Basil Chicken with Chorizo Sauce

I've been lobbing recipes into this blog for over 14 years now and, since I must be running out of things to say and original things to cook, I thought that 2024 should be the opportunity to gather up the few recipes that I've been meaning to get round to (or haven't got quite right yet) before I finally shut up once and for all. So, first off, here's a recipe that I've had hanging round for many years but never posted. That might be because it's a bit odd or it might be just because I've never managed to get a good photo of it. Oh well, here goes anyway. 

The sauce was (indirectly) inspired by a dish from Les Rosiers restaurant in Biarritz, although their food is a lot more sophisticated than anything you'll find here. Sadly, I've never been near the place, but, many years ago, I saw it featured in an episode of the now defunct TV show 'Les Escapades de Petitrenaud'. Over the years since I first made this dish, I've come to the conclusion that a good sobrasada can be even nicer than chorizo in this sauce, but use whichever you can lay your hands on.

The sauce is very powerful so a small amount will go a long way. I tend to think of it as a sort of meaty ketchup.  In contrast, the chicken has a more subtle flavour and can be eaten hot or cold. This will give you enough chicken for 2 or 3 people but you'll probably have some sauce left over to give other dishes a flavour boost. Basil Chicken with Chorizo Sauce
For the Basil Chicken:
     6 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
     For the dressing:
          3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
          1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
          1 tbsp runny honey
          A generous handful of basil leaves

Whiz all the dressing ingredients together in a blender or processor until smooth and thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan). Coat the chicken thighs evenly with the dressing. Place the thighs in a deep oven tray (on foil if you want to save on washing up – honey tends to stick very tenaciously). Cover the tray with a sheet of foil and place in the oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove the foil lid and place the tray back in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until browned and very tender.

For the chorizo sauce:
     130 g chorizo (or sobrasada) (the spicier the better for me, but you may not agree)
     350 g tomatoes (you could use tinned, but don't use too much juice)
     1 garlic clove
     1 small or ½ large onion
     1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus a small splash for the pan

Peel the chorizo and cut into small cubes (if you're using sobrasada, then you won't need to cut it up and add it to the sauce later at the same time as the tomatoes). Cut the tomatoes into small cubes. Peel the onion and garlic and chop very finely.

Put a splash of oil in a pan and add the chorizo and onion. Fry gently until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and continue frying gently for a minute or so. Add the tomatoes and cook very gently for 20 minutes. Don't let the mixture dry out – add a little water if it seems to be heading that way.

Stir in the extra-virgin olive oil and whiz the mixture thoroughly in a processor or blender. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve. You should end up with an intensely flavoured, meaty, spicy and reasonably thick sauce.

Serve the chicken either with a dollop or a small, dipping dish of the warmed chorizo sauce. Roast or sautéed potatoes and a green salad should go down well alongside.


  1. Sounds delicious I will be trying it next week thank you

    1. Thanks. I know some people don't like the idea of a meat sauce with chicken but I enjoy it.

  2. It sounds delicious to me too, although it would have to be a mild chorizo for me I'm afraid.
    I don't like the sound of you "shutting up once and for all" though and hopefully that won't be any time soon.

    1. Well, I'm not sure that I ever had very many original things to say and I must have said pretty much all of them by now. But there a few bits and pieces to add.


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