Spanish rice holds a lot of memories from my childhood. It was a staple at family gatherings, along with the deliciously greasy chorizo sausage. It was a dish my full-blooded Spanish grandmother and great-grandmother made and had many variants. Sometimes it would just be chicken breasts with saffron rice, sometimes chorizo was added, but no matter how it was made, it was always delicious.
I can vividly recall my great-grandmother cooking in her kitchen, the smell of chicken and saffron powerful and permeable, the very walls soaking it in. Even now, when I get a whiff of the spice, I think of her in the kitchen, of my grandmother pulling out a special birthday rice dish.
It’s a tradition I have carried on and brought into my home. I have made quite a few alterations to the recipe, however. Somehow, I don’t think Mrs. Dash is an authentic Spanish spice….
Is there a certain traditional dish that has been passed down in your family? Did you do anything to modify it?
The following recipe makes A LOT. It’s enough to feed a small party of guests. If you have a small-ish family, be sure to halve it. There will be plenty of left overs. You can find saffron at most grocery stores these days. The chorizo sausage I use is imported from Spain and there is only one place in town I can find it. However, most co-op grocery stores carry at least one brand of it. This site is a good place to grab some.
4 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 additional cups water
big pinch saffron
1 tsp paprika
1 large onion
1/2 cup parsley, preferably fresh
2 Large tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cloves garlic
4 chicken thighs/breasts
1/2 lb. or more chorizo
3 cups rice, dry
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Salt and rub chicken with paprika. Put in oven and bake until done. Cut into pieces and remove to platter.
Prepare chicken broth from bouillon paste per directions. Add saffron and 1 tsp paprika. stir till boils. Set aside.
Brown chorizo in olive oil in large skillet or paella pan for 5-10 minutes. Remove to platter. Leave chorizo grease in pan.
Add onion, parsley and chopped garlic to skillet. Cook 5 min. Add dry rice to pan along with tomatoes. Cook till rice starts to brown.
Pour broth into skillet. Stir until it boils.
Transfer to dutch oven or a 5 qt casserole dish, scattering half of chopped chicken on bottom of pan, the rest of chicken and chorizo stirred in rice. Scatter garlic cloves on top.
Add additional 1 1/2-2 cups water if needed.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When rice is done, remove from oven and let cool. Serve with sour cream. Serves 6-8.
About Kris Underwood
Kris Underwood is the Social Media Manager at Hunger Mountain (Vermont College of Fine Arts). Poetry has appeared in several publications including MotherVerse, mamazine.com and Poetry Midwest. I read books & write about them on my blog sometimes.