Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Familiar ingredients - easy food: Chicken, Chorizo and Rice Bake

Regular visitors to this blog may have gathered amongst other things that I love Spanish food and that I like food that is not faffy. Here, these two aspects meet, within this lovely recipe which I found in 'Food from the Sun' by Irish chef Neven Maguire. I happened upon him when I was watching the Good Food Channel here in the UK at a time when they use to air programmes that were interesting, rather than re runs of Man v. Food (my personal pet hate). I loved his all round cheeriness (and whilst I would not want to pigeonhole the Irish, not least because I am partly one of them, but the fact remains that I have never yet gone to Ireland and not felt cheered), his studio kitchen and his simple and gorgeous looking recipes. I bought the book and enjoyed it in much the same way that I enjoyed watching his programmes. Simple food with a smile.

We are never far from chicken and chorizo in this house, mainly because they are enjoyed by everyone here. I wasn't sure how Lola and Finn would take to the artichokes that this recipe called for but Lola was quite receptive, eating a few of the petals as they came away from the core. I told her they were flowers, and Lola being a girly girl was happy with that. Finn ate around them. I do think that you could get away without the artichokes though if you don't happen to have a tin of them around (and to be honest I don't really know why I had a tin of them). Red peppers, the ones you can get in a jar, would be an apt substitute I think.

This recipe is very easy to do; I cooked it after coming in from work one night, and it is the type of meal that you can cook whilst doing that list of mundane tasks that seem to materialise when you fall through the door of a weeknight, mostly involving lunch boxes, demands from the school for yet more money and putting the second school uniform this week into the wash because of some unidentified 'stain'.

A note (or two) on how I interpreted the recipe below. My artichokes were not in oil and so I just drained mine and added olive oil where necessary. A chicken dish is as good as the chicken you put in it so try to use good chicken (I might use chicken thighs next time; cheaper with more interesting meat) and the chorizo I used wasn't raw; it was some that I had left from my raiding of Carrefour on the way back from France recently. It was significantly cheaper than the chorizo that I buy in the UK and it also is 'piccante', which gave this finished dish a mellow warmth. I also upped the chorizo quantity by 25g as I was using the chorizo that I had left.

A good meal was had by all.

Chicken and Chorizo Rice Bake, adapted from 'Food from the Sun' by Neven Maguire

olive oil
400g tin of artichokes
25 g butter
4 chicken breast fillets, skin on if you like
1 large onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
125 g raw chorizo sausage (sliced)
350 g long grain rice
150 ml dry white wine
600 ml chicken stock
2 tblsp roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).Add half of the butter and some olive oil to a suitable casserole then place on the hob to heat.

Season the chicken breasts, add to the dish, skin-side down, then cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.

Turn over and cook for another minute or so until sealed. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of oil with the remaining butter to the pan and then tip in onion and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened but not coloured.

Add the chorizo and rice and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring until the chorizo has begun to release its oil and all the rice grains are well coated.

Pour the wine into the pan, stirring to combine and then add the stock and fold in the artichokes. Arrange the chicken on top, pushing the breasts down into the rice.

Cover and bake for 35-40 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the chicken and rice are cooked through and tender.

Scatter over the parsley and place directly on the table to serve.

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