Chicken, Chickpeas and Chorizo Stew

This is one of those surprisingly quickly made, hearty stews that simmer away in the background filling the house with tempting smells. It reheats perfectly and could be served with cous cous, as I have done, with rice, with noodles or with green veg and bread to mop up the copious juices. It’s spicy and texturally interesting, heartening to look at and might get you dreaming of similar dishes you’ve had on holiday in Spain or Portugal.

Serves 3-4
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 40 min

1 aubergine, approx 250g (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
2 garlic, crushed
200g chorizo cooking sausages
500g/6 chicken thigh fillets
1 roasted red pepper (fresh or from a jar of piquillos)
400g chickpeas
300ml chicken stock

If you plan to include aubergine, slice it in 1cm thick rounds and cook in a steamer for about 8 minutes or until soft. Pat dry with kitchen paper and paint both sides with olive oil. Leave to cool and then cut in quarters. If not including aubergine, proceed with the recipe by halving, peeling and chopping the onion. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a spacious sauté/frying pan over a medium heat and stir in the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes while you do a few other jobs. Crack the garlic, flake away the skin, chop and crush to a paste with the flat of a knife. Cut each chorizo sausage into 4 pieces. Unfurl the chicken and cut down the depth into into 3 pieces. Chop the red pepper. Tip the chickpeas into a sieve to drain. Stir the garlic into the softening onion and when aromatic, add the chorizo. Cook, stirring often, as the chorizo plumps and changes colour. Add the chicken and stir as the pieces change colour and begin to cook. Once browned, add the aubergine, red pepper, chickpeas and stock. Simmer very gently, covered, giving the occasional stir, for 30 minutes. Taste the juices and add salt if needed. This is unlikely. I like a few separately boiled carrots with this.