This is one of those dishes that is a perfect example of comfort food. It is almost a national dish and will instantly remind you of sunny Spain. It is also my niece and nephews favorite dish, so it must be good!
There are so many variations on this dish, each reflecting the unique regional produce. I thoroughly enjoy this one and feel it is unique enough to be worth mentioning.
There are a few ingredients here that I feel are indispensable. One is the smoked sweet paprika and the other is the green olives. Both of these ingredients add something that can’t really be substituted.
8 Chicken thighs or one whole roaster cut up
6 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves of Garlic, sliced
One Large Onion, chopped
One Red Pepper, chopped
2 cups of medium grain Rice, a Spanish arroz or paella rice is perfect as well.
4 cups of Chicken stock, warmed
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tbsp of smoked sweet Paprika
2 dried whole Chilies, if desired.
Juice of one Lemon, ends cut off and reserved
¼ cup of Madeira
1 small jar of pimento stuffed Manzanilla green olives
1/2 cup Peas
Place the olive oil in a cast iron casserole (Le Cruset is perfect) or some pot with a cover that can go from stove top to oven. Over medium heat bring the oil up to temperature, and then brown the chicken. Remove from oil and set aside.
Now add sliced garlic, chopped onion and chopped red pepper, and cook until onions are brown and soft. Add all spices and combine well.
Add juice of lemon, careful not to get any seeds, and then the ends of the lemon and the Madeira and allow the alcohol to cook away. Then add the rice and coat thoroughly with oil. Add the peas and warmed stock, mix well and then add back the chicken and the olives and bring to a slight boil.
Cover and put into a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes. Remove from oven, stir and then recover and allow to rest on stove top for 5 minutes.
Serve with a salad and white wine. Albarino (Spanish white wine) is a good match as is a Rose’ or a Vinho Verde.
Serves 4 – 6.