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Substitute For Amontillado Sherry In Chorizo And Chickpea Stew

Asked by Spongey. Answered on 28th January 2019

Full question

I would like to make Nigella's Chorizo and Chickpea Stew but don't have (don't like) amontillado sherry. What could I used instead? Have the basic spirits in the cupboard and often some wine on the go.

Chorizo and Chickpea Stew
Photo by Lis Parsons
Chorizo and Chickpea Stew
By Nigella
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Our answer

Nigella's Chorizo And Chickpea Stew (from KITCHEN) is a dish that is quick to make but with good flavour thanks to the spicing of the chorizo. Amontillado sherry is a dry sherry that has been aged in oak barrels and is slightly more fortified (slightly higher alcoholic content) than lighter fino sherries. Amontillado has an oaky and slightly nutty flavour, which also adds to the flavour of the stew.

A dry Marsala wine would be the closest substitute as this is also fortified and barrel aged, otherwise you could use a dry Madeira. Once opened Madeira and Marsala wines keep quite well so they are useful to have on hand for cooking as you can add a splash to gravies and other stews. If you have brandy in your drinks cupboard then this would be the next option. It has a much higher alcohol content than sherry and other fortified wines, so make sure that you do let it simmer until almost fully evaporated otherwise the stew may have a slightly harsh edge to it.

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