Food

Chicken and rice with almonds and rosemary

Prep 25 min
Cook 2 hr
Serves 4

1 large chicken, breasts boned and cut into 2-3cm cubes; keep the rest for the stock

For the chicken stock
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 tomato, halved
1 head garlic, halved
3 bay leaves
6 black peppercorns
2 dried nora peppers, broken open, or 1 tbsp sweet paprika
75ml white wine
1 handful parsley stalks
1.5 litres water
1 small pinch saffron

For the rice
6 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
3 dried nora peppers, broken open, or 1 tsp sweet paprika
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
2 tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
100g whole almonds, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
250g calasparra (paella) rice
75ml white wine or fino sherry

First make the stock. Put the chicken carcass, legs and thighs in a large pot with the rest of the stock ingredients, apart from the saffron, and bring to a boil. Gently simmer for an hour, skimming the froth off the top occasionally. Remove from the heat, strain, then season with a little salt. Add the saffron and let it infuse for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones and shred into medium-sized pieces. Set aside.

To cook the rice, heat two tablespoons of oil in a 30-40cm paella or frying pan on a medium-high heat. When it’s just beginning to smoke, add the breast pieces, season with a little salt and fry until browned on all sides but fractionally undercooked in the centre. Transfer to a bowl.

Wipe the pan, add the remaining oil and, when it’s hot, the onion and peppers, and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn down the heat to medium, add the garlic and rosemary, and cook for a further five minutes. Add the tomatoes almonds cook until the garlic has some colour. Add the rice and stir for one minute to coat with the oil.

Turn the heat to medium-high, add the wine or fino to the pan and a litre of the hot stock and season. Do not stir the rice after this as it affects the channels of the stock, which allow the rice to cook evenly. Simmer for 10 minutes, until there’s just a little liquid above the rice. Spread the meat evenly over the rice, and push each piece under the stock. Gently shake the pan to prevent sticking and turn the heat down to low. Cook for five more minutes, until there is just a little liquid left at the bottom of the rice. Turn off the heat, cover the pan tightly with foil, leave to rest for three to five minutes, then serve with lemon wedges. We also like to serve this with almond aioli (aioli with chopped roasted almonds).

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