Monday, 13 December 2010

Chorizo and chickpea stew

So, I am taking a little break from my essay.  This is my last piece of work before Christmas break! Whoo-hoo!
If you don't already know, I am currently doing my postgraduate study in media and cultural studies.  In my current essay, I am writing about how TV cookery programmes change our kitchen, our consumption and lifestyle; and as a case study, you may already guessed it, I chose Nigella.  She has such beautiful TV kitchen, with all that fairy lights, matching le creuset pots for every dish,.... I am obsessed, aren't I?!

Anyway, for dinner tonight, I made chorizo and chickpea stew, which is a good company especially when it's chilly outside.  Oh, and yes, it is a Nigella recipe.

This stew is pretty much instant.  It takes so little time and effort to cook, and yet, delicious.  The chorizo gives such wonderful spicy flavour and a nice kick to the stew.  The heat is balanced with sweet and sour from dried apricots and tinned cherry tomatoes.  The stew is then served on a bed of cooked bulgar wheat.  I never had bulgar wheat before and I wonder why, because it's delicious. It's like couscous, but better.

Chorizo and chickpea stew
Recipe by Nigella Lawson
Serves 4

2 tbsp regular olive oil
50g spaghettini or vermicelli, torn into 3cm/1in lengths
500g bulgur wheat
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp sea salt flakes or 1 tsp pouring salt
1 litre water
2 bay leaves
350g chorizo, cut into coins and then halved
4 tbsp amontillado sherry
100g ready-to-eat dried apricots, snipped into pieces with scissors (optional)
2 x 400g cans chickpeas drained and rinsed in a sieve
2 x 400g cans cherry tomatoes, drained, plus 1½ cans tap water
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh coriander, to serve (optional)

Warm the olive oil in a thick-bottomed pan on a medium heat. Fry the pasta bits in the oil for a minute, stirring, until they look like slightly scorched straws, then add the bulgur wheat and stir for another minute or two.

Stir in the cinnamon and the salt, then pour the water into the pan. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil, then turn down to the lowest heat, add a lid, and leave for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.

Put another thick-bottomed saucepan on a medium heat, add the chorizo pieces and fry until the orange oil runs out of them. Then add the sherry and let it bubble away.

Add the apricots (if using) along with the chickpeas and canned tomatoes. Half-fill each empty tomato can with water and swill it out into the pan. Put on a high heat to bubble for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with the bulgar wheat and, if there’s any to hand, some chopped coriander.

OK, back to more writing about Nigella now...


  1. Hi Michael-I love chorizo, Emeril used to make it a lot on his earlier shows, so many ways. I believe it's originality is Portugese, an so is Emeril.
    Beautiful presentation, and yummy!
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe, as well!

  2. I grew up eating chorizo and tortillas for breakfast (a mexican thing I think) so when I see it used in different ways I get so excited and inspired. Thank you so much for sharing this! It looks delicious, I love spicy mixed with sweer and sour! yum. :)

  3. wow this looks wonderful wow cool topic to study


  4. Yum...the dish sounds delicious. I wish we had Nigella on t.v. in the U.S., instead of Sandra Lee (yikes).

  5. I think you might be just a tad bit obsessed with Nigella...but that's ok, you could be obsessed over much worse things or people!! :)
    I love chorizo...I'll have to give this a try. It looks and sounds delicious!

  6. Divine recipe, Michael. So many elements to it and such flavors!
    I enjoy Nigella too, her shows always make me smile. And her trip to the fridge at the end (did you see the one recently with the fudge?) is always a fun way to end her show.

  7. Michael, what a great combination, chorizo and chickpea...absolutely delicious :-)

  8. Lovely recipe, I should cook more with chorizo it is so popular in san diego.

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  10. I have just recently discovered how awesome chorizos and chickpeas are when combined!!

    PS If I don't get to visit your blog until the new year, have a MERRY CHRISTMAS and happy holidays and HAPPY NEW YEAR! xo Kim.

  11. Michael, I really like the way this looks and sounds. It will be a while before I can get to it, but this definitely will be tried. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings..Mary

  12. This looks incredibly hearty and so delicious! I was just thinking of making a big pot of soup - if I had chorizo on hand I'd be making this!

  13. Fabulous essay topic, brilliant post, lovely photo!

  14. Who doesn't chickpea and chorizo?! This is a super recipe to keep!

  15. Michael, forgive my delay in response, my goodness it has been a full plate these past two weeks. First off, this dish looks incredible, what a beautiful presentation, I don't eat bulgar enough!!! and my goodness, don't even get me started on Nigella, she embodies beauty, a woman who's heart is at rest, who is my kindred spirit on the topic of the sensuality of food...sigh...i could go on, but I want to thank you so very much for the lovely award, I am so grateful. I must tell you that I learned to cook by watching my grandmother, mother, and aunts in the kitchen, but I really got passionate after I got married! Three things that are alway in my fridge are: cheese cheese and more red or green chile *but of course*, greek vinegarette, and zucchini :)
    I think I have too many food guilty pleasures, but cheese is one of them, all the pasta I can eat, tomatoes, fresh basil...sigh...i could go on...My most memorable meal is a greek sampler plate shared with great friends on a very special evening. My drink of choice is vino, red, with coffee as the runner up, and then good ol' H2O.

    Have a wonderful Christmas Break!!!!

  16. Ooo, bulgur wheat, what a wonderful surprise ingredient! did not expect to see that in there. Looks great though... and so glad to hear that you are almost on christmas break!

  17. Michael, that looks delicious. I enjoy having lighter meals like this when I'm having a lot of treats, like my homemade eggnog! Bulgur wheat is something I rarely use except for tabouli, so this sounds good.