I love cooking with what I can find in my cabinet and refrigerator. I don’t have to get stressed about running to the store for a certain ingredient. Which is why I believe having a well-stocked pantry is key to getting dinner on the table, especially when there’s a young love bug, aka my toddler, in the household. Running out to grab a certain spice I might have forgotten can be a whole chore with a toddler in tow. And sometimes I actually come up with some of my best dishes this way, rather than following an old standby.
My favorite items to keep stocked include: chicken stock, olive oil, red wine, tomato sauce, onions, garlic (there are so many variations of dinner you can make with these staples). I also happened to have some chorizo, which is one of those ingredients that can elevate a dish. I recently interviewed Eric Ripert, and chorizo is one of his favorite ingredients, too. It adds a bold flavor to dishes. All of the above led to a dish I made the other night: chicken stewed with chorizo, which I served with pasta. I cooked it in my favorite pan: Le Creuset Dutch Oven.
Chicken chorizo stew
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon paprika
Freshly-ground pepper, to taste
4 breasts of chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 chorizo, cut into small pieces
3 cups chicken stock
1 large can tomato sauce (or stewed tomatoes)
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 cups red wine
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
pasta of your choice, which you should cook as the stew is simmering
Make the stew
Mix flour, paprika and pepper together in a bowl. Cut chicken into chunks and dredge in the flour mixture. Heat olive oil in a Dutch Oven over medium heat. Brown chicken for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove, then add onions, garlic and chorizo. Cook until onions are translucent. Add chicken, chicken stock, tomato sauce, tomato paste, red wine and bay leaf. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile cook pasta according to directions. Spoon stew over pasta, then garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with bread and red wine.
I bought chorizo (and many of my staples) at Fairway in Red Hook
500 Van Brunt St/Red Hook, Brooklyn/718-694-6868