Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chicken and Chorizo Hash

Had to postpone that family vacation to Spain due to budget cuts? So did your neighbour. Hey-ho, put your bikini back into the drawer and invite them around to enjoy (at the very least) a taste of sunny Espagne: Chicken and Chorizo Hash. With the first forkful, the flavours will transport you to the Costa del Sol. Look at the bright side; this recipe will only cost a little over a tenner, and you won’t have had to stand in the line at the airport.

Chicken and Chorizo Hash
1, 1 and ½ kg chicken
1 large red onion, peeled and diced
4 plump garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
½ pound (250 grams) fresh tomatoes, seeds squeezed out, flesh roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded, trimmed and diced
1 and ½ pounds salad potatoes, washed and chopped into bite size pieces (no need to peel)
½ pound (250 grams) Chorizo, sliced into thin strips or small cubes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or vegetable oil)
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste
1 large, fresh egg per person
Spanish olives, chopped fine for passing (optional)

1) Place the raw, whole chicken into a large pot (removing that nasty synthetic string that trusses it). Cover the bird in cold water, place the lid on, place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the chicken comes to a boil, turn the heat down so that it just simmers (about medium) and allow to simmer, covered (with the lid cracked open just a wee bit) for about 45 minutes. While the chicken is cooking start the potatoes boiling (see below) and chop the other veg.

2) When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the liquid (Amigos—SAVE this cooking liquid as it has now become a fabulous stock! Refrigerate and use within three days or freeze and use within three months)... Back to the task at hand—Place the cooked chicken onto a platter and allow to cool for about thirty minutes, then take the beautifully tender, poached meat from the bones, shred it and set aside. This step can be done up to one day ahead (the meat covered and kept in the refrigerator), or you can use left-over chicken, or you could buy a cooked chicken.

3) While the chicken is simmering, wash and chop the potatoes into bite size pieces, then pile them into a large pot and cover with cold water and a few teaspoons salt. Cover, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Crack the lid, and allow to simmer strongly for roughly 8 minutes, until just tender when poked with a knife, but not falling apart. When cooked, drain and set aside. In the meantime, chop the remaining vegetables and chorizo.

4) When you are ready to eat: Grab a very, very large sauté pan or giant, shallow pot—the point is that it must be BIG. Set it over high heat. Pour the olive (or vegetable) oil into the pan and wait, watching, until the oil looks as if it is quivering, then add in the onion, garlic and red bell pepper. Sauté, stirring often for about 2 minutes, until the veg becomes soft, then add in the Chorizo and continue to sauté over high heat until the Chorizo softens, releasing some of its savoury orange-coloured goodness. Now, toss in the shredded chicken and chopped tomatoes and toss around for a few minutes, when at last it is time to add in the cooked potato chunks. Do that and toss around, allowing the hash to become steaming hot. Taste it and season generously with salt and red pepper flakes (if you fancy some heat). Serve with a nice 4-minute poaches egg (or fried egg) on top so that the yolk oozes down into the hash to make a lovely sauce.

Pass the chopped olives, if you like. Serve 4 hearty eaters or 6 more respectable types.

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