This Spanish-inspired pilaf is made with chicken, chorizo, tomato, saffron and garlic.
Preheat your oven to 200° degrees Fahrenheit.
Finely dice the celery and onions. Drain and roughly chop the tomatoes, reserving the tomato juice. Measure the tomato juice and top it up with chicken stock to equal 2 cups.
Cube the chicken and slice the chorizo into bite-sized pieces. Peel the garlic and measure out the saffron, oregano, chili flakes, paprika, salt and pepper.
*Note: For the paprika try using half regular and half hot smoked paprika. We use a brand called “La Chinata”, from Spain.
To cook the dish, preheat a heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Once hot, add the oil and chorizo. Let cook for a few minutes. Stir and then add the chicken. Let the chicken cook for a few minutes, without touching it; then turn it over to cook the other side. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Check the chicken. It shouldn’t be cooked all the way through. Place into a casserole dish and keep warm in the oven while you finish the dish.
With the heat still on high, cook the onions and celery until translucent. Crush the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds; then add the rice and quickly sauté. Add the saffron, paprika, oregano and chili flakes. Deglaze with the white wine, making sure to scrape any bits off the bottom. Once the liquid has evaporated, add the tomato juice, along with the tomatoes, salt, pepper and stir everything together. Turn the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes…without peeking.
After 15 minutes, add the frozen peas and the warm chicken and chorizo. Don’t stir. Re-cover and let cook for another 10 minutes.
To finish, fold everything together and taste for seasoning. Turn off the heat and let sit for an additional 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche (optional).
For this dish, it is best to use fresh or raw Spanish chorizo, because the rendered fat and spices really permeate the dish. However, it may be hard to find in your area, as Spanish chorizo is usually cured. Instead, you can use spicy Italian sausage or a good-quality, cured Spanish chorizo. Just keep in mind that either of these will give you a slightly different result.