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 which I'll share over the next couple days. 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.
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.
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 an intense chickeniness.
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.
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