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Winter warmer recipe: chicken and chorizo casserole

PUBLISHED: 16:54 09 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:54 09 October 2017

Chicken and chorizo casserole

Chicken and chorizo casserole

Archant

The chef patron and owner of award-winning restaurant Chapter One looks forward to winter's comfort food

Call me an oddball but I actually look forward to winter. The clocks go back at the end of the month, marking the start of a new season.

The days get shorter, the air becomes cooler and we replace those light salads for winter warmers. I’m sure for many it’s hard not to long for summer again when faced with grey skies and countless rainy days, but as we step into a new season, there’s lots of fun to be had in the kitchen.

We tend to use the cold weather as an excuse to indulge a little more and why not? In my opinion there’s nothing better than British comfort food: hearty soups and pies, soothing stews and casseroles and of course the classic Sunday roasts.

A large part of my love affair with this season is the food. It brings back fond memories of my childhood - my family and I sat around our table tucking into my mum’s tasty food.

With only a few humble ingredients she would create show-stopping dishes and her many different casseroles were my favourite. That’s the great thing about winter warmers, it doesn’t take much effort to create an outstanding dish - chuck a few ingredients into a pot and let it cook slowly for a few hours and voilà!

My gran used to make this amazing hearty turkey broth. She would always make it for my family and around Christmas. She would add dumplings to it that would caramelise and absorb all of the fantastic flavours of the broth. The smell around the kitchen was incredible as it cooked slowly in the oven.

Why not try a few new dishes this season? My top comforting foods for winter nights that are delicious and hassle free are Jerusalem artichoke soup, a great hearty game risotto or even a venison lasagne.

This month’s recipe is a take on my gran’s dish – a chicken and chorizo casserole with caramelised dumplings - and a delicious bottle of wine. Enjoy.

Recipe: Chicken and chorizo casserole (serves 4-6)

Ingredients for the casserole

1kg diced chicken leg cut into large cubes

2 large onions (diced)

2 large carrots (diced)

4 cloves garlic

4 cooking chorizo sausage (peeled and sliced)

2 tbsp paprika

150ml white wine

2 pints chicken stock

2 tins chopped tomatoes

2 tsp chopped thyme

2 tbsp tomato purée

Salt and pepper

Ingredients for the dumplings

110g self-raising flour

55g beef or vegetable suet

1 tbsp thyme leaves (chopped)

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tbsp grain mustard

Salt and pepper

Method

Sift the flour into a large bowl and add in the suet. Then add the herbs, mustard and seasoning. Mix with your hands or a spoon until the dough binds (it may need a little water but shouldn’t become too wet and sticky).

Next, flour your hands and pull small walnut-sized pieces of dough to form a ball, rolling them between your palms. Set aside in the fridge until required.

Now heat your casserole dish over medium to high heat and add a little oil. Add the chicken and paprika and brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add the diced carrots and the garlic and cook gently for a few minutes.

Add the chorizo, stir well for a few minutes. Add the chicken stock, wine and the tomatoes.

Add the chicken to the pot and the thyme. Bring to the boil and cover, Place in a medium oven at 160ºC until the chicken is tender (about an hour). Remove from the oven and season.

Then place the dumplings on top of the casserole and place back in the oven 180 ºC for a further 30minutes. The dumplings should be a nice golden brown on top with a nice crust. Add a few slices of roasted chorizo on top for a garnish and serve with some buttered boiled potatoes or new potatoes.

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