Braises don’t always mean long cooking. This Spanish-inspired chicken and chorizo is a great mid-week dinner. You can also swap the gnocchi with the champ from the Beef and Mustard pies for a quick side dish.
8 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
½ cup plain flour
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
olive oil and butter for cooking
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 leek, white and pale green part thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
finely grated zest 1 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
2 chorizo sausages, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
½ cup Marsala
1½ cups chicken stock
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Cut the chicken into 1 cm wide strips. Place the flour in a shallow dish and season well. Add the chicken and toss to coat in the flour, shaking off the excess.
Heat a little oil in a large sauté pan with a knob of butter. Cook the chicken in batches until lightly golden. The chicken won’t be fully cooked. Transfer to a plate. Add a little more oil and butter with each batch.
Add the onion, celery, leek, garlic, lemon zest, thyme, chorizo and smoked paprika to the pan and season. Cover and cook until the vegetables are soft, adding a splash of stock if the pan is dry. Increase the heat and add the Marsala, letting it bubble up for a couple of minutes. Add the stock then the chicken with any juices and combine. Cover and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced and the chicken is cooked through. A simmer mat is perfect for slow, gentle stove top cooking. Stir in the parsley. Cool then cover and refrigerate if not using immediately.
Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
To assemble: Place the chicken in an ovenproof baking dish. Cut the gnocchi into desired shapes and place slightly overlapping over the chicken. Brush with melted butter and a grating of Parmesan and ground pepper. Bake for 25 minutes, adding the sprigs of rosemary after 20 minutes, until the top is golden and the filling is bubbling.
Pantry note: Marsala is a fortified wine from Sicily. Dry Marsala can be drunk as an aperitif or added to savoury dishes. Available from good food stores and wine shops.