Chicken, Chorizo, and Bean Bake

In atonement to Donna for pulling a Gordon on her during the last round of Hay Hay it’s Donna Day, I thought I’d share a dish of hers that I really really like. It’s from issue 32 (the autumn 2007 issue…a season we don’t have here but that doesn’t stop me) of Donna Hay magazine, part of a feature on chorizo. Now, chorizo is something I love (along with a legion of other people I’m sure) and, unlike fresh figs, rhubarb, and chanterelle mushrooms, something that I can easily get here. Aside from being perfectly delicious on its own, it is also lends itself skillfully to many dishes, giving them a smoky kick and Spanish flavor. I can simply fry them up for cocktail nibbles; they are an essential element in my fabada; I’ve made fried rice out of them; and I’ve even used them in our ubiquitous munggo guisado (mung bean stew).

This dish is a one-pan dinner combining chorizo with chicken, olives and lemon, and dusted with pimentón de la vera (Spanish smoked paprika). It is packed with flavor and dead easy to make. If you’ve got a nice dish it’ll go straight from oven to table. Although I love this in its original state, I decided to take some liberties and change it a bit. Ok, maybe more than a bit. The whole “vibe” of it really reminded me of fabada (blame it on the chorizo and pimentón!). Also, I felt there should be something soaking up all the amazing juices that this dish renders (eau de chorizo/ pimentón/chicken/lemon/black olive…oohlala!). So I added beans…truly a magical, if at times musical, fruit ;)

Chicken, Chorizo, and Bean Bake
(adapted from Donna Hay’s Smoked Paprika Chicken and Lemon Bake, Donna Hay magazine, issue 32)

  • 4 pieces chicken (I used 2 drumsticks and 2 thighs)
  • 1 400-gram can of white beans, drained
  • 1/2 a lemon, sliced
  • 1/3 cup black olives
  • 1 chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, bashed a bit but still in their skins
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • A little less then 1/2 teaspoon pimentón de la vera
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

- Place the beans on a baking dish, then pour the stock over them. Arrange the chicken pieces, lemon, olives, chorizo, and garlic over the beans. Drizzle olive oil over the whole lot. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and pimentón.
- Roast in a 200C oven for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Serves 2.

The original recipe has no beans and uses butter instead of olive oil (I figured olive oil was more “in-region” with the other flavors…but it could also be that the olive oil was closer to my hand at the time). I also reduced the recipe to fit our family of two. The dish was already delicious in its original form, but I think the beans definitely added something special. Plus, true to my juices-soaking plan, it was the perfect “bed” for all that flavorful liquid! This would make an ideal dinner for a rainy week night when everybody’s a little too tired to cook something complicated, but still need something fortifying and yummy in their stomachs. It’s been raining a lot over here and I feel the need to whip this up again (after we finish C’s excellent sinampalukang manok – chicken in tamarind broth – the ultimate rainy day dish) :)