Spanish Chicken One Pot Recipe

A Warm Welcome to One Pot Spanish Chicken

One-pot meals are a staple of Spanish cuisine, known for their simplicity and ability to meld flavors and textures in a single vessel. These dishes have gained popularity worldwide for their convenience and heartiness.

Spanish chicken cooked in a singular pot is a wholesome and deeply flavorful dish. It combines classic components like chicken, rice, and vegetables with complex spices to create a satisfying meal.

The foundational elements—chicken and rice—absorb the flavors of the spices while maintaining their texture. Vegetables add freshness, balance, and color to the dish.

Olive oil, onions, garlic, saffron, and paprika all contribute to the dish's distinct aroma and taste, transforming ordinary rice into a vibrant and flavorful experience.

Preparing one-pot Spanish chicken is not just about cooking food; it's about crafting a narrative of shared cultural heritage and modern adaptation, showing how traditional dishes can adapt and thrive in different kitchens across our interconnected world.

Key Ingredients: Flavours of Spain

Chicken serves as the cornerstone of many Spanish dishes, including our one-pot meal. It imparts a rich, meaty essence and brings satisfying textures to the dish.

Chorizo injects a punch of smoky, spicy flavor. This sausage varies in taste depending on its preparation and spice blend, making it an exciting addition. Spanish chorizo is ideal, but any smoked sausage can be used to achieve a similar depth of flavor.

Saffron and paprika offer more than mere color. Saffron has slightly sweet and complex earthy notes, while paprika ranges from mild to hot, layering in an aromatic warmth. Turmeric can be used as a substitute for saffron for color, though it will alter the flavor profile.

Rice acts as the absorbing agent of all these robust flavors. A medium grain rice is preferable for achieving the perfect tender but clingy texture. Long-grain varieties can be used as alternatives, though the end texture will slightly differ.

These ingredients coalesce to honor the storied tradition of Spanish cooking while allowing for adaptation. The spirit of Spanish cuisine can still come to life in your kitchen through this humble yet spirited dish.

Slices of Spanish chorizo sausage on a wooden cutting board.

Cooking Techniques and Tips

Start by searing the chicken in a heavy-bottomed pot or deep skillet. Arrange the chicken pieces skin-side down in hot oil to achieve a golden-brown crust, providing enhanced texture and flavor. Avoid crowding the chicken to prevent steaming.

Next, sauté chopped onions and peppers in the same pot until softened. Integrate key spices like paprika and garlic powder, briefly sautéing to release essential oils and enrich the dish with vibrant flavors before adding liquid.

When adding rice, scatter it evenly around and beneath the chicken pieces to ensure uniform cooking. Cover the pot to allow steam to aid in cooking without excess evaporation. The rice will absorb the juices from the chicken and spices, uniting all elements with harmonious flavors.

If using a slow cooker or Instant Pot, reduce the broth slightly as these methods result in less evaporation. In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours. In an Instant Pot, use the sauté function to brown the chicken and vegetables, then add the remaining ingredients and cook on high pressure for 8-10 minutes followed by a natural release.

A large pot with chicken thighs, chorizo, rice, and vegetables cooking together in a flavorful broth.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

One Pot Spanish Chicken pairs well with a variety of accompaniments. A light, zesty salad of arugula and cherry tomatoes seasoned with olive oil and vinegar offers a refreshing contrast. Crusty bread can be used to sop up the flavorful juices that seep into the rice.

A crisp, dry Spanish white wine like Albariño or Verdejo enhances the flavors with its subtle acidity and fruitiness. For a celebratory setting, homemade sangria incorporating oranges and lemons can bring a delightful sweetness to the meal.

Leftovers can be transformed into hearty fillings for wrap sandwiches or tacos. The chicken and rice can also be tossed into a soup pot with stock and vegetables to create a comforting chicken and rice soup.

Reheating and enjoying the dish as is the day after is always an option, as it retains its charm and flavor well.

Recipe: One Pot Spanish Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 3 chorizo sausages, sliced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups medium grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 70 minutes
Servings: 4

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Season the chicken thighs with salt and black pepper. Place them in the skillet skin-side down and cook until the skin is golden brown and crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Turn over and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add the chorizo slices. Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side until browned. Remove and set aside with the chicken.
  4. Lower the heat to medium. Add onion, garlic, and red bell pepper to the skillet. Stir frequently, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, until the vegetables are softened, about 6-7 minutes.
  5. Stir in smoked paprika and saffron threads until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.
  6. Add rice to the skillet and stir well to mix with the vegetables and soak up any remaining oil and spices.
  7. Return the chicken and chorizo to the skillet. Pour over chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
  8. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  9. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes before fluffing the rice with a fork.
  10. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Nutritional information (per serving):
kcal: 690
Carbohydrates: 47g
Protein: 44g
Fat: 36g
Saturated Fat: 11g
Cholesterol: 170mg
Sodium: 1180mg
Fiber: 2g
Sugar: 3g

Garnishing Tips:
For a colorful presentation, add additional chopped parsley over the top of the cooked dish. Serve with lemon wedges to enhance the flavors with a fresh citrus burst when squeezed over the chicken and rice right before eating.

A beautifully plated serving of One Pot Spanish Chicken, garnished with parsley and accompanied by lemon wedges.
  1. Casas N. The Foods and Wines of Spain. New York: Knopf; 1982.
  2. Roden C. The Food of Spain. New York: Ecco; 2011.
  3. Bittman M. How to Cook Everything. 10th Anniversary ed. Hoboken: Wiley; 2008.

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