|infinitely adaptable: |
chicken, bacon and paprika stew
Some of this is a problem of our own making - we just cook too much and waste more. But maybe if we came up with a new name for leftovers, it would make it easier to swallow. I haven't really thought this through yet - "secondary deliciousness" and "tomorrow's yummyiness" are frankly clunky and twee, but you can see where I am going with this. The word leftover just sounds so dreary, that it is not surprising so many people are filled with gloom at the thought.
But I realised that I have a sort of universal and totally adaptable stew which just about all my leftovers go into and it is utterly delicious. It starts with a base of onions and garlic, tomatoes, fresh thyme, smoked paprika and red wine. It is infinitely adaptable - with chorizo, mushrooms and a dab of sour cream, or with chorizo and peppers. In this case it was just a matter of a few rashers of finely chopped bacon, leftover roast chicken and the whole thing came together in a matter of minutes.
On a cold wet day, and my unpatented universal infinitely adaptable stew was the perfect comfort food tossed into my favourite spaghetti pasta.
Skill level: Easy
2 tbsp olive oil
1 x red onion, chopped
2-3 x garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 x pancetta slices, finely chopped (or smoked streaky bacon)
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 x bay leaf
1 x fresh thyme sprig
8 x baby plum tomatoes
200ml chicken or vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh basil leaves, torn (to serve)
- Gently fry the onions in a little olive oil until softened. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute, before adding the bacon. Cook the bacon on a medium heat for about 2 minutes, to allow some of the fat into the onion-garlic mixture.
- Add the smoked paprika and stir to ensure that it is mixed in, before adding the chopped tomatoes. Cook for a few more minutes before adding the stock, fresh thyme and the bay leaf. Simmer for 20 minutes, before adding a large splash of red wine. Cook until the stew has reduced down a little.
- Check the seasoning and serve tossed with pasta.
- This is delicious with rice, hunks of sour dough bread, and a baked or mashed potato.
- Stir through a little cream for an even more indulgent sauce.