I know this dish probably doesn't look like much. It's lumpy and kind of monotone (my wife charitably commented, once I'd put it into bowls, that "it looks kind of like prison food"). But like people, all dishes can't be attractive, and certainly not everything that's tasty has to be good-looking. This is one of those dishes, which I found on the blog Garlic Makes it Better, and it's true to its source: plenty of garlic and onion softened in glorious red-hued chorizo fat, aromatic spices like cumin, and a nice mix of textures from the creamy chickpeas to caramelized bits of sausage.
Once the chorizo is crumbled and cooked off, the dish proceeds much like a curry, the spices toasting and marrying in fat to create a powerful base of flavor for the dish. From there, it's just a matter of adding the rest of the ingredients and allowing them to cook and soak up flavor. The result is satisfying, flavorful, easy to prepare, and very economical. And makes great leftovers.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 pound fresh chorizo, meat removed from casing
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
- 1 15-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
- 1 cup cous cous
- Freshly chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish (optional)
In a pan large enough to hold all the ingredients, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the chorizo, breaking up in the pan as it cooks, until it has released its oil into the pan and is fully cooked and beginning to crisp. Remove, leaving the oil in the pan, and reserve.
Add the onion to the pan and cook for a few minutes until beginning to soften, then add the garlic. Cook until the onion is soft, then add the spices and cook for an additional minute to marry the flavors. Pour in the tomatoes, chickpeas, and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the chorizo and cous cous and season to taste with salt. Simmer until the cous cous is cooked through and liquid is absorbed (depending on the size and brand of the cous cous, more water may be necessary). Allow to cool a little before serving. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro, if desired.