Pan-roasted hake with chorizo and chickpea stew

Bonjour à tous ! We’re in that pre-spring “confused weather” stage at the moment, it’s lovely to see the sun doing it’s best but what to eat?!

I do a lot of quite warming dishes at this time of year, nothing too heavy but slightly warming to get us through those chilly evenings. Here is a compromise, a hearty chickpea & chorizo stew with a the lovely sweet soft white meat that hake gives you. I love hake, it’s just about strong enough to sit happily alongside the spicy stew but has a milder, almost sweeter flavour than cod, and certainly better value in my opinion.

Ben James, Mirabeau Kitchen Chef

To bring it all together I used Mirabeau Classic which is unbelievably good this year, it’s robust enough to stand up to the spice but a lovely fresh acidity that picks out the hake perfectly. Bon appétit !

For the Chorizo and Chickpea Stew

  • 1 piece of Chorizo in large slices (250g)
  • 2 red onions sliced
  • 1 celery stick chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds ground
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds ground
  • 80ml Mirabeau Classic
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 2 tins cooked chickpeas rinsed and drained (net weight 440g)
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 handful parsley
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • Olive oil, salt & pepper

For the fish

  • 2 hake fillets, skin scored
  • 40g butter
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2/3 cloves of garlic

Method

Start by frying the chorizo in a heavy based pan. Once browned remove the chorizo whilst leaving some of the fat still in the pan. Fry off the spices in the pan then add the onion and celery with a sprinkle of salt and cook for a few minutes or until softened then add the garlic and herbs and cook for another minute.

Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce until nearly gone then add the tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to the boil, turn to a low heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas, cook for a further 5 minutes and keep warm. When ready to serve add a good squeeze of lemon juice (probably a whole lemon) and season with salt & pepper to taste… don’t be shy. Stir in a good handful of chopped parsley at the last moment.

Meanwhile put a frying pan on a medium high heat for the fish. Ensure the fish skin is dry and then season with olive oil and salt. Drizzle some olive oil in the pan and fry the fish skin side down for 2-3 minutes, once the skin is browned nicely flip the fish and cook for a further minute, add the thyme, garlic & butter and baste the fish until cooked. You should be able to poke the fish with a skewer and feel no resistance. If you feel the fish is still a little firm keep it on the heat for another minute. Remove and rest for a couple of minutes whilst you plate the stew, serve the fish on top and garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

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