Spanish rice with chicken, peas and lemon

| Bendigo Weekly | 14-Jun-2011 2.33

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Spanish rice with chicken, peas and lemon

Serves 4–6 Prep time 20 minutes Cook time 45 minutes

2 red capsicums (peppers)

olive oil, for cooking

400 g (14 oz) skinless chicken thighs fi llets, diced into 2 cm (¾ in) pieces

2 garlic cloves, chopped

grated zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons harissa paste

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 red onion, chopped

pinch of saff ron threads

500 g (1 lb 2 oz/2½ cups) paella rice

4 tablespoons white wine

500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) chicken stock

125 g (4½ oz) podded peas

3 tablespoons chopped fl at-leaf (Italian) parsley

2 tablespoons lemon-infused olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Rub the capsicums with the oil and arrange on a baking tray. Roast in the oven for 20–30 minutes, or until their skins blister. Place the capsicums in a plastic bag and seal; the steam helps to loosen the skins. Peel the capsicums, discard the seeds, and cut into 1 cm (½ in) slices. Set aside for later use.

Meanwhile, place the chicken in a bowl with the garlic, lemon zest, harissa, smoked paprika and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with the salt and pepper. Leave to marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Heat a large paella pan or frying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 6–8 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Return the pan to the heat, add a splash more oil if needed and cook the onion for 4–5 minutes. Add the saff ron and cook for 1–2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the rice and cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring often, until lightly toasted. Add the wine, stirring well, and cook until it has reduced slightly. Add the stock and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15–20 minutes, stirring often, until almost all the stock has been absorbed by the rice. Add the peas and reserved capsicum strips and cook for another 3–4 minutes. Stir well for the last 2–3 minutes, ensuring the peas cook through and the remaining stock is absorbed. Add more stock or water if necessary. Taste for seasoning, then stir in the parsley and lemon-infused olive oil and serve.


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