Jose Pizarro’s Olive-It Cooking Class:
Regular readers of London-Unattached will know I am in the middle of moving house. And, I’ve just come back from a series of wonderful but exhausting press trips to Oman, India and Sri Lanka. So, it has to be something special to persuade me to leave my chaotic packing and venture out for a cookery class. Jose Pizarro for me was one of the unmissable events that I’ve been invited to recently. I love his bar and restaurant in Bermondsey and am a huge fan of his style of Spanish cookery. And, as it happens I do like olives too!
Just as well, because each of the three dishes we made included olives from Spain. The first – an anchovy stuffed Gordal olive, marinaded in olive oil, lemon zest and oregano was simple and something I can easily see myself doing at home.
The final dish, a rather elegant monkfish wrapped in Serrano ham and stuffed with black olives, thyme, garlic and anchovy would make a fabulous special occasion dish.
But the dish I am most likely to make again was a chicken stew with tomatoes, chorizo and black olives. Rich and comforting, I managed to eat my way through a large bowl of this despite still feeling jet lagged.
So, I’m sharing the recipe we were given – it may just inspire you to try at home. Although we used chunks of chicken here I think it would work very well with chicken portions too – thighs, wings or bone on breast. You’d just need to adjust the timing a bit – I’d probably add the chicken portions at the same time as the tomatoes and stock.
- 100 g Black Olives
- 1 kg Chicken Breast and thigh meat, cut into 2cm cubes
- 4 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 200 ml Red Wine
- 2 Medium Onions Chopped
- 6 cloves Garlic Finely chopped
- 125 g Chorizo Sliced
- 2 teaspoons Sweet Paprika
- 1 can Chopped tomatoes
- 300 ml Chicken Stock
- 3 sprigs Thyme leaves removed and stalks discarded
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 3 tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Tomato Puree
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Flat Parsley Chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then brown in batches in a large casserole, using half the oil
- Add the remaining oil to the pan along with the chopped onions and fry gently for 15 minutes till lightly brown. Add the garlic and chorizo and fry for 2-3 minutes more
- Add the wine to the pan, continue cooking, using a wooden spoon to scrape the base of the pan and add back all the caramelised juices
- Stir in the paprika and cook for a minute, then add the tomato puree, tomatoes, chicken stock, thyme and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
- Add the chicken to the casserole and cook for a further 10 minutes
- Put the sherry vinegar and caster sugar in a small pan and boil till reduced to 1 tablespoon of liquid.
- Add the sherry reduction and olives into the casserole and simmer for a further 10 minutes
- Check and adjust the seasoning and finish with fresh parsley. Serve with chunks of crusty bread
As with every cookery event I picked up new tips and skills
Here’s the lovely Jose showing us how to chop onions
Many thanks to Olive It for hosting this event. You can follow them on twitter at @Oliveit_UK or on facebook, www.facebook.com/oliveit_uk for more olive recipes and your chance to win a place at one of their special events