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Spanish Chicken

Spanish Chicken.jpg

When I was growing up, a favorite family meal was my mom’s Spanish Chicken. Sitting together last week, my mom remembered the recipe and I added a few more vegetables and spices.


What we loved then and now is a moist chicken with savory vegetables and rice and chicken that is ready to fall apart in a delicious sauce.


This is a great recipe to take to potluck dinner or for company. Prepare a day or two ahead of time—it only gets better with reheating.

Foodie Lit

When The Clocks Stopped.jpg

In M. L. Eaton's, When the Clocks Stopped, Hazel and her husband move into a centuries old English house in Rype-in-the-Marsh. Hazel begins to see ghostly images of another woman. When both women are threatened by the violence of smuggling rings, they unite across time.

“So we are having this conversation in timelessness? How can that be?” Hazel asks.

Annie responds, “Knows’t thou not that the veil between the worlds is rent, here in Rype?” 

An intriguing mystery crossing two centuries.

Spanish Chicken

Serves 5-6

Spice mix

2 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoon oregano

2 teaspoon basil

2 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoon paprika

2 thread of saffron


Chicken dish

2 tablespoons olive oil, more if needed

3 pounds chicken, boned breasts or thighs, halved

1 large onion, chopped

3 large cloves of garlic, chopped

1 zucchini, sliced into ½” pieces

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 small eggplant, cubed, salted and rinsed (peel if using a larger eggplant)

1 cup brown rice

¼ cup olives of choice

1 cup dry white wine

Broth to cover


  1. Mix the spices together. If you have, use an empty spice container with shaker insert top. This makes it easy to evenly cover the chicken and vegetables.

  2. Remove skin from chicken if desired. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to large frying pan over medium heat.  Sprinkle spice mix on chicken. Sear chicken on both sides and remove from pan.

  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sauté onion for 4-5 minutes over a medium heat, stirring to keep from sticking. Add garlic and stir for 1-2 minutes.  Add more oil if needed. Add zucchini, bell peppers and celery.  Sprinkle spice mix over vegetables. Stir to coat vegetables with oil.

  4. Remove vegetables from pan and place in a dish.

  5. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to pan.  Add eggplant to pan and sauté until slightly soft, adding oil as needed..

  6. Into an oven proof baking dish at least 4” deep, place 1 cup of rice evenly along the bottom.

  7. Over the rice, add vegetables and then the chicken, nestled into the vegetables.  Add olives on top of vegetables, pushing them down a bit into the mixture. Pour white wine over chicken and vegetables. Add broth to cover the vegetables and the lower part of the chicken. Sprinkle the spice mix on top of the chicken.

  8. Bake in 350 oven for 1½ hours or until the rice is soft and the chicken pieces register 165 on a meat thermometer.  Add more broth if the mixture becomes dry. Rice will continue to absorb liquid after baking so make sure the mixture is nice and moist.


expandthetable suggestions

Allium Free:  Omit onions and garlic. Substitute 1 bulb fennel, sliced.

Other grains: Substitute quinoa or farro for rice.

Crockpot:  Layer the ingredients as you would in the oven proof baking dish and cook on slow for 6-8 hours, checking to make sure there is enough liquid.

No alcohol: If you don’t cook with alcohol, add the equivalent amount of broth.

Boneless chicken: If you use boneless chicken, reduce cooking time to 40 minutes.

Vegetarian:  Omit chicken. Double the vegetables and add 1 pound mushrooms.

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