Spanish-style Chicken Paprika

I like this dish for casual entertaining: you can make it ahead and finish it in the oven before serving. If it’s been in the fridge, allow a bit longer to heat up. Serve with a mix of long-grain and wild rice.

Serves 4

Ingredients

115g chorizo, cut into 1cm (1⁄2in) thick slices and then small cubes
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 140g (5oz) each
salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g chestnut mushrooms, cut into 1cm (1⁄2in) thick slices
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cornflour
150ml chicken stock
170ml carton full-fat soured cream
12 pitted plump green olives
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

Essential kit

You will need: 1.7–2 litre (3–31⁄2 pint) baking dish, about 25 x 18cm (10 x 7in) and 7.5cm (3in) deep

Instructions

Heat a large, non-stick frying pan or saute pan. Add the chorizo and fry until crispy. Remove using a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper, and set aside. Keep 1 tablespoon of the chorizo oil in the pan and drain off any excess. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. (See below, Use the chorizo oil for frying.) When hot, add the onion and garlic and fry for 6–8 minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to brown. Spread the onion over the bottom of the baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 200oC (fan 180oC/400oF/Gas 6). Pour another tablespoon of the oil into the pan. Season the chicken and brown over a medium heat for 10 minutes, turning once. Place on top of the onion.

Add the final tablespoon of oil to the pan, tip in the mushrooms, and season with pepper. Fry for about 3 minutes over a medium–high heat, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown. Stir in the paprika and cornflour. Pour in the stock, stirring to deglaze the bottom of the pan, and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the soured cream and heat until just starting to bubble.

Pour the mushroom sauce over the chicken in the dish. Scatter over the chorizo and olives. Cover with foil and bake for 15–20 minutes or until bubbling around the edges. Serve sprinkled with the parsley.

KEYS TO PERFECTION

Use the chorizo oil for frying

Fry the chorizo in a hot, dry pan over a medium heat for about 1 minute until the fat starts to run, then increase the heat for 2 minutes until crispy. Stir frequently so it doesn’t burn. Remove using a slotted spoon.

Use 1 tablespoon of the spicy red oil released by the chorizo for frying the onion and garlic: its smoky paprika flavour adds depth to the dish. Don’t use any more, as it can overpower; instead, top up with olive oil.

Mary Berry Cooks the Perfect is available in paperback with an exclusive tote bag from 3 November. DK, £20.00

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