Dinner Tonight: Chickpeas And Chorizo

Chorizo and paprika lend a smoky richness to this quick and hearty braise.

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Why This Recipe Works

  • A pressure cooker intensifies the flavors of smoky chorizo, smoked paprika, roasted tomatoes, and chickpeas as the chicken cooks.
  • Minimal ingredients and only a few steps make for an easy, one-pot, ready-in-under-an-hour meal packed with flavor.

My wife has taught me many things, but few as mind-blowing and useful as this five ingredient, one pot, 30-minutes Colombian chicken stew with potatoes and tomatoes. It works like this: Add chicken, potatoes, fresh tomatoes, sliced onion, and bay leaves to a pressure cooker. Seal the lid and heat it. As the tomatoes and chicken heat, they give off liquid which in turn cooks the potatoes while the onions add flavor to the whole thing. Because the high heat of a pressure cooker cooks so efficiently, you end up with spoon-tender chicken and potatoes in an intensely flavored broth all in 30 minutes or less. How do you like that!

The concept of using minimal, but carefully selected ingredients and relying on the pressure cooker to extract flavor while cooking them was an intriguing one, so I decided to try my hand at coming up with a few more one-pot meals in a similar style, this time using a combination of chicken and various legumes. I came up with three final variations. Each one of them provides dinner for four with inexpensive ingredients, a few minutes of actual labor, one pot on the stove, and all in between 30 to 45 minutes start to finish.

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

For this recipe, I tried using dried garbanzos, but they simply took too long to cook compared to the chicken—the chicken ended up drying out by the time the beans were soft. Instead, I opted for canned drained chickpeas. For flavor, I start with diced Spanish-style dry cured chorizo, adding some extra smoked paprika to bolster its spicy, smoky aroma. To that I add some onions sautéed in the rendered chorizo fat, along with a can of fire-roasted tomatoes. Typically, I’d recommend using whole peeled tomatoes and crushing them yourself by hand, but in a recipe that has so few ingredients and even fewer steps, the convenience of pre-diced tomatoes seemed to just make sense.

Parsley stems are the only other flavoring that go into the pot.

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Because the chickpeas are already cooked, the dish really only needs to spend enough time under pressure to cook the chicken through. 15 minutes does the trick. Once the lid is cracked, you should find a thick, rich stew with tons of smoky flavor from the chorizo and paprika.

Seasoning with salt is important—food tastes flat without salt to make flavors pop—but balancing richness with acid is just as important for bright, fresh flavors. I use sherry vinegar here in staying with the Spanish theme of the flavors. Really good olive oil drizzled over the top is also a necessity.

January 2015

30-Minute Pressure Cooker Chicken With Chickpeas, Tomatoes, and Chorizo Recipe

Chorizo and paprika lend a smoky richness to this quick and hearty braise.

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

  • 8 ounces Spanish-style chorizo, cut into 1/2-inch dice

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

  • 1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1 (28ounce) can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted (such as Muir Glen)

  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), cut into 8 serving pieces, or a mix of bone-in, skin-on breasts, drumsticks, and/or thighs

  • 2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving

  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chorizo and cook, stirring, until just starting to crisp around the edges, about 2 minutes. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add paprika, chickpeas, tomatoes, chicken pieces, and stock. Season gently with salt and pepper.

  2. Seal pressure cooker and bring to high pressure. Cook for 15 minutes. Cool pressure cooker under a cold running tap (if using an electric cooker, use the quick release valve), and open. Return to high heat and cook, stirring gently, until it achieves a thick, stew-like consistency, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley and serve, drizzling with more extra-virgin olive oil at the table.

Special Equipment

Electric or stovetop pressure cooker

Read More

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  • Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs With Cabbage and Bacon
  • Crispy Braised Chicken With White Beans and Chile Verde
Nutrition Facts (per serving)


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
to 6
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 14g72%
Dietary Fiber 10g35%
Total Sugars 9g
Vitamin C 20mg102%
Calcium 126mg10%
Iron 6mg35%
Potassium 1290mg27%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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