Chorizo a la ‘arroz al horno’
Continuing the chorizo theme, lets take a moment to admire some fine specimens of the fresh variety…
These sausages need to be cooked and end up with a much softer texture than the dried/smoked ones. In Spain and Portugal they are available just about everywhere.
This recipe is heavily based on the Spanish arroz al horno (baked rice), although I have skipped a few steps and ingredients – like fried potatoes, baking tomatoes, more meat and morcilla sausage, which I like, but the rest of the family do not.
chorizos (I prefer fresh, but it should work with cured)
2 cups rice (if you can get your hands on Bomba rice, do it)
3.5 cups meat stock
chickpeas (garbanzos cooked)
chopped tomatoes and parsley (optional)
Now is the time to take a moment to present to you one of my all time favorite rices. Sticky/gluttonous rice in Asia was my one discovery in this department (remember the delicious sticky rice I made in Bali). This baby is another one.
Bomba rice is short grain and is grown in an area not far from here. Due to its more demanding cultivation it almost went instinct, but thankfully, this great injustice to food lovers like me, never happened. Why is it so good? It always cooks perfectly and ends up in beautifully separated grains, which are not dry, but soft and creamy at the same time. I trust it so much, that while making sushi for my daughter’s birthday and ruining yet another batch of sushi rice, I turned to my trusty Bomba and it saved me. Love it!
You most likely don’t have it, sorry, but from what I read, you can get similar effect with sushi/japanese rice which you wash well, dry and use as per this recipe. If you try this, let me know how it goes.
Next the stock. This is important, as the taste of the final result will be influenced by it. I use a meat home style fully natural one in a box. The main ingredients are: chicken, beef, potatoes, cabbage, chickpeas and celery. It has a nice creamy look and a very delicate flavour – not strong at all.
I think beef will be too strong, so pork or chicken might be a better choice. Unless of course you have special skills in stock making, which is the best option.
Another favorite ingredient of mine is the Pimenton de La Vera a wonderful paprika with a deep smokey flavour that has a D.O. protection and can only be made in La Vera. I also add in the vinegary paprika paste I bought in Portugal, but it is not essential and I am not sure if it really adds anything.
Enough with the blabbing, lets get cooking.
Brown the sausages a bit and toss them in your baking dish. I use a terracotta Spanish cazuela, which I also have a soft spot for.
Next, saute some onion in the same pan in the left over oil from the chorizos.
When the onion is softened and starts to brown add the paprika. When fragrant, add the rice. Saute and add a bit more oil if needed.
After 1-2 min, toss the rice mixture with the chorizo.
Add the chickpeas.
Here comes time for the stock.
This will ensure that the rice is on the bottom, then the chickpeas and sausages on top. No crunchy uncooked rice, although I am sure that Bomba rice will stand up to that challenge too.
Slide into the preheated to 200 degrees C until the liquid is absorbed – for me that is about 20-30min.
*Here are some options: I have cooked this in a wok on the stove top, covered with a metal serving plate (worked great); it is delicious if after you take it out of the oven you throw on it chopped up fresh tomatoes and plenty of parsley and fluff it through.
I have not had a chance to stock up on fresh herbs, so for me it was hot sauce, yoghurt and a long grind of white pepper.
We never have left overs