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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 fino sherry that has been aged in oak barrels and has a 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. The recipe uses a dry Amontillado so avoid any that may have been sweetened.

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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