Arroz con Pollo y Chorizo is an amazing paella dish that’s not only easy to prepare (it pretty much cooks itself) but it will have your guests begging for more. Unlike risottos, the Spanish have mastered the skill of cooking rice that shouldn’t be stirred – a relief in Planet Elldrew’s eyes considering we lost a wooden spoon, snapped right in half, when once preparing a risotto dish…so save your arms from constant stirring and tuck into this hearty meal which you can feed 6 for under a tenner!
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 12 chicken thighs (on the bone with skin)
- 2 red peppers, sliced
- 250g chorizo, cut into small chunks
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- pinch of saffron (optional)
- 1.3 litres chicken stock
- 375g Spanish calasparra rice (we used Arborio which was fine)
- 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- juice of 1 lemon
- extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
Heat the oil in a broad shallow pan, season the chicken thighs and brown on all sides (you want to colour the chicken well, not cook it through). Remove the chicken and set aside [you can also remove some of the oil that has been released from the chicken]. Add the peppers and chorizo to the same pan and sauté over a medium heat until the peppers are soft. Then add the onion and garlic and continue to cook gently until the onion is soft. Stir in the paprika and chilli (plus optional saffron) and cook for a minute, stirring, before add the chicken stock. Put the chicken pieces back into the pan, bring the stock to a simmer and cook gently, uncovered for 15 minutes.
Transfer the chicken, vegetables and stock to a wide ovenproof dish. You want to have all the chicken pieces in a single layer and still have enough room for the rice – if you started with a big shallow pan, or a paella pan, you can continue to use this. Pour the rice around the chicken and season well. Place in a preheated oven (180C/350F) and cook for 20 minutes, until all the stock has been absorbed into the rice and the top is golden. You don’t need to stir the rice or do anything with the dish as it cooks.
Cover the dish with foil and leave to stand for five minutes. Scatter with parsley, squeeze the lemon juice over the top. You can drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil just before serving if you like. Then tuck in and enjoy the delights of this simple dish.