Many of the dishes I cook are adapted from my mother's Portuguese classics. I will tweak them and change them, very often, into completely new dishes. There are however a few that need no such tweaks, who are so perfect and delicious, that anything more would destroy the dish. This is one of those dishes. Nope, I don't dare change a thing. The smell down the sidewalk, as I walked home from school, was unmistakably my mother's cooking. This one gets oohs and ahhs, every time.This humble recipe is on weekly rotation in my house, as it is comforting both in the winter and summer. It is the quintessential year round dish.
Can it get more satisfying than a big bowl of spaghetti cooked in sauce with tender chicken, beer and tomatoes? I think not! One pot, 40 minutes...bliss.
Portuguese One Pot Chicken with Beer, Peas, Carrots and Spaghetti ❦ Frango Estufado com Cerveja, Ervilhas, Cenouras e Esparguete
1 Free range, organic chicken,1.3-1.5 kg., skin on and cut into 8 pieces ( 2 legs, 2 thighs, breast in half then each halved again so you have 4 pieces of breast )
Remove back bone and reserve, add to pot to flavour sauce later. I do not add the wings, but feel free to do so.
130 g. Chouriço, diced into small cubes
500 g. Spaghetti
350 g. Peas, I like the frozen, Petit pois, variety
500 ml. Chicken stock, plus 1 cup of extra chicken stock, in case you need to adjust later
60 ml. Extra virgin olive oil
2 Carrots, small cubed (this gives you a piece with every bite) See my chef tip below :)
1 Large onion, diced
4 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Can/tin chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 (33 cl) Beer, Pale lager variety
1 tbsp. Double concentrate tomato paste
1 tsp. Crushed chilli flakes (optional)
2 tbsp. Sweet smoked paprika, pimenton-dulce
3 Bay leaves
2 tbsp. Red wine vinegar
1 Parsley bunch, fresh (100 g.)
Optional Tip: Seperate stalks and leaves from parsley, finely chop stalks and add them to sauce. Reserve chopped leaves to finish the dish.
1 tbsp. Sea Salt, plus more to taste and rectify later
Pepper to taste
1. In a stock pot on medium heat, sauté the onion and chouriço in the olive oil until onions turn a light golden colour and chouriço is fragrant. Add chicken pieces, skin side down, (except back bone) sauté until skin turns golden. Stir to prevent burning.
2. Add tomato paste and let fry gently, about 30 seconds, while stirring. Add salt, about 1-tbsp. for now, you will adjust it later. Add pepper, parsley stalks (optional), bay leaves, garlic, chilli flakes (if using), paprika, red wine vinegar, tomatoes, beer and 500 ml. of chicken stock. Now you can place the chicken back bone you reserved into the sauce to boost flavour.
Crank heat up and bring to the boil. Once boiling, lower heat to low.
Cover pot and let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. After 15 mins. add carrots. Cover and simmer 10 minutes more.
Carrots are cut into tiny cubes uniformly to cook faster.
Chef tip: I buy carrot batons/sticks and cut into cubes. Super fast.
No peeling and already perfectly square :)
Parsley stalks, separated to add flavour to sauce, reserved leaves will finish the dish, preserving their taste and bright green hue.
3. Remove backbone and discard. Chicken sauce level should resemble a stew. If it has evaporated too much, add another cup of chicken stock or hot water. Taste sauce now and rectify salt to taste.
4. Add peas to pot.
Grab half of the spaghetti and break in half like picture below. This makes it fit, cook and eat better :)
Add to pot, repeat with remaing spaghetti. Push the spaghetti down into the sauce, being careful not to break it. Sauce should cover all pieces. Cover and let cook undisturbed on a low heat for 12-14 minutes. After 12 minutes, stir and taste spaghetti for doneness. Add parsley and stir through.
Serve in the pot, and let everyone help themselves!
This is what your sauce level should look like.