Spanish Chicken | Smoked Paprika

For the ingredient challenge I decided to use the Spanish Chicken recipe from Le Creuset as a base. I could not follow the recipe exactly as one of the guests we were having for dinner does not eat pork and so I substituted the chorizo. I was fortunate enough to have a friend with an oval Le Creuset casserole but if you don’t have one you can use any large casserole dish with a lid.

Spanish Chicken

Spanish Chicken

Recipe Category: Chicken
All Rights Reserved: An original recipe from Lavender and Lime

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 1 small handful fresh herbs (I used sage, marjoram and thyme)
  • 10 mls smoked paprika
  • 5 mls dried mixed herbs such as herbs de Provence
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 15 mls olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled, cut in half and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 100 g chorizo sausage, diced, (or any spicy sausage)
  • 1 x tin chopped tomatoes
  • 100 mls dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1.25 mls dried chilli flakes
  • 50 g pitted black olives

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190° Celsius
  • wash the entire chicken and pat dry
  • season the cavity and stuff with the lemon and the fresh herbs
  • mix together the smoked paprika, mixed dried herbs and some seasoning
  • rub over the skin of the chicken, paying special attention to the breast and the legs
  • heat the olive oil in the casserole dish over a medium heat
  • sauté the onions until soft
  • add the garlic, the chorizo and the bay leaves and cook for a couple of minutes
  • turn off the heat and add the tomatoes and the wine
  • sit the chicken on top of the mixture and cook in the oven with the lid on for one hour
  • remove the chicken and set aside
  • skim the excess oil from the casserole
  • add the peppers, chilli flakes and olives and stir well
  • return the chicken to the casserole and cook for a further 35 - 45 minutes with the lid on, until the chicken is cooked
  • remove the chicken and allow to rest
  • put the casserole onto the heat and allow the sauce to reduce while you rest and then carve the chicken

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Ingredients for my Spanish Chicken:

  • Chicken – I only buy free range chickens as I don’t want any added hormones or brine in my chicken. And I want to eat animals that have been treated humanely.
  • Lemons – make sure you buy firm lemons that are in season. You can freeze them if you want which is what I do when a recipe only calls for the zest to be used.
  • Fresh herbs – I grow a variety of herbs in my garden to use as and when needed. Thyme is especially hardy and can be planted in-between pavers. When you walk over the thyme it releases an amazing smell. I keep mint on my kitchen windowsill and lavender in my bathrooms.
  • Dried herbs I keep a variety of these to use when my fresh herbs are not doing well. I like to use Italian mixed herbs and herbs de Provence when I needed a mixture.
  • Paprika – I keep sweet, smoked and plain paprika in my spice cupboard as I make use of all three.
  • Olive oil – I use extra virgin cold pressed olive oil in my recipes. Be sure to store your olive oil in a dark container in a cupboard. Exposure to light could make it go rancid.
  • Onions – Make sure your onions are firm with no green spots. Once an onion has been cut you need to cook the entire onion. If you don’t need all of it, place the cooked onion into a sealable container and use when needed (within a few days).
  • Garlic – buy firm garlic cloves and use even if they sprout. If this really bothers you then plant the sprouted garlic and harvest your own.
  • Chorizo – this spicy Spanish sausage can be bought either cured or raw. I prefer the raw one for cooking recipes such as casseroles as they release more flavour into the dish.
  • Tomatoes – there is nothing wrong with using tinned tomatoes but you need to ensure the quality is good. Don’t buy chopped tinned tomatoes as they are easy enough to chop up in the tin when the recipe calls for it. Use fresh tomatoes when in season, making sure they are firm with green seeds to get the best out of them. Or extremely ripe when you are making sauces and soups.
  • Wine – use only wine that you will drink! I prefer to cook with dry white wines and robust reds and when cooking lamb, rosé is perfect.
  • Bay leaves – I buy dried non-irradiated bay leaves and store them in a glass jar.
  • Peppers – or capsicums as you may know them need to be firm when used. Keep in mind that green peppers are unripe and red ones are ripe. Remove the seeds, pith and stem before using.
  • Chillies – remember, the smaller the chilli, the hotter it is likelier to be. To tame the heat, you can remove the pith and the seeds. The easiest way to do so is to roll the chilli along your work surface before cutting in half. Use dried chilies in moderation if you don’t have fresh ones to hand.
  • Olives – I prefer to spend the extra money and buy pitted olives to save me the hassle. I like my olives to be firm and buy them in brine. I then take them out the pack and place them into a lidded container, cover with olive oil and add flavourings such as fresh rosemary and lemon rind.

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