The delicious combination of chicken and rice, olives and peppers is typical of all the regions around the western Mediterranean but, to my mind, this Spanish version, with the addition of spicy chorizo sausage and a hint of paprika, beats the lot.
My interpretation of it also uses dried tomatoes preserved in oil to give it even more character. This recipe will provide a complete supper for four from the same pot – it needs nothing to accompany it!
This recipe is from The Delia Collection: Chicken. Serves 4
Start by seasoning the chicken joints well with salt and pepper.
Next, slice the red peppers in half and remove the seeds and pith, then slice each half into six strips. Likewise, peel the onion and slice into strips of approximately the same size. The dried tomatoes should be drained, wiped dry with kitchen paper and then cut into ½ inch (1 cm) pieces.
Now heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the casserole and, when it is fairly hot, add the chicken pieces – two or three at a time – and brown them to a nutty golden colour on both sides. As they brown remove them to a plate lined with kitchen paper, using a draining spoon.
Next add a little more oil to the casserole, with the heat slightly higher than medium. As soon as the oil is hot, add the onion and peppers and allow them to brown a little at the edges, moving them around from time to time, for about 5 minutes.
After that, add the chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic and toss these around for a minute or two until the garlic is pale golden and the chorizo has taken on some colour. Next, stir in the rice and, when the grains have a good coating of oil, add the sun-dried tomato paste, paprika and chopped thyme.
Pour in the stock and wine, and add some seasoning. As soon as everything has reached simmering point, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Add a little more seasoning, then place the chicken gently on top of everything (it's important to keep the rice down in the liquid).
Finally, place the wedges of orange in among the chicken and scatter with the olives.
Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook over the gentlest possible heat for about 50 minutes-1 hour or until the rice is cooked but still retains a little bite.
Alternatively cook in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C), for 1 hour.
You will also need a wide, shallow, flameproof casserole with a domed lid, measuring about 9½ inches (24 cm) at the base; or, failing that, any wide flameproof casserole of 8½ pint (4.5 litre) capacity.
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Some recipes specify brown rice (e.g. Chicken Basque) which I'm not too keen on. Would I have to adjust the cooking time if I use white rice instead? I think it cooks more quickly.
I’m making chicken basque for a crowd, if iIget it all into a large dish will it take longer to cook in the oven. Going to double it.
Is it possible to make Chicken Basque a couple of hours or so in advance? As the cooking time is only one hour it doesn't leave enough time for us to have apero and starters first. Maybe some of the prep can be done in advance.