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Spanish smoked paprika infuses a brothy crock of tender beans
Milk Street Bowtie Spanish Shrimp and Chickpea Stew

Spanish Shrimp and Chickpea Stew

Appears in May-June 2020

35 minutes

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Spanish Shrimp and Chickpea Stew

Free

At Palacio Carvajal Girón, in the Extremadura region of Spain, we 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. Our much-simplified version captures the essence of the stew in just a fraction of the time. We use 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 give the stew deep color and earthy complexity without overwhelming the shrimp.

4

Servings

Tip

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.

35 minutes

2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 pound extra-large (21/25 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 medium leek, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, rinsed and dried
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
15½ ounce can chickpeas, ½ cup liquid reserved, drained
8 ounce bottle clam juice
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to serve
Ingredients
  • 2

    tablespoons smoked paprika

  • 1

    tablespoon sweet paprika

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 1

    pound extra-large (21/25 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on

  • 2

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

  • 2

    tablespoons salted butter

  • 1

    medium leek, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, rinsed and dried

  • 4

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 15½

    ounce can chickpeas, ½ cup liquid reserved, drained

  • 8

    ounce bottle clam juice

  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to serve

Directions
  1. 01
    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.
    See Demo
    spanish-shrimp-chickpea-stew-step-1
  2. 02
    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.
    See Demo
    spanish-shrimp-chickpea-stew-step-2
  3. 03
    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.
    See Demo
    spanish-shrimp-chickpea-stew-step-3
  4. 04
    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.
    See Demo
    spanish-shrimp-chickpea-stew-step-4
Tip: 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.
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Mains

Reviews
Alyce G.

Thank you for your comment! Your comment is currently under moderation and will appear shortly.

Elizabeth B.

This was a disappointment. It was a lot more work than I realized and the smoked paprika didn’t do it for us.

Wadi M.

Delicious, I increased the garlic and butter. Got a good sear in that jumbo shrimp. Addictive. I wonder if some saffron would work with this?

Mark C.

This was very tasty. Leaving the tails on and halving the shrimp after par-cooking them was annoying and messy. If the whole point is to add shrimp flavor it might just be easier to simmer the clam juice and shrimps shells together in a small pot to extract the flavor. I'd also cut the shrimp before cooking them so I don't have to slice greasy, slippery shrimp. Next time I might also drizzle on some lemon juice along with the finishing olive oil.

Kay Ellen T.

If you have the shells from the shrimp, why wouldn't you make a quick stock from them with tomato paste, white wine and water?

Jay G.

Any suggestions as a substitute for the clam juice due to an allergy? Shrimp are okay, no mollusks.

Janelle C.

Hi Jay,

You can try chicken broth.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Ramona W.

Made this the other night and served it with some rice beneath it. Husband was maybe three bits in and said, "This one is a keeper". So that was the review of this in our house! It was simple to make, and as we are in shelter in place, I made the adjustments of yellow onion for leek (didn't have on hand) and shelled tail off shrimp (as that is what I had in the freezer). The recipe is fast and warming as any comfort food should be. So I second the household review, "It is a keeper".

christine d.

I didn't bother cutting the shrimp in half and taking off the tails. It was just as easy to pick off the tails when we ate them.
We both really liked this - I just wish I had some bread to sop up the sauce with.

Kristi M.

I thought this was good, but not amazing. Working with the shrimp was a little fiddly; it is definitely not a weeknight dish. The paprika taste was good, but felt it was missing something? Salt? Also, I served it over rice. It wasn’t quite enough of a meal to serve it as a stew (for 4). I don’t think the rice was quite right, though. Polenta? Noodles?

Bryan M.

Made it over a campfire with triumphant results. I had nothing but time so I cooked the chicken peas from a dry state. A wonderful exercise in pushing outside the paprika safety zone. Already marked as a favorite. Thank you!

Ellen H.

I made this but added extra veggies (kale, zucchini, broccoli) and served it over brown rice to make it more nutritionally balanced. I loved it, however, my husband thought the flavor of the smoked paprika and leeks were overhwhelming and too gritty. This goes to show that the flavors in this dish are definitely strong so it might be a love it or hate it dish.

Amber S.

It was a little overwhelming to cook (I probably just need more practice): I maybe left my shrimp in too long because my paprika was looking pretty burnt and sad. The day I made it, it was good..fine. I froze the left-overs and reheated them maybe a week later and it tasted SOOOOO much better. The gritty paprika texture I had went away and everything melded really well. I am definitely going to come back to this one :)

Milk Street S.

To turn this in to a Tuesday night dish: Remove tails and simmer them in clam broth with1/2 cup garbanzo liquid and the 2T of paprika . Cut the shrimp while raw.

John W.

Completely disappointing. Sadly we threw it away after a few bites as it lacked any depth of flavor and body. It is literally like eating smoky paprika water. I even went so far as to boil full shrimp shells in white wine before hand and reduced the liquid to add to it. This one wont go in my recipe box

Michael Y.

This is very good but needs salt and maybe something else. Lemon? sherry vinegar? Olives?


Down arrow

Spanish Shrimp and Chickpea Stew

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

35 minutes

Tip

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.

Ingredients
  • 2

    tablespoons smoked paprika

  • 1

    tablespoon sweet paprika

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 1

    pound extra-large (21/25 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on

  • 2

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

  • 2

    tablespoons salted butter

  • 1

    medium leek, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, rinsed and dried

  • 4

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 15½

    ounce can chickpeas, ½ cup liquid reserved, drained

  • 8

    ounce bottle clam juice

  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to serve

Step 1 of 4

Season Shrimp

2
tablespoons smoked paprika
1
tablespoon sweet paprika
Ground black pepper
1
pound extra-large (21/25 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on

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.

Step 2 of 4

Brown Shrimp

2
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

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.

Step 3 of 4

Combine Ingredients In Dutch Oven

2
tablespoons salted butter
1
medium leek, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, rinsed and dried
4
medium garlic cloves, minced
15½
ounce can chickpeas, ½ cup liquid reserved, drained
8
ounce bottle clam juice

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.

Step 4 of 4

Finish and Serve

Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to serve
Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve

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.

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