Last week I bought myself a chicken fully intending to make us a roast dinner. However when I woke up the sun was shining and it was a gloriously warm day. The idea of sweating away in hot kitchen making roast potatoes and stuffing suddenly lost its appeal. I decided that something a little bit different was in need. A quick rifle through the fridge and cupboards and I came up with this Spanish inspired meal. I bunged the chicken in the oven, the rice and veg in the rice cooker and went outside to enjoy the sunshine. When I returned the dinner was cooked and the house smelled delicious. Some may be put off by the appearance of the very dark brown chicken but the flavour is amazing. So I will certainly be making this again.
1 whole chicken
2 tablespoons of mexican spice
A handful of coriander (cilantro)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice
450g of rice
800ml of chicken stock
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
5 cloves of garlic
1/3 of a courgette
1 tablespoon of turmeric
1 1/2 tablespoons of paprika
1 tablespoon of mexican seasoning
A pinch of salt and pepper
To make the chicken marinade, put the coriander, (cilantro) lemon juice, Mexican seasoning, and olive oil into a blender and pulse until it resembles a dark green smooth paste. Rub your paste all over the chicken, you can even push some under the skin and all over the breasts as I did. Put the chicken on a tray, cover with foil and cook in the oven for about an hour on 185 degrees. After an hour take the chicken and out and stab the thickest past of the thigh with a knife. If the juices are running clear, it’s done, if there is still blood cover back over and cook for another 20-30 minutes, checking every 10 minutes or so. Once the chicken juices run clear, remove the foil and cook for another 15 minutes to crisp up the skin.
To make the rice, chop the onion, garlic, peppers, and courgettes into medium sized pieces. Measure out your rice, I used 450g which is equal to one the containers I have, then I put in twice as much chicken stock, so 2 containers worth. Add in the spices and the vegetables and mix. Then set the rice cooker to cook. The rice should be done when the rice cooker finishes its cycle. Serve on a large platter and sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander and top with the chicken. Voilà Spanish style chicken, the perfect summer alternative to a Sunday roast.