Looking in corners of the fridge that have not been investigated for a little while you often find some little bits and pieces you’ve forgotten about.This can sometimes be pretty fortuitous – like last night, when I was feeling hungry after an afternoon of intense activity [READ: Watching the Men’s Wimbledon final and getting nothing done] and really needed dinner.
Despite having been shopping the previous day it appeared that I had nothing planned for dinner and with the rain tumbling out of the sky, bouncing high off the cobbles, I really didn’t fancy getting soaked going to get something.
Dinners that can be thrown together – preferably with minimal washing up involved – and left to their own devices whilst I get on with other things seem to be a bit of theme lately. Recently there’s been a Chicken and Broccoli One-Pot and an array of, what I like to call, ‘Dinners in a Hurry‘. Last night’s creation can very much be put into this category – it was a chicken, chorizo and chickpea creation, spiced to a perfect level and enjoyed whilst working away on plans for the blog.
Sitting surrounded by recipe books and stacks of post-it notes, what I needed was something convenient, tasty and above all interesting. It was a bit ‘Ready Steady Cook’ when I’d picked the ingredients from the fridge, freezer and seen what basics were in the cupboards, but I’m pretty happy with the end result. The half sweet potato I had from a few nights previous and the end of the chorizo brought flavours and textures, whilst that last bit of rice (why I didn’t use it last time is beyond me – it really wasn’t worth the cupboard space it took up) and the parsley made it all the most exciting. It’s definitely open to interpretation of what you can add, but for now I am really happy with how it went.
Chicken, Chorizo & Chickpea Leftover Dinner
This recipe is an original to The Usual Saucepans, having been made of things that I found whilst rummaging through my fridge, freezer and store cupboards. As such nearly all the ingredients can be swapped in for things you have handy – the sweet potato , for example, could easily be ordinary potato or perhaps part of a squash; the parsley can be subbed in for mint and the rice was really to use it up, rather than a necessary addition. Basically, just be creative and it’ll all work out. Hopefully.
1 handful of rice
2 chicken breasts
1 tin of chick peas
1/2 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 tsp rapeseed oil
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 handful of flat leaf parsley
1/2 sweet potato
2 plum tomatoes
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Dice your onion and crush your garlic. Cube your sweet potato, peal and slice the chorizo. Chop your chicken into bite-sized pieces. In a large pan (that has a lid) put the oil and warm it up over a medium heat; when it is ready add in the onion and garlic, allowing them to soften. After they have started to soften, add in the chicken (a controversial order, I realise, but it’s not killed me yet) and give it a few minutes to brown before adding in the chorizo.
Give this all a couple of minutes to settle in together (but watch it doesn’t dry out) before adding in the sweet potato, paprika, oregano and about two-thirds of the parsley. Season generously with salt and pepper. Pour in your chopped tomatoes and the plum tomatoes (unchopped) and the rice. There should be a fair bit of liquid on the top at this stage, so add in some water – I used about 100 ml, but it’ll depend on the water content of your tomatoes. Put the lid on and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is almost cooked.
Add the chickpeas in and cook for another five minutes (add a little water if it looks at risk of sticking). When it’s done spoon liberally onto your plates and chop the remaining parsley over the top.