I’m not going to lie, this recipe was heavily influenced by THIS recipe that I saw for Chorizo and White Bean Stew in Bon Appetit Magazine. I decided it need to be Chorizo, White Bean, and Fennel Stew instead! Now I’m not a world class chef, but there’s rarely a recipe that I look at and think, “I’m going to make that EXACTLY the way they tell me to”. It likely has more to do with my authority figure issues than any cooking skills I may or may not possess!
What initially caught my eye was the combo of Chorizo and White Beans. It kind of reminded me of touring in Toulouse, France and eating cassoulet. Either that, or weiners and beans…take your pick!
Chorizo, White Bean, and Fennel Stew
(makes 4 portions)
2-4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (cooking grade)
1 lb spicy Italian chorizo sausage (~6-8)
1 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large or 2 small bulbs of fennel, halved and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 cup finely chopped kale, ensuring the tough inner leaf stem has been removed
2 cans (14 oz) cannelini beans, drained and well rinsed, with 1/4 c. reserved and crushed to thicken stew
3 cups chicken stock (I like Imagine Organic chicken stock in the carton)
sea salt and pepper to taste
more extra virgin olive oil (good grade)
smoked paprika to sprinkle on top
1) In a large pot, add the olive oil and the chorizo sausage. Brown and keep the sausage in the pot until just cooked through. Remove and place on paper towel to drain off excess fat. When cool, slice into 3/4″ rounds.
2) In the same pot, adding more olive oil if necessary, saute the onion and fennel until caramelized (about 8-10 minutes and requires constant watching to ensure they don’t burn). When a nice browned color has been achieved, add the garlic and stir until it is translucent.
3) Pour the rinsed beans, except the reserved 1/4 c. crushed beans, and the stock into the pot. Add back the sausage and the chopped kale. Heat thoroughly until the kale is soft then stir in the reserved crushed beans and allow the stew to heat a few more minutes until the stock starts to thicken . Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
4) Ladle into individual bowls and top with a drizzle of good quality extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika (don’t skip this step or try to substitute regular paprika, it’s really not the same).
So what did I do different than Bon Appetit you ask? Well, they didn’t use fennel…at all! Since Italian sausage usually has fennel in it, and I wanted to include more veggies, I thought the flavors would compliment each other and give the dish a little more texture. They also did not caramelize their onion (and my fennel that they forgot), which I thought made for a pale presentation (and that’s never appetizing!). Plus, they used spinach instead of kale. If you want to eat this stew this beyond the first 30 seconds after the spinach is added, or for leftovers, the ability for spinach to hold its texture and color is fleeting (which is probably why they tossed a few raw leaves on top of the stew for the camera to capture). The kale was a nice bright green, even on day two…which is when the above picture was taken! It also held it’s texture, even though it was softened by cooking.
Now I really want to try this with other types of sausage (of course! lol). Anyone have any suggestions on how YOU would change this up? Or authority figure issues????
From my house and home to you and yours!