Spanish Chicken and Chorizo

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I love chorizo (also known as chourico) in all its forms, from the fresh Mexican variety with its heavy dose of chile to Portugese style that’s gently smoked and of course Spanish which comes hot or mild depending on the type of paprika used, smoked and unsmoked and 1000 different variations of such.  As with any variety of sausage, quality counts.  For example, commercial varieties of Mexican chorizo mainly use variety meat that’s leftover after butchering (don’t read the label) while freshly made chorizo at your local Mexican market will likely use ground pork and lots of fresh chile.

For this dish I found some wonderful imported chorizo from Spain that was heavily flavored with smoked paprika and a hint of white wine.  After one taste I knew it would pair perfectly with chicken.  While I prefer to use legs and thighs for this recipe, breasts will work too, albeit with less flavor.  Enough gabbing – let’s get cooking.  Enjoy!

I started by slicing 1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper and 2 cherry bomb peppers (the small red ones in the bottom left corner) into strips then set them aside.  Cherry bombs are much milder than their name implies.  They’re only 10,000 – 15,000 Scoville units but have a bright sweet taste to them.  If you can’t find them, use 1 red seeded jalapeno.

Next I sliced 1 1/2 large sweet onions and thinly sliced 8 garlic cloves and set aside.

I’ve had alot of inquiries from people over the years wondering how I manage to slice garlic so thin without losing a finger tip.  Here’s the secret – a chocolate shaver.  This is the best gadget for slicing razor thin garlic, truffles, ginger, hard cheese and of course chocolate.  I got mine at Williams-Sonoma and it gets used regularly.

I cut 5 ounces fo this gorgeous Spanish chorizo into 1/4 inch slices then cut them into quarters and set aside.  Chorizo comes in long thin sausages or short thick ones as this was.  If yours is thin then quartering won’t be necessary.  As a rule long thin ones are sweeter and milder while the thicker ones are generally spicier.

I separated 5 whole chicken legs into legs and thighs then seasoned them with kosher salt and fresh pepper.

In a large fry pan (make sure it has a lid that fits for later) on medium heat I fried the chorizo for about 4-5 minutes to render its fat.  See all that orange fat?  That’s the key to this dish – it’s packed with flavor.

After it had browned slightly, I transferred it to a plate.  I added 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan then added the chicken skin side down and browned it for  6 minutes/side.  I did this in two batches adding another tablespoon oil after the first batch.  When they were done I set them with the chorizo.  I realized after dinner that I didn’t get a picture of the chicken cooking.  I’m such a dork.

I turned the heat to medium and added the onion, garlic, peppers and 6 sprigs of thyme.  I let them saute for about 5 minutes to soften.

To the pan I added 2/3 pint halved cherry tomatoes, 2/3 cup pale dry sherry, 1 cup chicken stock, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika and 2 teaspoons sweet paprika.  I stirred to scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan then added the reserved chicken (skin sid up) and chorizo.  I covered the pan, lowered the heat to medium low and let it simmer for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, I removed the lid, increased the heat to medium and let it reduce for 10 minutes.  I garnished with some basil from my plant but parsley or chervil would work great to.

And this was the result.  Trust me, it tastes even better than it looks.  Enjoy!

Spanish Chicken and Chorizo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This simple one pan meal will transport you to the rolling inland hills of Spain. Don't let the simple seasonings fool you. The distinct flavor of chorizo and paprika marry with perfectly with the peppers and tomato.
Recipe type: Entree, Main
Cuisine: Spanish
Serves: 6
  • 5 ounces Spanish dried chorizo sliced ¼" thick and quartered if needed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 5 whole chicken legs sparated into thighs and legs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper cored and sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper cored and sliced
  • 2 cherry bomb peppers seeded and sliced (or 1 red jalapeno)
  • 1½ large sweet onion sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • ⅔ pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • ⅔ cup pale dry sherry
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  1. In a wide fry pan over medium heat, fry the chorizo for about 5 minutes until lightly browned and some fat has rendered. Remove to a plate. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan and increase the heat to medium high. Season the chicken with salt and pepper then half of it to the pan skin side down. Cook for 6 minutes/side until well browned then remove to the plate with the chorizo. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and brown the remaining chicken then remove to the plate.
  2. Lower the heat to medium and add the red, yellow and cherry peppers, onion, garlic and thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes to soften. Add the cherry tomatoes, sherry, chicken stock, smoked paprika and sweet paprika and stir to combine scraping the bottom of the pan. Cover and reduce the heat to medium low and let it simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the cover and increase the heat to medium high and let reduce for 10 minutes. Garnish with some basil, parsley or chervil.




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