Cazuela means casserole in Spanish and this rustic dish is a classic one pot meal, half chicken soup, half stew. Pumpkin, potatoes and corn are a traditional part of cazuela,  and green vegetables can vary with the season.

Serves 4-6

  • l chicken, cut in 8 pieces, or 8 chicken drumsticks
  • l onion, sliced
  • water
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 medium potatoes, quartered (about 675g/1½lb)
  • 140g/5oz/¾ cup rice
  • 450g/1lb piece pumpkin, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 4 ears yellow corn, cut across into 3 pieces
  • 170g/6oz/2 cups green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • large soup pot

1. Trim any fat from the chicken, leaving some skin for richness. Put pieces in the pot with the onion, water to generously cover, salt and pepper. Add the lid, bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes.

2. Add the potatoes, rice, pumpkin and corn with more water to cover and stir to mix everything together. Cover and continue simmering until the chicken, rice and vegetables are nearly tender, 15-20 minutes longer.

3. Add the green beans and continue simmering until tender, 7-10 minutes. At the end of cooking, the chicken, rice and vegetables should be very tender, almost falling apart. Stir the cilantro into the broth, taste and adjust seasoning. Serve the stew in soup bowls with spoons, knives and forks.

Getting Ahead: Cazuela can be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and, as you can imagine, it improves each time you reheat it. Add the cilantro just before serving.

On the Side: Cornbread to absorb the broth?see recipe for Anadama, a hearty cornbread flavored with molasses.

In the Glass: A glass of good beer, and these days you can probably find one from South America.

From Good Food No Fuss by Anne Willan, 2003
Photo CREDIT: Simon Wheeler