the skillet and keep warm over low heat.

Cut each piece of chicken into 3 chunks and season with citrus zest, smoked sweet paprika, salt, pepper and parsley. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and render it 1 minute. Remove the chorizo to a plate and then add chicken and cook 10 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally.

Pour a pool of sauce onto each dinner plate and top with a mound of potatoes and kale and chunks of chicken and chorizo.