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Frango Guisado com Cerveja e Esparguete ❦ Portuguese "One Pot" Chicken Stewed with Beer & Spaghetti

Today is the last Friday, and weekend, of summer. Fall, or autumn, if you prefer, starts on Monday. There is a definite crispness in the air. I am feeling wonderful. Fall is my absolute favourite season with spring in close second. This dish is a great weeknight dish. It is a comforting one pot meal where the chicken and spaghetti cook in the same pot, making prep and cleanup a breeze. I used canned peas and carrots to make this dish even easier, but feel free to use whatever vegetable you wish. If you use raw carrots just make sure you throw them in with the chicken to cook through. Frozen peas are great too, and can be tossed in with the pasta. I love, love, love this dish. It is on weekly rotation in our house.

You can use white or red wine if you prefer, either way the outcome is the same, DAMN DELICIOUS!!

The key to success is to have enough broth to cook pasta, but not so much that it gets diluted in flavour.

I also add a few ingredients that are not typically found in any Portuguese references, yet again this dish is a fairly new one to the Portuguese cook. Pasta has only really become mainstream, in Portugal, in the last 100 years.

The starch in the pasta will thicken the broth somewhat, that is what you want. You'll notice as the pasta cooks, the sauce begins to coat it beautifully.

Frango Guisado com Cerveja e Esparguete ❦ Portuguese "One Pot" Chicken Stewed with Beer and Spaghetti

Serves 4-6

Total time under 1 hour

500 g. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into cubes

100 g. Bacon or choriço (chorizo)

500 g. Spaghetti, (*premium not store brand, see note), whole or broken in half Do not use store brand. I used De Cecco

400g. Canned peeled plum tomatoes in juice, undrained

800 g. (2x400g.) Cans of peas and baby carrots, drained

440 ml. Beer, I used a Coors Light, White or Red wine

400 ml. Chicken stock, store bought or homemade

80 ml. Extra virgin olive oil

1 Large onion, chopped

3 Cloves of garlic, chopped

2 Bay leaves

1 tsp. Fresh ginger, chopped or 1/4 tsp. ground

2 tbsp. Pimentón dulce, Spanish sweet paprika (not smoked)

2 tbsp. Tomato paste

4 tbsp. Red wine vinegar, trust me :)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional herbs and spices below

To finish: A large bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped to taste

*Premium pastas have durum wheat and a rougher texture than store brand. This provides a much better "al dente" mouth feel, and less gummy texture when cooked.

*The following herbs and spices are additions that I add to my stew. They really elevate the flavour, especially with the quantity of liquid. Feel free to omit or add all or some, the pasta will still turn out delicious.

1 tsp. Garlic powder

1 tsp. Ground black pepper

1 tsp. Dry basil

1 tsp. Dry oregano

1 tsp. Dry marjoram

1 tsp. Onion powder

1 tsp. Turmeric powder

1. In a large stock pot on a medium/ high heat, add olive oil, bacon, onion and bay leaves. Gently sauté until bacon is crisp. It is ok for onions to brown a bit, but do not let them burn. Stir often.

2. Add chicken, garlic and fresh ginger. Let chicken sauté a bit, then add tomato paste, pimentón dulce, and vinegar. It will sizzle. Add beer, all of it, and undrained can of plum tomatoes in their juice. Add chicken stock and the *optional dry herbs/ spices I mentioned above. Cover pot, reduce heat to low /medium and let stew for approximately 30 minutes.

3. After 30 minutes, taste and adjust salt to taste. Add drained, canned peas and carrots, and spaghetti, to pot. I left my pasta whole, but you can break it in half, as my mother used to, if you wish.

With a wooden spoon, push pasta gently into broth until completely covered. Cover pot again and continue to cook on low/ medium heat, stirring often to prevent pasta from sticking together. Cook until al dente. Follow cooking times on your particular brand of pasta's packaging. I find pasta takes a bit longer when stewed this way. My spaghetti took 15 minutes.

4. After pasta is cooked, add your chopped fresh parsley and stir through. Serve immediately.

Leftovers re-heat beautifully next day...if there is any left!

Basil and coriander (cilantro) also work. Make it yours. And voila!! Portuguese one pot chicken and spaghetti.

Enjoy darlings xoxoxo

Keep those fabulous photos coming my way.

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