Chicken and Chorizo Cassoulet

I think I’ve solved the problem of healthy winter comfort eating! I used to make this recipe with some really good pork sausages so  it was a sort of sausage and bean casserole, but I had some chorizo in the fridge and thought I’d give it a try with some chicken thighs to lean it out a bit. I might actually try it with turkey thigh meat the next time…I digress! This is hearty, delicious and packed with loads of really good for you veggies. It’s nourishment in a cast-iron dish. It would be great served with pasta if you want to stretch it out a bit, or with some good crusty bread or pitta for dipping, but if you’re keeping things low carb, just serve a slightly bigger portion with plenty of fresh, green vegetables.   

You will need (for 4 generous portions):

 1 onion

2 peppers, I used 1 red and 1 orange for some contrast (who likes green peppers?!)

1 carrot 

2 cloves garlic 

8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs (it saves so much time if you like to remove all the fat and prefer not to eat meat on the bone – plus it makes your bin smell a lot nicer!)

1 cooking chorizo, chopped into smallish pieces 

2 cans chopped tomatoes

2 chicken stock cubes 

Salt and pepper 

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup red wine 

1 can cannellini beans

1 tsp parsley 

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp mild chilli powder

Pinch sugar

Splash lemon juice   

1. Chop the vegetables – I like reasonable sized chunks as they’ll cook down, but keep the onion quite finely chopped. 

  
2. Chop up the chorizo and add it to a cold, large casserole on a low heat on the hob. Allow the oil to leak out and leave in, flipping every now and again, until it starts to crisp. Set aside in a plate, leaving the oil in the dish. 
  

3. Throw the vegetables into the oil and turn the heat up a little and let the vegetables sautée until tender. 
  
  4. Trim the chicken thighs and cut each one into 2 or 3 large pieces. Put a medium frying pan on the heat and add a little of your favourite frying oil. Brown the chicken pieces on all sides then set aside. Try to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. 
  
  5. Add the tomatoes to the vegetables, then add the chicken stock, using as little water as possible to dissolve them. I like to do this in the tomato cans so they can be swilled out at the same time, using up any remnants. Cook out for around half an hour.  

6. Add in the chicken, beans, spices and flavourings and chorizo and cook for another hour or so with the lid on at a low heat, so it’s just simmering. Then it’s ready to serve!

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