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‘Migas’ with chickpeas, chorizo and cabbage

Migas with chickpeas and cabbage

‘Migas’ are a traditional Portuguese and Spanish dish that was created by shepherds who, as they went to the fields to look after their flock, had little more than stale bread and wild garlic to cook with. The story goes that the tradition stands and that they still cook the dish today.

This is so traditional Portuguese/Spanish, even the sterner connaisseur of Iberian foods would agree. And it’s proper peasant food! Is there anything more authentic? As usual, garlic and olive oil feature abundantly and it is surprisingly simple to make.

Migas with chickpeas and cabbage

The actual ‘migas’ part are the breadcrumbs (the word “migas” comes from the Spanish word “migajas”, meaning breadcrumbs), which are usually fried in olive oil with garlic. But there are lots of ingredients that are added to make many different recipes. For example in Alentejo (southern region of Portugal) where the dish is famous, migas are always cooked with pork meat. In Andaluzia in Spain migas are cooked with fennel and a kind of pancetta. There are even recipes for sweet migas. This means you can be creative and that you know you will have a migas dish with a wide variety of ingredients. Take a peek at your food cupboard and I bet you can make it right now.

If you can get hold of Portuguese cornbread you are in for a winner, but any type of bread will do and if it’s 2 or 3 days old then even better. I went for a lovely honey and sunflower seeds loaf as I wanted a touch of sweetness and the seeds also add texture. And I didn’t have any Portuguese cornbread šŸ™

Honey and sunflower seed batard

 

Fresh breadcrumbs for migas

I assume sourdough will work well too but as I said, don’t let this be an issue and just use any bread you have laying around at home. What you want is something to suck that garlicky oil and make a moist base for the dish.

It is often the case that migas are cooked with some kind of cabbage (e.g. kale) and potentially a bean of some sort. In this recipe I chose chickpeas just because I love them. I also added chorizo for a bit of smoky zing (yes, because I love chorizo too and many Iberian regions use it in migas dishes) and sunflower seeds for crunch. To top it all up I went for a southern influence and sprinkled some shopped coriander. As for the cabbage I didn’t use kale, I went for English Sweetheart, which was sleeping in my fridge.

Swettheart cabbage

In this recipe I cooked the cabbage first separately before adding to the rest of the ingredients because they take less time to cook and I wanted the cabbage soft. I think if you add the cabbage raw to the breadcrumbs mix and cook it for the time it takes to complete the dish, it will dominate in terms of crunchiness and flavour. Remember, the breadcrumbs are the star.

So all you need is stale bread, garlic and oil. Plus a leafy brassica. And a bit of interest with a bean or pulse of some sort, some nuts and herbs and some salty cured meat (chorizo, pancetta, bacon) unless you want to keep it vegetarian.  I bet it will be delicious with a fried egg on top (I would eat anything with a fried egg on top, to be honest).

MIgas ingredients

It really is simple to make and you can put it together with lots of combinations of ingredients. In the end you get a delicious side dish with lots of honesty. I love honest food and migas are just that!

Migas with chickpeas and cabbage

 

 

'Migas' with chickpeas, chorizo and cabbage
Print Recipe
A peasant traditional Iberian dish of fried breadcrumbs cooked with cabbage, chorizo, chickpeas, sunflower seeds and coriander.
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
'Migas' with chickpeas, chorizo and cabbage
Print Recipe
A peasant traditional Iberian dish of fried breadcrumbs cooked with cabbage, chorizo, chickpeas, sunflower seeds and coriander.
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and cut it in half. Separate the leaves and cut the thick stalky bits out. Roll the leaves in a cylinder and cut finely so you get cabbage julienne. Heat a small sauce pan in medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil, the butter and when it's melted add the cabbage.
    Sweetheart cabbage cooking with oil
  2. Turn the heat up slightly and fry the cabbage for a good 10 minutes, then add the white wine to deglaze. Season with salt. Turn the heat right down to a minimum and cover. Leave to cook for 10 minutes. Drain the cabbage and set aside.
    Sweetheart cabbage cooked
  3. Chop the garlic into slices and the chorizo into quarters. In a large frying pan add 1 tbsp olive oil, the garlic cloves in slices and the chorizo and leave to cook on medium heat for 5 minutes to flavour the oil. Then remove the garlic slivers.
    Garlic and chorizo for migas
  4. Add the breadcrumbs (made using a food processor until coarse) and fry them for about 10 minutes or until they have absorbed most of the fat and start toasting. Add the drained chickpeas and mix well. Cook them for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
    Adding chickpeas to migas
  5. Add the cabbage and the sunflower seeds and warm through. Adjust the salt and add fresh black pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander and serve.
    Migas with chickpeas and cabbage
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2 Comments

  • Reply karrie @ Tasty Ever After August 21, 2015 at 17:39

    I’ve already pinned this recipe because will be making it next week, for sure!! I have some chorizo in the freezer that I just bought earlier this week at a local farm so can’t wait to try it in this dish. Lovely recipe and site!

    • Reply The Copper Kettle August 23, 2015 at 11:24

      Hi Karrie,

      Migas are a wonderful thing and so simple! If you do make them, please let me know how you get on and any suggestions you may have. Thank you for the lovely comments. I have paid a swift visit to your blog and already tempted by so many things! Will definitely go back.

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