While the rest of Europe is still half-way through Winter, it’s been Spring here for over a week.
But the weather must be unaware of our ancient Gaelic calendar.
Met Éireann issues a weather warning every other day, or so it seems, and temperatures will hit 0 degrees again this week in Galway.
Although we love to complain about the weather to whoever is willing to listen to us, we should probably embrace the fact that we live in the Land of Winter, all year round.
We have different ways of dealing with this weather but the best way to beat the cold though is by eating hot, comforting food.
This recipe is inspired not from the Land of Winter, but from the land of the six-month summer – Spain.
The ingredients to this dish can be found in any Irish supermarket, and it should be included on every household menu alongside our traditional foods, pastas, curries, Mexican dishes, etc.
This stew / soup, often simply referred to as ‘the Spanish Dish’, is perfect for any occasion, but it’s especially welcome on the dinner table when it’s freezing outside.
Made with ingredients including lentils, chickpeas, peppers, garlic, chicken and chorizo (in Spanish, pronounced chor-eetho or chor-eeso), this dish is really easy to make.
FEEDS: 4 people TIME: 1 hour
1.5 stock cubes
200g chicken breast
3 cloves of garlic
1 large onion
1.5 red peppers
A handful of green olives
A touch of pepper
Side dish of rice / potatoes (optional)
Wine – Ribera del Duero or Rioja (optional)
How to make the ‘Spanish Dish’
Chop chorizo into 2cm slices and fry in olive oil alongside chopped red peppers. Turn occasionally and add to a bowl after 8 mins.
Chop chicken into slices and fry until cooked.
Fry chopped onions and garlic in the same pan using the same oil (which should be red from the chorizo).
Add stock cubes and 2litres of water to a separate pot with chickpeas, olives and lentils. Add chorizo, chicken, peppers, onion and garlic and the red oil from the pan. Add a glass of Ribera (optional).
Leave to simmer for 45 mins, until the stock has reduced and the lentils are soft.
Serve in large bowls with slices of any kind of fresh bread (pan basico – if you can get your hands on it – or das mehrkornbroetchen, from Germany, are probably the best).
Salt and pepper to taste.