A Quick and Comforting Chicken-Noodle Stew


“SO, THIS RECIPE has a back story,” said Matt Kelly, chef-owner of the Spanish restaurant Mateo Tapas, in Durham, N.C. His friend, a North Carolina-based chef who hails from New Orleans, asked Mr. Kelly to do a special dinner. This recipe resulted. A tribute to the chefs’ friendship, “fideuà jambalaya” is a cross between a Catalan fideuà and a jambalaya from New Orleans.

Like a paella, but made with toasted pasta bits rather than rice, fideuà typically calls for ultra-fine fideo noodles, but you can also break angel hair pasta into stubby pieces and toast those. The pasta then simmers in a jambalaya-like base of tomatoes, chicken, chorizo, ham, peppers and onions. A generous spoonful of creole seasoning provides kick. (Mr. Kelly favors the Emeril’s Essence brand.) Once the noodles absorb most of the stew’s liquid, the pan slides into the oven to crisp. “You get this great crust on the bottom and browned noodles on top,” said Mr. Kelly. “You want to serve (and cook) this with a cold beer.”

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