Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ragu of Chicken and Chorizo over Mozzarella Mashed Potatoes

I was talking the other day with a friend who's birthday is on Halloween. Being an Autumn baby has created a lifelong love of the season for her and for the comforting nature of its food; and listening to her talk sparked a desire in me to get back to the kitchen.

October and November are my busy times and there's something to be said about the stress relief that occurs when we return to the kitchen after a long day, pour a glass of wine, put on some music, and take the time to make something comforting and delicious like today's dish.


A ragu is a slow simmered sauce featuring meat and tomatoes that is traditionally served over pasta. But on chilly Autumn evenings, sometimes nothing will do but mashed potatoes.

With that in mind I created a delicious Kitchen Witch twist on an old classic!

 This easy to prepare pantry dish features Spanish chorizo sausage that was purchased pre-cooked. Chorizo sausage is available two ways: as raw sausage that you would cook yourself, or as a cured meat - which is what we will be using in this recipe as it adds a wonderfully sweet and smoky flavour to the dish. It can be found in the deli section of your grocery store and is a wonderful ingredient to have on hand.

Another interesting ingredient I added to this recipe is smoked paprika, a spice I have just recently become familiar with that is another great addition to your spice rack or pantry.

So put on some comfy clothes, open the wine, and let your senses soar as your home and kitchen are filled with the rich aromas of this lovely ragu. It's a wonderful way to toast the season!

Chicken and Chorizo over Mozzarella Mashed Potatoes
For printable recipe click HERE
Prep time: 30 min/ Cook time: 60 min/ Serves 4

















Ingredients

For the Ragu
  •  1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 1/2 cup pre-cooked Spanish chorizo sausage diced small
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 onion sliced into thin rings
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 1 540 ml can Aylmer's Accents Garlic and Olive Oil flavoured tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
For the Potatoes
  • 4 large, or 6 medium, russet potatoes that have been peeled and quartered
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions

For the Ragu
  1. Saute the onion and chicken in the olive oil over medium heat until the onion is golden and caramelized and the chicken is cooked through.
  2. Add the diced chorizo, olives, salt, paprika, garlic and cayenne powder.
  3. Add the red wine and let it reduce until the alcohol is cooked off.
  4. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf. Stir, cover, and turn heat to a low simmer. Let simmer for 60 minutes stirring occasionally.
For the Potatoes
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove as much of the outer paper on the garlic as possible while leaving the heads intact. Slice off the top (1/4-inch to 1/2-inch). Drizzle olive oil over the exposed garlic, and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  2. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, add 1 teaspoon salt, cover with cold water. Bring the to a boil, and then simmer the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Warm the milk and melt the butter together in the microwave. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Squeeze the roasted garlic into the potatoes and begin mashing. Add the milk and butter and mash until the potatoes are fluffy.
  4. Fold in the cheese
  5. Taste for salt and pepper and add some if needed.
Serve the ragu over the potatoes and enjoy!

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