Monday, November 26, 2012

Slow-Cooked Spanish Chicken and Chorizo (Plus Mangria!)

Ever since I moved into my big girl apartment, it has been my FANTASTY! to throw a fancy themed dinner party. And so a couple weeks ago I decided to host Spanish Supper and Sangria with Stacy, a feast of the senses complete with tapas, sangria, and even a flamenco Pandora station.

Yes, I am a huge dork. Need further evidence? Check out my table setting:

Since I am not a trained Spanish chef, most of the recipes from my party were found online, so I will just include the links to the recipes and final photos at the end of this post. I did, however, develop my own recipe for Slow-Cooked Spanish Chicken and Chorizo and Mangria (that's mango sangria!) so I will go into more detail on those. Ole!


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 lb. bulk chorizo. The ground kind, not the links.
  • 1 can artichoke hearts. The kind that are quartered...make sure to drain out the liquid.
  • 1 can white beans. Drain and rinse to get rid of the salty gloop.
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 large handfuls frozen diced onions. I suppose you could always just dice up a fresh onion, but who does that??
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar. Helps to balance out the sweetness of the tomato sauce and smokiness of the chorizo.
  • 1 tsp. paprika. You can't make Spanish food without it!
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme

Okay, okay, this isn't exactly Cooking for One. But sometimes when you live by yourself, it's fun to cook for others every once in a while! Plus, this makes for fantastic leftovers: smoky, sweet, tangy, and savory all in one hearty dish.


Heat a pot to medium high heat and crumble up your chorizo. Cook the chorizo until brown, stirring and crumbling as needed. Add in your handfuls of frozen diced onion and cook until soft and translucent.

NOTE: For some reason I can't get these pics to upload correctly even though they are not upside down on my computer. Rotate them in your imagination cause I can't figure this out...kthanx!

Add all the remaining ingredients to the pot and stir to combine. Lower the heat to medium low and let simmer until it begins to bubble.

Add your chicken breasts to a slow cooker and pour the sauce over the top, lifting up the chicken so some sauce gets underneath, too. Cook on low for 4-6 hours until the chicken is practically falling-apart-tender and your house smells like a tapas bar.

Spoon the chicken and sauce onto a plate and enjoy your Spanish feast!

Now, you can't have a Spanish dinner party without sangria. I am pretty sure there are laws against it. So, lucky you, here is a bonus recipe for Mangria!


  • Half pitcher of red wine. I filled up half a pitcher with some classy boxed red wine, so I am not sure what the actual amount was.
  • Half cup of mango vodka. More if it has been a rough day.
  • Ginger ale. However much is needed to fill up the rest of the pitcher. It's not an exact science, folks.
  • 1 orange
  • 1 apple
  • Half bag of frozen mixed tropical fruit. Should include mango...duh! No need to thaw.
This is called Mangria because it is mango sangria, but I also highly encourage you to say "What up mang!" when you serve it.


Gather together your five star classy alcoholic ingredients.

Fill your pitcher halfway up with the red wine and then add your half cup of mango vodka. Slice your orange in half and add the juice from one half.

Slice up the other orange half, dice up your apple, and add them to the pitcher with the frozen mixed fruit. Fill up the remainder of the pitcher with ginger ale.

Chill in the fridge until nice and least an hour so the fruit soaks up all the alcohol and becomes nice and boozy. Serve and enjoy!

And FINALLY, here are images and recipe links for the other menu items I served:

Roasted Seasoned Chickpeas

 Pan Con Tomate

Marinated Mushrooms

Gambas al Ajillo

Patatas Bravas with Spicy Aioli

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Maple-Orange Pecan Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

When you are a mostly broke twenty-something who came of age during the Great Recession, you learn to become a hoarder. When you work for a food marketing and innovation company, however, this can become a problem. My pantry is jam packed with a random array of sauces, spice packets, meal helpers, etc. that only made it home by merit of that fact that they were free for the taking.

I think I hit a new low when I actually brought back one of those little maple syrup jars from room service on a business trip. Yes, that's right--I took a teeny jar of maple syrup home ON THE PLANE because it was free, and hey, I figured I would use it at some point!

Well, my friends, that time has finally come.

I found this little gem in my cabinet and was immediately inspired. Dickinson's maple syrup, since 1897! The crisp autumn leaves on the label! The fancy script writing! This tiny bottle took me away from my broke-ass lifestyle and made me think I could whip up a meal worthy of supper at a manor in the English countryside, eaten with pinkies in the air. I wish.

My Maple-Orange Pecan Chicken with Sweet Potatoes was actually quite delicious, made all the better by the fact that the star ingredient was free. It is the perfect warm, comforting autumn dish. Enjoy!


  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup of orange marmalade. Packed with orangey goodness and it helps thicken the sauce.
  • 3 tbsp. orange juice
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup. I prefer the free room service variety.
  • Handful of chopped pecans. These add a lovely crunch to the chicken.
  • Big handful of frozen diced sweet potatoes. No need to thaw. Sweet potatoes are a pain to peel and cut up, so I love to buy the frozen kind instead.
  • Salt 'n Pepa to taste

Of course this recipe can be modified to accommodate more people, but as is, it is the perfect simple and easy Cooking for One sort of dinner.


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together your sauce ingredients: the marmalade, orange juice, and maple syrup.

Lay your chicken breast and frozen sweet potatoes down in a glass baking dish.

Sprinkle your chicken with Salt 'n Pepa to taste.

Drizzle your sauce over the chicken and potatoes, and then sprinkle on your handful of pecans. 

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until your chicken breast is cooked all the way through. Plate the chicken and potatoes and pour any remaining sauce over the top. That's all...pretty easy, eh? Dig in!

Do YOU have any tales of blatant food or free stuff hoarding? Share with the rest of us!