Spanish Chicken and Rice is a hearty, healthy one-pan meal the whole family will love.
Paprika is one of my favourite spices. Made from dried peppers that are then ground into a powder, it lends a unique smokiness to several different dishes from stews to sauces and marinades. Of all the spices in my spice rack, Paprika is the one I go through the most. Without it my tacos, chili, jambalaya, and this Spanish Chicken and Rice wouldn’t be the same.
There are several different varieties of Paprika starting with Hungarian Paprika, which is probably the most common, well-known in dishes such as Goulash or Chicken Paprikash. Hungarian Paprika comes in 8 different varieties, ranging from the delicate and mild csiposmentes csemege to the fiery hot Eros. Spain is also well-known for it’s paprika and also creates a few different varieties, ranging from sweet and mild (dulce) to hot (picante). In Spain, the peppers are dried over wood fires, creating smoked paprika. A key ingredient in dishes such as paella and chorizo.
Of them all, smoked paprika is my favourite. I love the aroma of it and the woodsy, smoky flavour it adds to so many delicious meals. In this Spanish Chicken and Rice, it’s a key player. This is one of those set-it-and-forget-it kind of meals, perfect for those busy nights when you don’t have a lot of free time. Those nights when you want something hearty and delicious, but don’t feel like expending a whole lot of energy. That’s been me these past few weeks, busy, on the go, but still wanting to feed my family wholesome meals. This Spanish Chicken and Rice is the perfect go-to; about 10-15 minutes to get it going and then set it in the oven for about 20 minutes to do it’s thing. It’s rich (and deliciously smoky from the paprika), hearty and healthy, all while being quick, easy and keeping the dishes to a minimum.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 chicken breasts
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp coriander
salt and pepper to season
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 Cup rice (I use TruRoots wild rice and quinoa blend)
3/4 Cup tomatoes, diced
2 Cups chicken stock
1/2 Cup Italian flat leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenhiet
Mix together the smoked paprika, coriander, salt and pepper. Divide into 2 equal portions and set aside. In a mixing bowl, add the chicken, olive oil, juice of half of the lemon (reserve the other half) and half the spice mixture. Mix with your hands, making sure the chicken is evenly covered.
Heat the remaining oil in a large, oven-proof pan. Add the chicken. Brown the chicken on both sides (about 5 minutes per side). Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. While the chicken is cooking, dice the onions, mince the garlic and chop the parsley.
To the pan, add the onions and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the remaining spice mixture. Stir for about 1 minute before adding the rice, tomatoes and stock. Stir well. Place the chicken on top, slice the remaining half lemon and arrange the slices around he pan. Cover the pan and place it in the oven to finish cooking for about 15-20 minutes, until the rice and chicken are fully cooked. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Serves 4.