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Spanish lemon chicken recipe

Spanish lemon chicken recipe

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Spanish with a North African twist, this is a tasty chicken casserole in the Mediterranean style. You can get it in most Sainsbury's.

Sussex, England, UK

4 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 1.5kg large chicken thighs
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 125g plain flour
  • 6 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly crushed
  • 75g chorizo, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout spice mix
  • 300g frozen broad beans
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons chopped preserved lemon
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 100ml brandy
  • 1 handful flat leaf parsley to garnish

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr30min

  1. Season the chicken thighs with sea salt and black pepper and coat in flour.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil to a large frying pan and cook the thighs until brown on both sides.
  3. Whilst browning the thighs, heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan or casserole and add the onion, garlic, chorizo and ras el hanout. Cook until the onions start to brown.
  4. Add the broad beans, and preserved lemons and cook until beans are warmed through.
  5. Crumble the stock cube into the mix and stir.
  6. Place the chicken thighs on top of the mix (I add the oil from the pan used to cook the chicken). Partially cover with boiling water, cover the pan and cook over a low heat for at least an hour.
  7. Uncover the pan and pour over the brandy. VERY CAREFULLY set it alight and let it burn itself out. The flour should have thickened the sauce, but if not, leave the cover off the pan and reduce a little.
  8. Serve with rice or cous cous, and sprinkle over the roughly shredded parsley.

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Spanish rice with chicken, peas and lemon

Taking everyday rice to Spanish heights - no skimping of flavour right here.



Skill level


  • 2 red capsicums (peppers)
  • olive oil, for cooking
  • 400 g (14 oz) skinless chicken thighs fillets, diced into 2 cm (¾ in) pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp harissa paste
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/2½ cups) paella rice
  • 4 tbsp white wine
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) chicken stock
  • 125 g (4½ oz) podded peas
  • 3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 2 tbsp lemon-infused olive oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Rub the capsicums with the oil and arrange on a baking tray. Roast in the oven for 20–30 minutes, or until their skins blister. Place the capsicums in a plastic bag and seal the steam helps to loosen the skins. Peel the capsicums, discard the seeds, and cut into 1 cm (½ in) slices. Set aside for later use.

Meanwhile, place the chicken in a bowl with the garlic, lemon zest, harissa, smoked paprika and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with the salt and pepper. Leave to marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Heat a large paella pan or frying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 6–8 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Return the pan to the heat, add a splash more oil if needed and cook the onion for 4–5 minutes. Add the saffron and cook for 1–2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the rice and cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring often, until lightly toasted. Add the wine, stirring well, and cook until it has reduced slightly. Add the stock and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15–20 minutes, stirring often, until almost all the stock has been absorbed by the rice. Add the peas and reserved capsicum strips and cook for another 3–4 minutes. Stir well for the last 2–3 minutes, ensuring the peas cook through and the remaining stock is absorbed. Add more stock or water if necessary.

Taste for seasoning, then stir in the parsley and lemon-infused olive oil and serve.

Recipe from What’s For Dinner by Michele Curtis. Published by Hardie Grant Books.

Spanish Chicken Thighs & Chorizo with Rosemary & Lemon

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to the skillet, two turns of the pan. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until browned, about 6 minutes. Turn over, sprinkle with the paprika and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the chorizo to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 2 minutes. Add the onion, piquillo peppers, rosemary and garlic cook, stirring often, until the onion softens, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, then the wine, lemon zest and 1 1/2 to 2 cups stock, depending on how saucy you want the dish to be. Return the chicken to the skillet spoon some of the sauce on top.

Roast in the oven until the chicken juices run clear when pierced with a knife, about 12 minutes. Douse with the lemon juice sprinkle with the parsley and hot cherry peppers. Drizzle with the EVOO, one turn of the pan. Serve from the skillet, and pass the crusty bread for mopping.

Cook the Chicken

While the tomato sauce mixture is cooking, pour the other half of the olive oil into a large frying pan and heat over a medium flame.

Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season on both sides with salt and pepper.

Pan-fry the chicken in the hot oil, turning over twice (for about 10 minutes total cooking time). The chicken should be well-browned on both sides, but might not be completely cooked in the center, which is no cause for concern because it will finish cooking when added to the sauce.

After pan frying the chicken, remove the pan from the heat. Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board and cut them into 1/2-inch thick slices and return to the pan with tomato sauce. Stir to coat chicken breasts in tomato sauce.

Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve with rice or potatoes to sop up the delicious sauce. Alternatively, make Spanish French fries as the perfect side dish.

  • Leftovers are never a problem because the sofrito sauce mellows and tastes even better the next day.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with white rice and a fresh green salad that includes bits of orange and a mayonnaise-based dressing or a lemon and pepper vinaigrette dressing. Alternatively, go all-in with citrus with a fruit salad with oranges as a base. Add crusty bread to make a delightful meal.

This recipe includes white wine, so if what you are using is table-worthy, that is the best choice. If you are using cooking wine, crack open citrusy Spanish Verdejo or Albarino both have citrusy notes that would be a tasty pairing with chicken in orange sauce. Either one would also be a great choice to use in the recipe.

Spanish Chicken and Chorizo Paella

Heat a paella pan or very large, shallow skillet or pot, preferably with 2 handles over high heat.

Cook’s note: A large cast iron skillet would work here.

Pour in the olive oil and let it heat up. Season the chicken all over with salt, pepper and paprika. Sear in the olive oil until browned all over. Transfer to a plate with tongs.

Lower the heat to medium and sauté the onions and bell pepper until softened. Stir in the diced tomatoes, chicken broth and chorizo. Bring the liquid to a boil and then stir in the rice and saffron. Add the browned chicken pieces. The rice should be completely covered with liquid. Cook the paella without stirring for 20 minutes. When the liquid has all been absorbed, pour the peas over the top of the pot, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a kitchen towel. Let stand 5 minutes and then serve with lemon wedges.

Pollo al ajillo (Spanish garlic chicken) recipe

A punchy, quick dish to serve with potatoes Credit: Haarala Hamilton and Valerie Berry

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S herry and garlic are the smells of Spain, of course, but not just because you smell them when you’re there. Sherry smells of warmth, and of complexity – it’s not a one-note ingredient – which backs up what I have felt about Spain as a country. If it’s not a dry one, it can be quite buttery with hints of caramel, especially once you reduce it. Here the sherry vinegar undercuts the sweetness while adding more depth and ‘woodiness’.

This makes an excellent quick dinner. Serve with olive-oil roast potatoes (cooked with either rosemary or thyme), or good bread and a green salad. I know it seems like a pain to keep the thighs on the bone – and in small pieces – but that’s what makes this dish taste so good.

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes

Spanish Style Baked Chicken Thighs with Potatoes

This recipe for baked chicken thighs with potatoes delivers exciting flavours of Spain without an expensive plane ticket! Not to mention it&rsquos all cooked in one pan!

After spending two weeks in Spain this August, you didn&rsquot think I wouldn&rsquot share at least one recipe inspired by that wonderful country&rsquos flavours.

These baked chicken thighs with potatoes and peppers come as a result of eating and enjoying too much Spanish paprika, gorging on fresh from the market vegetables and generally loving the life.

In our two weeks there we only went out to dinner twice. We mostly cooked at home using freshly caught fish or mussels and beautiful vegetables from a local farmer&rsquos market.

I am still getting over the fact that 2lbs of fresh mussels cost &euro2. I made sure I took advantage of that!

It&rsquos so much fun to spend the time in a town where normal Spaniards live and shop in their supermarkets or farmer&rsquos markets instead of spending a small fortune in busy touristy places with less authentic restaurant fare on offer.

After such a magical time I absolutely had to bring some of the Spanish goodness into our and your everyday life!

This recipe for baked chicken thighs with potatoes is very straightforward and uses everyday ingredients. The flavours however, that come out of that pan, will blow your mind. Are you ready?

Tips for making juicy and flavourful baked chicken thighs

Some people believe, myself included, that bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs remain the juiciest through the cooking process. Sure you have to work around the bone when you eat them but that&rsquos a small price to pay for delicious chicken.

I often recommend marinating chicken in order to get the most flavour. This recipe, however comes out very flavourful without the marinade. All due to bold flavours of Spanish paprika, lemon zest and juice, oregano, garlic, etc.

Using fresh herbs will enhance flavours even further. Do if you grow your own like me or have easy access to them, swap out the dried ones for the fresh variety.

I always cut the juiced lemon into wedges and tuck them in the pan while the chicken thighs are baking. They infuse the entire dish with tantalising aroma.

To make sure your baked chicken thighs come out juicy yet crispy-skinned, simply put your oven into broil/grill mode for UK for 2-5 minutes at the end of cooking time. Skip that step if the skins are already crispy enough.

How do I modify the recipe if I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts instead?

That&rsquos the question I get asked the most. As much as I love bone-in meat, I realise it&rsquos not everyone&rsquos preference, my family included.

You can easily use boneless chicken thighs or breasts but I would recommend reducing the cooking time by a half and lower the temperature to 350F/180C.

You will also have to pre-boil the potatoes since 25 minutes are not long enough for them to get fully cooked in the oven.

Now that you are a pro at cooking chicken thighs, here are more recipes to try:

and for boneless chicken thighs:

If you end up making any of these recipes, make sure to tag @vikalinka in your Instagram snaps, so I could see your creations!

  1. If you have wings, drumsticks, breasts, whatever feel free to use them in this dish! Any part of the chicken works because this rice bake is super versatile.
  2. If red pepper flakes are too hot for you feel free to substitute in some cayenne pepper.
  3. For even more depth of flavor you can toast your rice in some olive oil before incorporating.
  4. You can use brown rice instead, just cook for an additional 15 – 20 minutes if you do.

Be sure to store this dish as soon as it’s cooled as rice is a breeding ground for bacteria. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 – 4 days. If freezing store this dish in a freezer bag with the air pressed out. Thaw overnight in the fridge and fluff the rice before reheating. This dish will last up to 3 months in the freezer.