Mary Berry Spanish Chicken recipe brings a touch of elegance and simplicity to the dinner table, combining the comforting flavors of chicken with the rustic warmth of Spanish-inspired ingredients. This dish, perfect for those who appreciate a meal that’s both straightforward and satisfying, features chicken pieces cooked with a selection of herbs, spices, and vegetables, capturing the essence of a sun-drenched Mediterranean kitchen.
In this guide, I’ll share how to recreate Mary Berry’s Spanish Chicken, providing tips to ensure your dish is flavorful, moist, and brimming with the vibrant hues and tastes of Spain.
What is Mary Berry Spanish Chicken Recipe?
Mary Berry’s Spanish Chicken is a hearty, one-pan dish that beautifully combines the succulence of chicken thighs with the robust flavors of chorizo, olives, and a rich tomato sauce. Infused with garlic, herbs, and a hint of Spanish paprika, it’s a symphony of flavors that promises a meal both comforting and invigorating. This recipe is not just about feeding the body but also about celebrating the vibrant Spanish culture through its culinary traditions.
Ideal for weeknight dinners or leisurely weekend meals, it serves 4-6 people and is ready in about an hour, making it a practical yet delightful option for any cook looking to impress without the stress.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Flavorful & Fulfilling: Every bite offers a burst of Mediterranean flavors.
- Simple & Convenient: Requires just one pan for cooking, making both preparation and cleanup a breeze.
- Versatile: Perfect for any meal, whether it’s a casual family dinner or a special occasion.
- Nutritious: Packed with proteins and vegetables, it’s a balanced meal that doesn’t compromise on taste.
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Spanish Chicken
To make Mary Berry Spanish Chicken, you will need the following ingredients:
- Chicken Thighs: 8 bone-in, skin-on for maximum flavor.
- Chorizo: 150g, sliced into rounds to add a spicy kick.
- Onion: 1 large, thinly sliced.
- Red and Yellow Peppers: 2, sliced, for a sweet and colorful addition.
- Garlic Cloves: 2, minced, for that aromatic base.
- Canned Tomatoes: 400g, to create a rich sauce.
- Chicken Stock: 200ml, for cooking the chicken to perfection.
- Olives: A handful, pitted, to bring in a briny depth.
- Fresh Thyme: A few sprigs, to infuse the dish with herbal notes.
- Paprika: 1 tsp, smoked or sweet, for that quintessential Spanish flavor.
- Olive Oil: For sautéing and bringing the dish together.
- Salt and Pepper: To taste, for seasoning.
Instructions to Make Mary Berry Spanish Chicken
To make Mary Berry Spanish Chicken, follow these simple steps:
Preparing the Ingredients
- Preheat the Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4) to ensure it’s ready for baking the chicken.
- Season the Chicken: Lightly season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of paprika to start building the flavors.
Browning the Chicken
- Sear the Chicken: In a large, oven-proof pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs, skin-side down, and sear until the skin is golden and crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside.
Sautéing the Vegetables
- Cook the Chorizo: In the same pan, add the sliced chorizo and cook until it starts to release its oils, about 2 minutes.
- Add the Vegetables: Introduce the sliced onions, peppers, and minced garlic to the pan. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, around 5 minutes, absorbing the flavors of the chorizo.
Creating the Sauce
- Combine with Tomatoes: Stir in the canned tomatoes and chicken stock, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Add the Chicken: Nestle the chicken thighs back into the pan, along with any juices that have accumulated. Sprinkle with thyme leaves.
- Bake: Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the sauce has thickened.
- Garnish: Before serving, scatter olives over the dish and give it a final dusting of paprika for color and flavor.
- Serve Hot: Dish out the Spanish chicken hot from the oven, ideally alongside your choice of side dish for a complete meal.
What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Spanish Chicken?
- For a Classic Touch: Pair it with a side of fluffy, saffron-infused rice or warm, crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.
- Light & Fresh: A crisp green salad dressed with olive oil and lemon adds a refreshing contrast.
- Hearty Complement: Roasted potatoes or a quinoa salad can turn the dish into an even more substantial meal.
- To Impress: Serve alongside a glass of red Rioja wine for an authentic Spanish dining experience.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Spanish Chicken
- Marinate for Depth: Let the chicken marinate in spices beforehand to enhance its flavor.
- Quality Matters: Select high-quality chorizo for a richer taste and vibrant color in the dish.
- Crisp to Perfection: Ensure the chicken skin is perfectly crisped by searing it well before baking, giving the dish a delightful texture.
- Balance the Flavors: Adjust the amount of garlic and paprika according to your taste preference for a personalized flavor profile.
Variations of Mary Berry Spanish Chicken
- Vegetarian Option: Swap chicken for firm tofu or a hearty vegetable like eggplant to cater to vegetarian preferences.
- Seafood Delight: Introduce shrimp or mussels in the last few minutes of cooking for a seafood variation.
- Spice It Up: Add a dash of chili flakes or cayenne pepper for those who favor a spicier kick.
- Low-Carb Version: Replace traditional sides with cauliflower rice or spiralized vegetables for a low-carb alternative.
How do I Store Mary Berry Spanish Chicken Leftovers?
- Prompt Cooling: Allow the leftovers to cool to room temperature within two hours of cooking to prevent bacterial growth.
- Airtight Containers: Transfer the cooled dish into airtight containers to preserve freshness and prevent odors from permeating.
- Freeze for Longer Storage: If you won’t consume the leftovers within three days, freeze them in suitable containers or freezer bags for up to 3 months.
How do I Reheat Mary Berry Spanish Chicken Leftovers?
- Preheat and Cover: Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Transfer the chicken to an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil to retain moisture.
- Heat Thoroughly: Reheat for 20-25 minutes, or until piping hot throughout.
- Low Heat in a Pan: Place the leftovers in a pan over medium-low heat. Add a splash of water or chicken broth to prevent drying out.
- Stir Occasionally: Cover and gently reheat, stirring occasionally, until fully warmed through.
- Short Bursts: Transfer the chicken to a microwave-safe dish. Cover with a microwave-safe lid or vented plastic wrap.
- Reheat in Intervals: Use medium power to reheat in 1-2 minute intervals, stirring in between, to ensure even heating.
Estimated Nutritional Value per Serving:
- Calories: 350-550
- Protein: 25-35g
- Fat: 15-25g
- Carbohydrates: 10-15g
- Fiber: 3-4g
- Sodium: 400-600mg
Can I Use Chicken Breasts Instead of Thighs for Mary Berry Spanish Chicken?
Yes, you can use chicken breasts instead of thighs, although the cooking time may need to be adjusted since breasts tend to cook faster and can become dry if overcooked. To retain moisture, consider searing them briefly on each side before baking and check for doneness around the 20-minute mark in the oven.
Is It Possible to Make Mary Berry Spanish Chicken in a Slow Cooker?
Absolutely! To adapt this recipe for a slow cooker, brown the chicken and chorizo first to develop flavors, then transfer them into the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Remember, the sauce might be more liquid than when baked, but you can thicken it by cooking uncovered on high for the last 30 minutes if your slow cooker allows.
How Can I Ensure My Spanish Chicken Doesn’t Come Out Too Spicy?
The spice level in Mary Berry Spanish Chicken primarily comes from the chorizo and the amount of paprika used. Choose mild chorizo and reduce the paprika to control the heat. You can also add a bit of sugar to the tomato sauce to counterbalance the spiciness.
What Are Some Gluten-Free Side Dish Recommendations for Mary Berry Spanish Chicken?
For a gluten-free accompaniment, consider serving the Spanish Chicken with a side of quinoa, which is not only gluten-free but also adds a lovely texture and is a great source of protein. Other options include roasted sweet potatoes, a fresh garden salad, or steamed green beans dressed with a squeeze of lemon and olive oil.
Can Mary Berry Spanish Chicken Be Made Ahead of Time for a Party?
Yes, this dish is perfect for making ahead of time. Prepare and cook the recipe as directed, then cool and store it in the refrigerator. On the day of your event, gently reheat it in the oven covered with foil at 180°C (350°F) until it’s hot throughout. This not only saves time but can also enhance the flavors as they meld together overnight.
I hope this guide inspires you to explore more flavors, experiment with ingredients, and above all, enjoy the process of cooking. Whether for a quiet family dinner or a festive gathering, Mary Berry’s Spanish Chicken is sure to be a hit. Here’s to many more delicious meals and the memories they create. Bon appétit!