Dougie Vipond’s Rustic Mediterranean Chicken and Chorizo Casserole (with Rose Murray Brown’s wine recommendations)
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 chicken breasts (cut into bite size pieces)
110g of chorizo, sliced (try to get a hot and spicy one as they are packed with flavour)
1 tin (400g) of chopped tomatoes
1 heaped tablespoon of tomato puree
300ml chicken stock
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
120g green olives, halved
Freshly ground black pepper
A few pinches of sea salt
A small handful of basil leaves, chopped and scattered over the top when serving
- Bring the tin of chopped tomatoes to a simmer in a large casserole dish that can go onto the over.
- Fry the chorizo in a frying pan with no oil but let the oil from the chorizo ooze out – about 5 minutes. Add the chorizo to the simmering tomatoes in the casserole dish, with tongs so as to leave as much of the oil in the pan.
- Sear the chopped chicken breast pieces in the chorizo oil in the same frying pan, adding some salt and freshly ground black pepper. You are not cooking them through, just colouring them and flavouring them with the oil.
- Add the chicken stock to the tomatoes and chorizo in the casserole dish and stir.
- Transfer the chicken pieces to the casserole dish, with tongs again so as to leave the oil in the frying pan.
- Fry the onion and garlic in the oil in the frying pan to soften. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Transfer to the casserole dish.
- Quickly fry the olives in the remaining oil in the frying pan and transfer to the casserole dish.
- Stir the tomato puree into the mixture in the casserole dish and bring to a simmer, and season before transferring to the oven with the casserole dish lid on.
- Cook at about 160 degrees for a couple of hours or at 180 degrees for about 45/50 minutes and then take the lid off and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Serve with couscous, rice or hunks of crusty bread and a big glass of Rioja.
Rose’s wine pairing recommendations
If you want to follow Dougie’s advice and serve a Rioja with his Mediterranean casserole – a great new find is the plummy exotic gently oaked Vallobera Crianza Rioja 2018 (£10.95 The Wine Society) made in an easy-drinking modern style from high altitude vineyards near Laguardia in Rioja Alavesa. Staying in Spain, but even better value is Altolandon Bobal 2019 (£9.25 The Wine Society) from the widely planted Bobal grape in little known Manchuela region near Valencia – perfect with a spicy casserole with its herby bright succulent fruit, hints of spice and a wild personality.
If you are a white wine drinker, the casserole could match with richer textured Spanish whites made from Viura, Verdejo or Godello grapes. My top tip for something a bit different amongst Spanish whites is The Guv’nor (£6.99/£8.99 Majestic Wine) made from Verdejo, Sauvignon Blanc with a touch of oaked Chardonnay – it has mouthfilling tropical fruits and is rich in texture with enough body and grip to cope with the chorizo spice. Enjoy!