You know we love all-things-Spanish, so it went without saying that when we saw this Spanish Shrimp and Chickpea Stew recipe from Milk Street, we were immediately intrigued. It seems at Palacio Carvajal Girón, in the Extremadura region of Spain, Milk Street staff tasted a delicious shellfish and chickpea stew that was rich and redolent with locally produced smoked paprika. Requiring both a ham- and langoustine-infused broth and made with dried chickpeas, the dish was a time- and labor-intensive preparation.
Their much-simplified version captures the essence of the stew in just a fraction of the time. It uses canned chickpeas for convenience, and the broth gets flavor from bottled clam juice and the viscous liquid from the chickpeas. A combination of Spanish smoked paprika and standard sweet paprika gives the stew deep color and earthy complexity without overwhelming the shrimp.
Don’t forget to reserve ½ cup of the liquid before draining the can of chickpeas. The liquid adds both body and flavor to the broth. When peeling the shrimp, don’t remove the tails because they also lend flavor to the broth. But do remove the tails when halving the seared shrimp so that the pieces are easier to eat in the finished stew. In all honesty, you can skip this step if you don’t mind serving the shrimp whole with tails intact.
Spanish Shrimp and Chickpea Stew
- 2 Tbsp. smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp. sweet paprika Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 Lb. extra-large (21/25 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
- 2 Tbsp. salted butter
- 1 Medium leek, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, rinsed and dried
- 4 Medium garlic cloves, minced
- 15½ Oz. can chickpeas, ½ cup liquid reserved, drained
- 8 Oz. bottle clam juice
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to serve
- In a medium bowl, stir together both paprikas and ¾ teaspoon pepper; measure 2 tablespoons into a small bowl and set aside. Add the shrimp to the paprika mixture in the medium bowl and toss to coat; set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the shrimp in an even layer; reserve the bowl. Cook without stirring until browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, return the shrimp to the bowl. In the same pot over medium, melt the butter.
- Add the leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and the reserved paprika mixture, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the chickpeas, the reserved chickpea liquid and the clam juice. Bring to a simmer, then reduce to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Meanwhile, remove the tails from the shrimp and cut each in half crosswise. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the shrimp along with accumulated juices.
- Cover and let stand until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with parsley and drizzled with additional oil.
Adapted from a recipe by Milk Street