Earlier this month I launched my Warming Winter Lunches series with recipe for butternut chicken mess, but this week I've stepped it up a notch and gone for big, bold flavours. For me one the battles of eating healthily is trying to add flavour to what could otherwise be a very bland diet of meat and vegetables. This not be the most saintly of meals, but it certainly isn't bad and packs a hefty punch of protein and at least two of your five a day in one meal - sorted.
It's been really blustery and pelting it down with hail stones this week, so with my two days off I did what I love the most in the winter - I hit the kitchen. Not only is it really comforting to be conjuring up hot, steamy meals when it's blowing a gale outside, but it's also a great way to keep warm without putting the heating on!
The ultimate comfort food for me is casserole - and this one has a bit of a kick with spicy chorizo and a dash of chilli flakes. Chorizo is my vice; one of my all time favourite flavours. You only need a little bit to create a big flavour and it can really change a whole dish. This is great because you make it all in one pan, and either portion it up into four meals to spread throughout the week, or serve it up straight from the hob to feed the whole family.
I used a pack of casserole vegetables for this dish because I was feeling lazy, but you could easily adapt it to add whichever vegetables you like. If I were to make this again, I'd probably add some sweetcorn and maybe some spinach. It would also be great served with sweet potato mashed in butter!
Again, for me it's great because it's a dish I can reheat and it will keep me warm in the office - salad just doesn't cut it during the winter months! I hope you enjoy this dish, and if you have any great recipes you'd like to share, contact me about guest posting.
Chicken, chickpea and chorizo casserole
(Serves four - gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, nut free)
- 615g chicken thigh fillets (off the bone)
- 450g casserole vegetables (I used this bag, which included carrot, swede, leek and onion)
- 100g chorizo sausage
- 1 tin chickpeas
- 1 knorr chicken stock cube dissolved in 500ml hot water
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 dessert spoon cornflour
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- black pepper to taste
- Melt the coconut oil in a large pan on a high heat. Slice the chorizo and add to the pan with the crushed garlic. Fry for a couple of minutes to crisp up.
- Add the whole chicken thigh fillets and fry on each side to brown off - approx ½ minutes per side
- Once the chicken is browned off, sprinkle over the chilli flakes and add the vegetables and chickpeas (drain off the juice from these first)
- Pour over the chicken stock and cover. Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 25 minutes, add the cornflour to the casserole and stir in until completely mixed in with no lumps. Continue to simmer and stir for 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Season with black pepper to taste and then serve. Alternatively, portion out into four meals, which will keep in the fridge for a couple of days or can be frozen and reheated.