Puchero or Olla Andalúz – Andalucían Chick Pea Stew

7 May

Well, what a weekend of e-mails many of us have had. Thanks a bunch WordPress (not!) for inundating us all. It´s been quiet on the blog front as many of us have held off from posting or commenting for fear of drowning in a sea of unwanted e-mails. Hopefully we are all daring to put our toes back in the water…but please don´t forget to remove that tick from the box below the comments one so that you don´t receive all those messages if you´re brave enough to leave messages again!

It´s been a strange weekend here too weather wise up the mountain. Saturday was like the depths of winter, Sunday got better and this week it looks as though summer is on its way with temperatures predicted in the high twenties. Feeling grey and damp on Saturday, we indulged in a big bowl of comforting Olla (pronounced Oya) or Puchero.

The word Olla in Spanish is a big cooking pot.  Often this dish is named after the pot it is cooked in. It´s a hearty, filling winter warmer that if eaten for lunch (it´s never eaten for dinner here, probably because of the “natural effects” of chick peas) will keep you going all day . This version lists the ingredients typically used locally, but also gives options for making it outside of Spain where not all of the ingredients will be so easily available. The salted bones and fat add flavour and give the broth a cloudy or white appearance, which is the sign of a good stock in Andalucía.  Clear stock, I think I´ve mentioned it previously when talking about Chicken Soup, is considered to be lacking in flavour!

If you use the salted bones, you won´t need to add much in the way of seasoning at the end. If not, add salt after the chick peas have cooked, otherwise they will never soften.

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 2 cups of dried chick peas soaked overnight in water with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda and drained
  • 2 large chicken legs and thighs (you will see that the meat in the photo is very dark as this was one of our “old boiler” cockerels…very tasty)
  • 1 piece of pork (typically here it comes from the leg or shoulder) weighing about 250g
  • Salted pork bones (replace with 2 or three pork ribs)
  • A small piece of salted pork fat (omit if you cannot find)
  • A piece of fresh or salted pork belly (with plenty of fat)
  • Optional – a few peeled carrots and sticks of celery
  • 3 or 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 small dried chillis (optional)
  • Water

Put all the ingredients into a large stock pot, pushing the meat and bones down to the bottom.  Add water to cover everything well and bring to the boil. Skim off any froth that rises to the surface during the first 10 minutes of hard boiling then reduce the heat to a very low simmer, cover and either simmer gently for about an hour and a half until the chick peas are completely tender or cook in a very low oven for 3 to 4 hours.

Remove the bay leaves, chilli, pork skin and bones, shred the meat and chop the carrots and celery if you prefer, season if necessary and serve in deep bowls with plenty of the delicious stock poured over.

Variation. Some people also add pig´s trotters to this dish, so if you enjoy them, do feel free to add. This weekend I omitted the pork fat and added celery and carrots to make it a lighter but still filling dish. My stock is probably not up to Spanish Housewife standards this time as it´s on the verge of being clear!

This is a dish which will improve and develop flavour if prepared a day ahead.


46 Responses to “Puchero or Olla Andalúz – Andalucían Chick Pea Stew”

  1. rsmacaalay May 7, 2012 at 09:33 #

    I smile when I see a name similar to a Filipino dish (most of our dishes are Spanish inspired), like this one, it makes me think the roots of our cuisine. Here is the Filipino version http://angsarap.net/2011/05/27/puchero-2/ we use baked beans

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2012 at 10:42 #

      I just checked it out – it is indeed very similar, I really need to get to the Phillipines!

  2. PendleStitches May 7, 2012 at 09:40 #

    So thats what was happening with the emails. Wretched WordPress! I’m sure a bowl of your lovely chickpeas will sooth souls troubled by technology. 😉

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2012 at 10:47 #

      Chickpeas and chicken soup soothe many of the world´s problems!

      • PendleStitches May 7, 2012 at 19:43 #

        Amen to that! We should serve it to the bloody politicians! 😉

  3. Food,Photography & France May 7, 2012 at 11:18 #

    Until John from Chicago mentioned why the flood was happening, I had believed it was some personal error of mine. I love that chick pea soup, and very nice pics. I’m now unticking the box:)

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2012 at 13:52 #

      No, we all suffered, what a pain! Thanks for the kind words Roger….

  4. niasunset May 7, 2012 at 11:38 #

    So delicious… and so good to eat chick pea… I cook with rice too… it’s been so nice… Thank you dear Chica, with my love, nia

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2012 at 13:52 #

      Oh yes, with rice it would be lovely! Thanks Nia, have a good week 🙂

  5. Piglet in Portugal May 7, 2012 at 12:56 #

    Hi Chica, liked this recipe as I adore chickpeas 🙂
    Re emails. I wondered why I’ve been recieving so many emails and reading your post I now know why. I thought I was going crazy as I’d not subscribed to comments.

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2012 at 13:53 #

      Glad you know what the problem was now – the e-mails were horrific!

  6. Mad Dog May 7, 2012 at 13:40 #

    That sounds great, especially with added pig’s trotters!

    Do email WordPress if you’d like them to change the default tick box back to how it was 😉

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2012 at 13:52 #

      Thanks MD – and I wrote to them…hopefully they´ll listen….

  7. ChgoJohn May 7, 2012 at 16:26 #

    Mmmm. That’s looks like one tasty bowl of soup, Tanya, just perfect for a chilly or damp day. And I agree with MD: add the trotters!

  8. promenadeplantings May 7, 2012 at 16:46 #

    I’m not sure if the email thingy is fixed or not, but I didn’t have a problem with it – I think I have something tocked somewhere that says don’t notify me of updates by email, and I’m wondering if that was enough to stop them, either that or they have been treated as spam?

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2012 at 19:11 #

      You are sooo lucky! Not sure what you did, but whatever it was, it was the best thing!

  9. Tandy May 7, 2012 at 17:10 #

    At first I thought it was my error! The inbox was looking tired after I commented on one post! Lovely recipe – wishing you a great week. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2012 at 19:12 #

      It was pretty awful. You can also retrospectively stop any coming in if you have forgotten to tick the box. Give me a shout if you need to know how 🙂

  10. Bluejellybeans May 7, 2012 at 18:48 #

    Wonderful recipe, Tanya! It is true that the weather lately was more winter than spring, so this dish is perfect 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2012 at 19:13 #

      And in Madrid you have the most wonderful Cocido Madrileño….gorgeous!

  11. themateriallady May 7, 2012 at 19:01 #

    I am forwarding the link for this to my darling daughter who LOVES anything with chickpeas. I will probably try it out Chez Hood if the weather continues as it is! (Someone pointed out that ‘the nights will br drawing in again in6 weeks time’. Thanks – we will probably get permadark then.)

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2012 at 19:15 #

      6 weeks? Groan! At least the days stay pretty long and light here throughout the summer but I can see how the days change by where the sun goes down each evening over our mountains 😦 My great grandmother always used to say that her favourite day of the year was 21st December as after that the days just got longer! Presumably 21st June was her least favourite 😉

  12. Fired Up Cooking SA May 7, 2012 at 19:38 #

    Oh, lovely recipe, Chica, and I adore chickpeas, so I must try this. Winter is creeping up on us (which means the days are mostly upper 20’s C at the moment 😉 ) so it will soon be time to make rich tasty soups! *saved*

    • Chica Andaluza May 8, 2012 at 12:16 #

      I still find it hard to get my head around you edging into winter and us towards summer! It´s a tasty recipe and would be lovely cooked on the braai too!

      • Fired Up Cooking SA May 8, 2012 at 19:18 #

        That’s a good idea – just the right dish for a chilly winters day in camp!!! 🙂

  13. chaiselongue1 May 7, 2012 at 23:30 #

    I almost missed this because in desperation I ticked the ‘no emails at all’ box! Glad I remembered in time and checked – this looks wonderful and perfect for this between seasons time when the evenings can be quite cool.

    • Chica Andaluza May 8, 2012 at 12:17 #

      I think we´ve all got into a tangle with these bloomin´ e-mails! Glad you liked it 🙂

  14. zestybeandog May 8, 2012 at 01:20 #

    Look hearty and delish! 🙂 I’ll have a bowl right about now, it’s almost dinner time!

    • Chica Andaluza May 8, 2012 at 12:18 #

      Would have been perfect – hope you didn´t go hungry 😉

  15. Heather @ SugarDish(Me) May 8, 2012 at 16:45 #

    I’m very angsty with WordPress right now. If I follow the blog and receive a notification when you reply to my message anyway why do they want me to automatically follow all the comments?! Grrrrr.
    Love the soup recipe, though. Looks fantastic!

    • Chica Andaluza May 8, 2012 at 19:11 #

      Me too – I have written to them and they say that the change was to “increase comment engagement and foster more discussions between commenters” rubbish eh?! Anyway, am glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  16. bitsandbreadcrumbs May 8, 2012 at 16:54 #

    That’s a bowl of comfort you have there! I really have come to love chickpeas, but have never cooked them and always used canned. This stew sounds lovely, and thanks for the warning about the “natural effects” of the chickpeas…so true and yet I hadn’t thought about NOT eating them for dinner. A great tip! 😉

    • Chica Andaluza May 8, 2012 at 19:12 #

      I never used to cook them either, but people round here grow them and looked on me in horror when I bought little tins…get yourself a big bowlful Tanya they said! I am sure the effects of a little tin would be less…er…noticeable 😉

  17. Diane Thorn May 9, 2012 at 00:59 #

    Perfect timing, Tanya. I purchased some bacon bones yesterday to make some stock. I also recently bought some dry chickpeas instead of the tinned variety so here’s the perfect recipe. Especially as winter has really kicked in now. At least it is only six weeks to the shortest day. Though our coldest weather always comes in July and August.

    • Chica Andaluza May 9, 2012 at 10:05 #

      This would be perfect then! I imagine the bacon bones would give a fantastic flavour. And here we are heading into summer…so strange!

  18. Charles May 10, 2012 at 00:16 #

    Depths of winter eh? This sure looks like the perfect dish to fend off the cold weather blues! Hope it’s looking up for you now Chica – I think it may finally start getting warmer here soon too!

    • Chica Andaluza May 10, 2012 at 09:04 #

      Since cooking and writing this, it´s turned overnight to summer. 32 degrees yesterday!

      • Charles May 10, 2012 at 10:35 #

        lol, typical 🙂

  19. Simply Tia May 13, 2012 at 14:20 #

    This stew sounds and looks like it is loaded with flavor. It also looks very comforting. Yummy.

    • Chica Andaluza May 13, 2012 at 20:39 #

      It´s funny that now the weather is hot here, a dish like this is going to be a memory for a while!

  20. Michi May 19, 2012 at 12:19 #

    Me encanta el puchero!! I think it might be cocido in Cordoba? Either way, I always enjoy a good stew!

  21. Grosir Bros April 28, 2016 at 11:20 #

    My Favorit, my family would love it if i cook it .. thanks for the info


  1. Very Slow Cooked Lamb Breast with Onions, Anchovies and Potatoes | Chica Andaluza - September 23, 2014

    […] first experiment was a chick pea dish, even though it was a hot, hot day. Delicious, the chick peas were melt in your mouth tender, […]

  2. Rendang Style Beef and time to catch up with myself… | Chica Andaluza - November 30, 2015

    […] a little more slowly for a while. Old favourites were made in the kitchen, lots of comforting chickpea stews and delicious bowls of Spanish style […]

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