RECIPE

Spanish Chicken and Sausage Penne

Chicken and chorizo plus onions, mushrooms and peppers simmered in a saffron-sherry broth tossed with pasta and topped with Manchego cheese will please both Italian and Spanish tastebuds.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • A generous pinch of saffron threads (about 24 threads)
  • Salt
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
  • 2 large red frying peppers or medium red bell peppers
  • 1/2 pound Spanish-style chorizo, casing removed and chopped
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, diced into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 pound button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or grated
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 1 chili pepper, such as red Fresno, Holland or cherry pepper varieties, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes or diced tomatoes with chilies (14 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Manchego cheese, freshly grated or shredded, for topping

Preparation

Place the stock and saffron in small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and reduce the stock by half a cup to concentrate the flavor, 15 minutes or so.

Place a pot of water on to boil for pasta. Once boiling, salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente.

Char the peppers over a gas flame or under the broiler until the skins blacken. Place the peppers in a bowl to cool and cover with plastic wrap. Once cool, peel, seed and chop.

Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of EVOO in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and brown. Remove and reserve. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet, season with thyme, salt and pepper, then brown. Remove to the plate with chorizo. Add another drizzle of EVOO to the pan and the mushrooms. Brown the mushrooms alone for 5 minutes, then add the onion, garlic, bay leafe and chili pepper. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes more. Deglaze the pan with sherry, then slide the reserved chicken and chorizo back in. Add the roasted red peppers, tomatoes, parsley and reduced stock.

Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce. Serve in shallow bowls with an extra drizzle of EVOO on top and lots of Manchego cheese.

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Rachael Ray