Back in the late 1980’s, I spent a glorious summer in the Basque Country of northern Spain that opened my mind, taught me a now seriously rusty new language, and opened my mine far more than my many years growing up in small-town America. My host family there was wonderful and, I have countless memories of travel, touching history, tasting wine, eating around the table, and just learning what it’s like to live someplace foreign long enough that it starts to feel like home.
In recent years, I’ve been cultivating an interest in learning to cook Basque food, and have amassed a few cookbooks that promise to make it accessible to me outside of Spain, but so far I’ve just been dabbling in some Spanish flavors. And that’s what I’m sharing here. This is another braised dish. They’re what I’m craving right now, so it’s what I’m cooking and this one uses Spanish ingredients such as peppers, smoked paprika, and cured Spanish chorizo.
Spanish chorizo is very different from the Mexican variety, and it might be difficult to find it in smaller towns. It’s readily available on Amazon and from specialty grocery websites and it’s a great, shelf-stable thing to have on hand. I use it in several dishes because we love the taste. Being out of my normal brand, I purchased a small package of Quijote Chorizo on Amazon and actually loved the results. It was less desiccated than what I usually use, and I may be getting a couple more packages to tuck into my larder for later.
Spanish-Inspired Chicken with Shrimp
- 8 pieces of chicken skinless, bone-in. I use a combination of thighs and drumsticks.
- Kosher salt and ground white pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and sliced in ¼” pieces
- 1 Spanish onion halved and sliced in ¼” pieces
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 Tbsp fresh oregano chopped
- 5 ounce Spanish chorizo sliced in ¼ pieces
- 8 oz jumbo raw shrimp peeled with tails
- Season the chicken on all sides with Kosher salt and ground white pepper. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken and brown on all sides. 8-10 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add add the red bell pepper and onion to the pan, stirring frequently until soft but not browned. Add the garlic, tomatoes, wine, smoked paprika, and oregano. Season well with Kosher salt and ground white pepper. Add smoked paprika and cook together 2-3 minutes.
- Return chicken to the pan, nestling it into the sauce, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes, until chicken is tender.
- In the last 10 minutes of cooking, heat a small pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced chorizo and cook until it begins to render its fat. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring frequently until pink and just cooked. Add chorizo and shrimp to the chicken and pepper, mixing and cooking for an addition 3-5 minutes.
- Serve with rice, quinoa, or riced cauliflower and a salad.