Spanish Chicken and Rice is a one-pot recipe, with everything you need for a special dinner cooked together. Chorizo, lemons, sun-dried tomatoes and olives add to the Mediterranean character of the recipe. Perfect for dinner with friends, when you don't want to be slaving away in the kitchen all evening.
Of course, I'm looking for the easy life when it comes to entertaining. I do like dishes that I can put on to cook and that will look after themselves. If I don't have to do any last minute titivating or vegetable cooking, so much the better.
This Spanish Chicken and Rice takes a little while to prepare, but the beauty of it is that the work is all up-front, and the food is all cooking in one pot. Then you can go and change and do your face and have a relaxing glass of wine before the hordes descend - or is that just me?
Key ingredients in Spanish Chicken
Cooking with lemons and sun-dried tomatoes
I love putting slices of lemon into dishes because it becomes really tender and you don't feel that you're eating a bitter thing. The only proviso, really, is to buy thin-skinned lemons. You don't want a lot of pith.
The tomatoes are sun-dried, and you need the ones in olive oil so that you can use the oil in the cooking. I always get a tiny virtuous feeling at that point because I haven't thrown away the oil. I am trying to be less wasteful so every small action is a win.
Chorizo and paprika
I use cooking chorizo for Spanish Chicken because it melds better with the rest of the dish. I buy it in a piece (or 2 small ones) and just slice it up into 1 cm chunks. If you've bought too much, freeze the rest for another time.
The chorizo and the paprika complement each other well. I use a mild paprika here because there's enough heat in the chorizo for me, but if you want a spicier dish, use hot paprika - but perhaps only half a teaspoon.
Secrets of Success
Preparation is the key
There are quite a lot of ingredients in Spanish Chicken and Rice and they are cooked at different times. I find the easiest way to make this dish with least drama is to prepare everything first and put the ingredients in bowls to be added when needed. You need 4 bowls plus the casserole dish, where I put the prepared chicken, as well as a measuring jug for the liquids. Although this might sound like a lot of faffing, it does make the actual cooking fairly stream-lined.
I should say that I used not to be so organised, but I have found that preparing everything first makes for a stress-free experience and a finished dish that includes all the ingredients.
What equipment do you need?
- Olive pitter - If you've bought olives with stones (as I did - oops!) you will need to remove them. An olive pitter is the tool for the job. I prefer one with a splatter shield because I use this for cherries as well and the juice goes everywhere.
- Spatter guard - I only bought a spatter guard fairly recently - in the last couple of years - and then I wondered why it took me so long. I have a very large frying pan/casserole so I use a large guard. It reduces the amount of fat that's distributed all over the hob (and probably the floor).
If you like this...
...Why don't you try:
Spanish Chicken and Rice
- 600 g boneless chicken joints
- salt and pepper
- 20 g olives, pitted
- 1 lemon
- 2 medium onions
- 2 large peppers, red or yellow
- 150 g cooking chorizo, in a piece
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs (10ml)
- 1 teaspoon paprika (5ml)
- 75 g sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 250 ml brown basmati rice
- 300 ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 150 ml white wine
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree (15ml)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan/ gas mark 4/ 350°F
- Cut chicken joints into pieces of about 30g/1 oz:Cut thighs into 2-3 pieces. Cut breasts into 3-4 pieces. Put the chicken aside in the casserole dish and season with salt and pepper
- Slice each olive into 4 rounds and put aside in a dish
- Thinly slice the lemon, discarding the ends, and add to the olives
- Peel, and then slice the onions as thinly as you can and put in another dish
- Remove the pith and seeds from the peppers and slice into rounds, about ½ cm thick. Add to the onions
- Skin the chorizo and cut into 1cm slices. Put in a third dish
- Peel and finely slice the garlic. Add to the chorizo with the mixed herbs and paprika
- Slice the tomatoes length-wise, keeping the oil. Add the tomatoes to the chorizo
- Measure the rice into a bowl.
For the Spanish Chicken and Rice:
- Heat a large frying pan on MEDIUM HIGH. Add 2 tablespoons (30ml) of the tomato oil
- Cook the chicken pieces, in batches if necessary, until light golden brown on both sides. Remove to a plateThis takes 7-8 minutes per batch
- Turn the heat up a little and add another tablespoon (15ml) oil and cook the onions and peppers, stirring occasionally to stop them burningThis takes about 5 minutes
- Add the garlic, chorizo, tomatoes, and herbs to the frying pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the lemons and olives and stir
- Put the rice into the pan and cook until coated with oil. Add the stock, wine and tomato puree and bring to the boil
- Pour everything into the casserole dish. Place the chicken pieces on top of everythingYou need to keep the rice under the liquid
- Cook for about 1 hour 15 minutes until the rice is tender.
Everyday Cooks tip:
- If you prefer, you can cook on the hob in a large frying pan with a tight-fitting lid. Turn the heat to LOW and cook for about 1 hour