Chickpea and Chorizo Stew

Coming across some raw chorizo sausage recently at Verkerks‘ butchers I decided to try out one of the recipes from the Mediterranean Café’s Tapas Evening. I also wanted to try out the Spanish smoked paprika that Chef Nik had used with such success that night but, naturally, the recipe sheet had disappeared. Still, if I’ve something in my mind, I don’t normally let something small like the lack of a recipe dissuade me.

I assessed the situation. I had the aforementioned chorizo and smoked paprika, there were some chickpeas in the freezer and a bag of fresh spinach that I wanted to use before it started wilting. I ended up making a Chickpea and Chorizo Stew which, when I finally did regain my recipe sheet, bore no resemblance whatsoever to what Nik had made. His recipe included giant white Spanish beans, a red pepper and no chilli. But, despite the bastardisation, my recipe was a resounding success with the Boyfriend’s sister, who had called over for dinner, and the Boyfriend himself and they demanded that I record it as it was.

As with all spicy dishes, this tastes even better the day after it is made. For that night’s dinner I served it hot, with plain rice, and the following day it was delicious at room temperature, on top of toasted sourdough bread and soft homemade goat’s cheese.

A note on chorizo: I had only ever used the dried chorizo – a spicy, paprika-infused sausage before I discovered its raw cousin at Verkerks. If the dried one is the only one that you can find, it is better to add it later in the cooking process so that it doesn’t dry out and become tough.

Chickpea and Chorizo Stew
Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
Red onions – 2 medium, chopped finely
Chorizo – 2 raw sausages, sliced
Garlic – 2 cloves, sliced
Smoked paprika – 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
Chickpeas – 2 cans
Tomatoes – 2 chopped cans
Spinach – 1 bag, washed and chopped
Lemon – ½

Heat olive oil in large deep frying pan and add red onions. Fry over medium heat until soft then, if using raw chorizo, add the chorizo and garlic. Fry until chorizo is cooked, add spices and fry for one minute. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes (and dried chorizo, if using), stir to combine and bubble over a low heat for about 20 minutes.

Add the spinach and put the lid on the pan to wilt it. Turn up the heat and simmer off any juices released by the spinach. Squeeze the lemon over, stir, and serve with couscous or rice.

Serves 4.



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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5 Responses

  1. Great recipe. We’ve done it twice since you posted it. My mum brought us back a lot of (cooked) chorizo and tons of spanish paprika from Torremolinos so this recipe is perfect. Keep them coming!

  2. Caroline says:

    Thanks Conor! The last time I made this – in Galway – I added some good sausages when I was frying the onions and they really added to the dish. I could only get dried chorizo there too. I wonder if my butcher in NZ was the only person outside Spain that makes fresh chorizo?

  3. Well if I get the chance I’ll be using all that Spanish paprika I was given and following the instructions in Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing to make my own! It is a fabulous book (and I have only just started reading it). Lots of commentary on the book on eGullet . My initial forays into normal sausage making have been ok but not a huge success. I think chorizo will be a much bigger challenge.

  4. I was in the Lettercollum Kitchen Project Shop in Clonakilty today and spotted the cooking-style chorizo.Unfortunately I didn’t have my wits about me to ask where they get it (maybe they make it themselves, but I doubt it). There are contact details on: Lettercollum.You could mail them to see if they’ll tell you their supplier’s name who might supply someone near you.It turns out that they are also the answer to a question I posted on my Blog about a guest-house in “McCarthy’s Bar”!

  5. Caroline says:

    Thanks for the tip Conor – I’ll definitely get in contact with them and see what the situation is. Just spent a while meandering around their website – I, too, remember Pete McCarthy enthusing about their place in McCarthy’s Bar. Sad that it is not open any more but I’m definitely going to visit that shop next time I make it down to Clonakilty!

    I very much enjoyed your sausage adventures too – when are you making the next batch?

    I was also reading about Ummera smoked chicken on my way home from work – interesting to see what you had written about them.

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