Slow Cooker

7 Day Slow Cooker Challenge – Chicken and Chorizo Stew

So, you may or may not have noticed that this post is a day late and there is a very good reason for that.

We had a potato disaster.

As with most of my slow cooker recipes, I research the dish that I want to make and adjust them to our tastes and the fact that my Crock Pot cooks things a little quicker than a conventional slow cooker. All of the recipes for chicken and chorizo stew varied their cooking time between 8 and ten hours on low, so I figured 4 hours on high in my Crock Pot would be plenty. However, after 4 and a half hours on high, the potatoes were still rock hard! In fact, the dish wasn’t actually properly edible until about 9.30pm, by which time we’d declared it a disaster and gone to get fish and chips! The girls needed to eat and of course, all of this weeks shopping was geared toward slow cooked meals, so a takeaway was the only option.

However, once the stew WAS cooked, it was totally delicious. We’ve saved it for dinner today and I’m so glad we did, rather than abandoning it altogether. The chorizo has released its smoky flavour into the dish and broth around the meat and veg was rich and warming. Our first two dishes were things which were made to go with non-slow cooked accompaniments, but this was a true one pot meal, with the protein, carbs and veg all cooked together, which is what the essence of slow cooking is about for me.

Chicken and Chorizo Stew

Here’s how we made it:

Chicken and Chorizo Stew

7 Day Slow Cooker Challenge – Chicken and Chorizo Stew
Recipe Type: Slow Cooker
Cuisine: Spanish
Author: Jayne Crammond
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A slow cooked stew with smoky chorizo and tasty chicken.
Ingredients
  • 600g chicken breast, cubed
  • One onion, diced
  • 450g potato, peeled and cubed
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 200g chorizo, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or grated
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 30g black olives
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients (apart from the olives) into the slow cooker
  2. Stir well
  3. Cook on high for 6-8 hours (depending on your slow cooker!)
  4. Add olives around 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve
  5. Serve with crusty bread and sour cream

I must admit, I often avoid dishes with potato in them as I’ve had a disaster like this before; the one and only time I cooked my lamb stew in my Crock Pot, the potatoes didn’t soften very well and I put it down to the fact that the pot was just too full, so the heat didn’t permeate as well as it could have. This stew was far less voluminous and the potato was the only root veg, so I thought we’d be fine, but alas not! I think the moral of this tale is to always give yourself PLENTY of time for dishes with potato to cook…I’d actually be tempted to put this on at about 8am in future, just to be sure it was completely cooked, but the effort would be worth it as the stew tastes fabulous!

Have you been slow cooking this week? Don’t forget to blog about it and link up below.

LINKY REMOVED

Opinion

An Ode to Winter

When I was younger, if you’d have asked me what my favourite season was, my answer, without hesitation, would have been summer. I loved summer, I felt it was my season. I loved the heat, I’d be delirious with excitement when the longer nights set in. I was born in June, a true summer baby. When I first started living with Husband, I’d drag him out on twilight walks to sit in the local public gardens, just so I could soak up the balmy evenings.

These days, however, my answer to the same question would be very different. As the nights have been drawing in and the temperature has been dropping, I’ve started to notice that I am really looking forward to winter. I think I’m the only person I know who has been really happy about the clocks going back, the darker nights feeling like a hug from nature. Okay, that sounds cheesy, but I honestly find the dark evenings really cosy and comforting.

Then, there’s Christmas. I used to hate Christmas. I’ve always just felt a huge pressure to get the presents right, and tend to spend the run up to the big day feeling stressed, not looking forward to the festivities. But this year, things will be different. This year will be Sausage’s third Christmas, but I reckon this year will be the first that she can really enjoy.

Sausage’s first Christmas was a miserable affair. Husband was ill for a couple of days in the run up, and then I started to gradually come down with whatever he had. We dragged ourselves to my In-Laws, determined to enjoy Sausage’s first experience of the big day, but ultimately had to leave early after barely eating anything. Sausage ended up in hospital that night with a temperature of 104 degrees and we spent the rest of the holiday season in bed, miserable, and taking it in turns to go to the kitchen for Lemsip/Calpol/tissues.

Last year wasn’t a disaster like the first, but I think really Sausage was too young to get into the hype of it all. We couldn’t tell her about Santa, she was more interested in the paper that she was ripping off of the presents than the actual contents of the boxes.

Then there’s the winter cuisine. Who doesn’t love a warming stew, homemade soup or a rhubarb crumble and custard? Those are dishes which just don’t come into their own until there’s a biting wind outside and you’re happy to spend a day in the kitchen, if only to stand by the hot stove.

Another great thing about the winter is the attire. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I don’t have the greatest relationship with my body, so the excuse, nay, the requirement to swathe myself in jumpers, coats, boots, gloves and scarves is another huge comfort to me. I can wrap myself up and not worry what’s going on under my coat, ’cause it’s too cold to take any of my layers off anyway!

I’m actually hoping for snow this winter. The thought of going out and making snowmen with Sausage is making me itch with excitement, not to mention seeing the look on her face, the wonder of standing at the window, watching those first falling flakes. I can’t wait to take a million pictures of her romping about in the powder-coated world.

Sausage is a summer baby, like me, and spent most of this summer in her UV suit, in the paddling pool, or terrorising us with the garden hose. I can see that same love of summer in her that lived in me, that same joy at being outside with the sun on your face. But I’ll be making sure that there’s a little of the winter-spirit in her too. Otherwise, there’s so much she could be missing out on.