Celsius Shmelsius

I always start out with the best of intentions. I see a recipe, want to cook for people I love and honestly think that I can replicate the gorgeous dish seen in the picture. And I’m usually successful. But sometimes, I skip over an ingredient or bit of instructions and suddenly I have bigger problems than where to seat people for the meal (my studio apartment isn’t exactly conducive to dinner parties, or even dinners for two).

A few days ago, I spotted this yummy recipe on 80 Breakfasts and just had to make it! I’d cooked with chorizo before when making paella and I always find that its spicy flavor adds a nice dimension to dishes. I don’t eat red meat or pork, so I swung by good ‘ole TJ’s and picked up some chicken chorizo, then headed home to assemble. It really was an amazingly easy dish to make. Everything just piles in one dish and 45 minutes later you have dinner! That is… unless you’re me.

I admit, I did skim the recipe and was not completely thorough in reading the instructions. And when it said, “Place chicken in 200C oven” I conveniently skipped over the fact that it was in Celsius. As I was putting my chicken in the oven – preheated to 200F – I did remark at the un-hotness of the oven, but I figured it must be some slow cooking recipe.

Luckily, about 10 minutes into the cooking time I decided to second guess myself and recheck the recipe. And sure enough, that damned 200C was staring back at me. Whoops. I made a mad dash for the phone as I speed dialed my mother and without saying hello, blurted, “Quick! What’s 200 degrees Celsius in Farenheit?” As she was laughing at me – partially because bake temperature is a pretty crucial part of the recipe to screw up and partially because she would totally do the same thing herself – she consulted Noreen and instructed me to turn my oven up to 400F. Crisis averted.

True, it took slightly longer to cook through than if I had started at the right temperature, but this forgiving and fantastic recipe turned out just fine. The beans absorbed all the savory liquid at the bottom of the pan and the chicken was tasty and moist.

My only question is about the chorizo. It definitely cooked through and contributed its spicy bite to the dish, but I always have issues cutting it. Uncooked, it’s a fairly mushy consistency and getting it out of its casing and keeping the original shape intact is not easy. I usually end up taking the oddly shaped lumps/slices of chorizo and patting them into circular rounds by hand. Is this common or am I doing something wrong?

Regardless, dinner was fantastic – especially paired with the lentil soup that R had made earlier in the week – and everything turned out just fine. Although I really must start paying better attention to those non-American blogs and their crazy measurements.

Chicken, Chorizo and Bean Bake
Recipe adapted from Donna Hay’s Smoked Paprika Chicken and Lemon Bake and seen on 80 Breakfasts.

4 pieces chicken
1 can white beans, drained
1/2 a lemon, sliced
1 chorizo sausage, sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 C. chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon pimentón de la vera (Spanish paprika)
Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Place drained beans in baking dish and pour chicken stock over them. Add chicken. Cover with lemons, chorizo and garlic. Drizzle olive oil over the entire thing. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper to taste.

Cook in 400 degree F oven for 45 minutes or until chicken is done.

Yield: 2 servings

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  • http://onceuponafeast.blogspot.com Ruth

    I love Donna Hay recipes…so easy, so delicious – perfect every time!

    As for using the meat out of the casings…part of chorizo’s charm, aside from the tons of spicy paprika and garlic is the varied textures…some finely chopped, some minced, and some chunks. I wouldn’t worry about trying to get the patties really flat.

    Personally, I usually broil the sausages first and add the cooked slices to the dish towards the end of the cooking.

  • http://aloshaskitchen.blogspot.com melissa

    totally new kind of recipe for me – I’d love to try it!

    and thanks for sharing your mishap. honestly, it always makes me feel better to read that other people make mistakes here and there. :)

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  • http://www.chewonthatblog.com Maxine

    Ruth – thanks for the advice! The chorizo still doesn’t hold its form as well as I’d like, but maybe that’s because I use chicken.

    Melissa – glad my mishap made you feel better. I’ll try to keep ‘em coming! :)

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  • http://Recipes4living MScott

    There’s two kinds of chorizo. One is a dry, air cured sausage that only needs chopping. I think that is the “Spanish” choirizo used in paella. The other is a moist ground meat, fresh sausage similar to American breakfast sausage (only with lots of paprika and garlic instead of sage). Either would work in this recipe, but if you wanted neat little chunks of sausage, the dry chorizo would probably be better.

  • http://www.chewonthatblog.com Maxine

    Thank you MScott – that definitely makes sense. I’m sure I’ve been using the fresh sausage rather than the dried one. I’ll have to lookout for that in the future. Thanks for the helpful comment!

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