A couple of months ago, I spent a week in London for work. It was rubbish being away from Hungry Hubby but it gave me the chance to meet up with friends and as everyone I know loves food, it was a great opportunity to eat out in London every night. Such hardship right? My bank balance wishes I’d been a tad more restrained lol. One of the stand out taste memories was from a trip to Wahaca, Thomasina Miers’ Mexican restaurant in Covent Garden, which was just around the corner from my hotel. Oh man, how much do I love the chilli, lime juice and garlic trifecta that permeates every mouthful of her food. As we had a pretty large group, there were many Mexican tapas dishes on the table but it was the refried beans with cubes of crisp, rich chorizo that I can close my eyes and taste today. Oh I am salivating as I write up my recipe for the dish I created, inspired by that wonderful, colourful, fragrant meal – my Piri Piri Chicken & Chorizo with Black Beans.
Now I do concede that Piri Piri is Portugese but the fire of the dried and ground up bird’s eye chillies in the mix really brings all the flavours of this one pan dinner together. I cook my chicken thighs a little lower and slower these days as it makes them more tender and the addition of a few little cooking chorizo means you don’t need extra oil (plus the oil that they give to the dish is rich with paprika and garlic). The black beans I use are cooked already so they break down a little to give a bit of a refried beans vibe to this dish. Crushing them a little against the sides of the pan gives a thick luscious sauce. I like to keep a kettle of recently boiled water to splash into the pan as I cook to prevent sticking and bring everything together as a cohesive dish but err on the side of caution, you don’t want to turn this into soup. If you can’t get Piri Piri seasoning (I get mine from The Spice Shop in London and I really love and recommend it) then add a teaspoon of chilli flakes, with 1/4 tsp of dried basil and oregano as an easy alternative but you can find a Piri Piri spice blend in most supermarkets now. Most have salt, lemon zest, ground bay leaves, paprika, oregano and basil (plus or minus a few other herbs and spices depending on brand) so add a pinch of this or that as you like. A bowl of ripe avocado seasoned with lime juice, sea salt and coriander is all I want to eat with it to fan the flames but this is one filling meal. A simple green salad of baby spinach leaves is the only other thing I would add.
- 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 175-200g cooking chorizo (uncooked), sliced into coins
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tsp piri piri seasoning
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- Juice of a lime
- Approx 125 ml water
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 ripe avocado lightly crushed with sea salt, lime juice and fresh coriander
- Place a sauté pan on medium heat and add the chorizo and onion. Cook for 5-10 minutes to release the oil from the sausage and soften the onion. Stir frequently to prevent it sticking.
- Push the chorizo to one side and lay the chicken thighs in the pan, add a splash of water and sprinkle over the piri piri seasoning then put a lid on the pan (or use a heat safe plate like I do!) and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down a touch if it seems too ferocious.
- Take the lid off, give the chorizo and onion a good stir and flip the chicken thighs over. Sprinkle over the black beans and add another splash of water before replacing your lid and cooking another 5-7 minutes until the chicken is cooked and tender.
- Take the lid off once more and stir the beans once more time, crushing some against the side of the pan for a refried beans vibe and if needed, add a little more of the water.
- Squeeze over the juice of a lime and sprinkle over the coriander. Serve with the avocado and extra limes to squeeze over, if liked.
- We love this just as it is but if you wanted something extra, some tender baby spinach leaves would make an excellent salad leaf that would stand up well to the richness of this dish and the big gutsy flavours.