This one-pot chicken with chorizo and Nduja bake makes such a beautiful family meal. Delicious and quick to make, perfect for that end of a long exhausting day. One of these days when you come home and you just want to have a delish comfort meal. A meal that is ready in no time and takes little prep to get to the table. I am always up for such dishes and I am sure you are too.
What is Nduja sauce or paste?
Nduja (pronounced en-DOO-ya) is a Calabrian ( the toe of Italy’s boot) speciality. The origins of this speciality are a little shadowy. It is believed it arrived in the area when Napoleon conquered Naples, to the north, in 1806 and since, it was a poor man’s version of andouille sausage. Some were making this paste with pork fat and some pretty odd animal bits like, ground lungs spiced very well with the local fiery chillies, make it into a sausage which was then aged or smoked.
Truthfully, the original recipe, whatever that was, is no longer followed and this is mainly I believe because nduja paste was super spicy. The recipe nowadays varies from kitchen to kitchen. It is very good to find a good source for a nice and tasty nduja paste to use.
In the US, for example, Iowa’s La Quercia makes its nduja paste a bit unconventionally, with prosciutto, speck, coppa, and chillies. Chicago’s ‘Nduja Artisans make their nduja from fatback, pork shoulder and add chillies, a lot less than Calabrians do, so it is not so spicy.
Where can I find Nduja paste?
Well, it really depends on where you are in the world. Look in the local shops, supermarket or some local artisan shops, especially the Italian ones, most likely will have this.
Here in London, UK, we can find it in any supermarket, it is made by some brands but I find that the best are the ones made by some artisan shops ( I have found a really good one in Hampstead) that have a very good and delicious Nduja paste. The best one I have tasted so far.
Why This Recipe Works?
- The Nduja paste adds that spicy, smoky quality to the dish;
- The creamy sauce adds that perfect creaminess and richness;
- It takes under 60 minutes to make, meaning this could be that perfect weeknight meal;
- It is a one-pot meal which means less washing up ;-).
One-pot meals, in general, are wonders, such time savers and fuss-free to cook. This one-pot chicken, chorizo and nduja dish is that perfect meal for any time in the year, particularly great for cold season.
I have used chorizo not only for a nice flavour but also for a really nice deep red colour.
Chorizo is a really nice ingredient to add to this dish. It gives a great flavour as well as colour but if you do not like it or cannot eat chorizo, replace it with an andouille or any sausage you like. You may want to add some paprika to achieve that nice deep red colour.
Cooking means and time:
I have started off cooking this on the stove and finished it in the oven to reduce the juices nicely and cook the chicken and the potatoes to perfection. It can, however, be made just on the stove or just in the oven, however you wish or fancy. I chose to make it using both means because I had time but if the time it’s not on your side, place all in one pot and allow it to bake for approximately 45 min at 190°C or 375°F.
If you don’t have a skillet you can use any tray or ovenproof dish the size you desire.
I personally love cooking in a skillet, the food tastes clearly different and that’s a lot better I’d say. Here are some other skillet dishes to enjoy or why not try this Thai style roast chicken, absolutely delicious too.
How to serve this ?
This one-pot chicken, chorizo and nduja bake is best to serve with couscous, rice or a nice crusty bread. Absolutely delicious and what comfort food should be all about.
It is also delicious served with a nicely al-dente cooked pasta like fettuccine, fusilli, rigatoni, spaghetti, linguini (my favourite), pasta penne or orzo (kids’ favourite).
- For more spice, add some Cajun seasoning or some red chilli fresh or dry flakes.
- Brown the chorizo first helps to add a rich flavour and colour to the dish. Skip this if you are in a hurry, but I highly recommend doing it for the best colour and flavour.
- Remove excess fat released from cooking the chicken and the chorizo with one or two paper towels. It can be a little too oily otherwise for some.
Let’s get cooking folks, apron on, chopping board out, spirits high and let’s get all the fun started.
One pot chicken, chorizo and nduja bake
- chopping board
- 4 chicken legs cleaned and trimmed of excess fat
- 100 ml creme fraîche or heavy cream
- 400 g potato small salad potatoes
- 250 g mushrooms
- 200 g chorizo diced into small cubes
- 200 ml chicken stock
- 2-3 tbsp Nduja sauce or paste mixed into the chicken stock *
- 1 onion or leek roughly chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 tsp black Pepper freshly ground
- Pre-heat the oven at 190°C or 375°F.
- Place the skillet on medium fire and brown the chicken legs on both sides for about three minutes on each side. Add the chorizo, sliced or cubed. Cook, stirring ocasionally for approximately 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove the ecess fat (see tips).
- Add the thoroughly washed potatoes (leave skin on), the sliced mushrooms and cook covered for about 5 minutes occasionally tossing these around.
- Add the garlic, onion or leek and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. You should have some oil from the chicken but the chorizo will also release some which you can reduce by absorbing some with a paper towel. See recipe notes.
- Add the chicken stock mixed with the Nduja sauce or paste, the heavy cream (creme fraiche) and some of the thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Leave some thyme sprigs for garnishing.
- Place the skillet in the oven and allow the stock to reduce for about 30-35 min.
- When juices are reduced to the desired level, take out of the oven and get ready to serve.
- Serve it with a nice rustic bread, on rice, bulgur or couscous and with some nice boiled green beans, broccoli, asparagus or whatever greens you like or fancy. Enjoy!