Spanish chicken

Spanish chicken is a naturally gluten free dish that is full of flavour and is the perfect one pot meal

Spanish chicken is a naturally gluten free dish that is full of flavour and is the perfect one pot meal

I am sure that every foodie out there has a signature dish. Holding my hands up because I do and I am about to share it will you.

Being a huge fan of Spanish style cuisine I fell in love with the type of food that the Spanish cook and eat at a very early age. Although that might be because my grandparents live in Spain. Many summer holidays have been spent soaking up the sun and eating fresh fish and paella. But one of my favorite Spanish dishes is pollo Espanol translated as Spanish Chicken and it’s my signature dish.

My signature Spanish chicken is a vibrantly coloured rice dish that is so simple and easy.  Like paella many families in Spain have their own variations of this dish. Over the years I have stamped my personality on it and it’s slightly different to how my Nanna taught me. The best thing about this dish it represents all the best elements of Spain – chorizo, paprika, peppers, tomatoes, garlic and the luxury spice saffron. This dish shows off the Mediterranean and to me this is Spain on a plate.

This  is a perfect main for dinner parties or if you have a gathering of people for dinner. It’s a simple one pot dish and there is not too much washing up, which makes it stress free. The best part of this whole dish is that as it cooks you can smell the paprika, saffron and garlic fill your house and the smells alone can put a smile on peoples faces.

This recipe makes enough for 4 people and you can use either breast meat or thighs and drumsticks

4 chicken breasts – you can leave them whole or cut them into large pieces.
Or 4 chicken thighs and 4 drumsticks
1 red pepper, diced into large pieces
1 green pepper, diced into large pieces
1 large white onion, chopped finely
2/3 gloves of garlic, crushed
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
100g chorizo, cut into bite size chunks
2 cups of paella or aborio rice (1/2 cup per person)
1 teaspoon of mixed herbs
a generous pinch of saffron or if you can get paella seasoning then 5g or 1 teaspoon
3/4pt chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon smokey paprika
Olive oil for cooking


Pre-heat your oven to 180oC or gas mark 5

1. In a large frying pan on a medium heat, heat up the oil and once hot add the chicken and seal it off. If you are using thighs and drumsticks you should seal the chicken skin side down first until slightly golden and then turn over and seal the other side. Sealing the chicken should take about 5 minutes, 2 1/2 minutes a side. Once sealed, remove the chicken from the pan and place into a large oven dish that is at least an 1 inch 1/2 deep.

2. In the same pan, if you need more oil then add, but if not, re-heat up the oil on a medium heat and add the onions and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Now add the peppers, herbs and paprika and cook for about 3 minutes.

3. Once the peppers have started to soften add the chorizo and cook for 2 minutes and then add the rice and stir in. Now add the tomatoes and about half of the stock and keep stirring. Add the saffron and stir in and then season to taste. Bring all the liquid to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. The mixtures should be quit liquid. The rice will soak up all that liquid as it cooks later.

4. Transfer the rice and vegetable mixture to your oven proof dish with the chicken in. Cover all the chicken with the rice and vegetables and the liquid. The dish should look like you have a lot of liquid in it and it should come almost to the top of the dish. If you think that the mixture needs some more liquid then add it.

5. Cover you dish with foil and place on a flat baking tray and put into the centre of your pre-heated oven. Cook covered for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, check the dish and if it seems very dry and the rice needs more liquid to cook, add a little more of the stock. But, by now you should see the rice starting to plump up and the liquid should have halved. Give the dish a stir and then place back into the oven uncovered for another 20-30 minutes.

6. The dish will be cooked when the top is golden and all the rice is cooked through and all of the liquid has gone, but the dish should still be moist. Serve either on it’s own or with some gluten free ciabatta and aioli.

Happy gluten free cooking 🙂


About samanthapidoux

Double Edward R Murrow award winner for 'Best Documentary' and 'Best Feature'. Community and freelance journalist and programme maker. Currently working at the Lincoln School of Journalism at the University of Lincoln.

Posted on May 31, 2013, in Food and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Big fan of Paella cooking, nice post!

    • samanthapidoux

      Thank you… This I suppose has some of the same ingredients and flavours, but cooked in the oven.
      Try this and let me know how it goes.

  2. Looks amazing, will have to try that! I usually get my inspiration for rice dishes from Tilda Basmati ‘s website, think you would like it

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