This is a brilliant dish and one I fall back on again and again. The combination of chicken, herbs, and sumac, with the texture of chewy rice, delights.
Not only is it a one-pot dish, you can stick all sorts in it for a slightly different twist each time. The only ingredients i'd urge you to keep are the onions, garlic, red and yellow pepper, black olives and herbs.
Here I've added some kale, and some Iberica sobrasada – a soft, cured Spanish sausage spiked with paprika – from Brindisa. It's lovely stuff and gives the end dish a bit of a background kick and richness. Chorizo would also work well.
- 8 chicken thighs (or mix of drumstick and thighs)
- Juice and zest of half a lemon
- 1 tsp sumac
- 1 red pepper, medium diced
- 1 yellow pepper, medium diced
- 1 red onion, medium diced
- 1 white onion, medium diced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 pieces sundried tomato, roughly chopped (cherry tomatoes sliced in half lengthways can be used instead
- Handful of decent black olives (not those dark black tinned flavourless ones), de-stoned and cut in half
- 1 bunch of oregano (1tbsp dried if no access to fresh)
- 200g rice (I like short grain brown rice)
- 1.5 pint chicken or vegetable stock
- 350g pack kale (optional)
- 150g piece sobrasada (optional)
Place the chicken into a bowl and add two of the crushed garlic cloves, sumac, oregano, lemon zest and juice. Season well and leave to marinate for 4 hours in the fridge.
Pre-heat oven to 180C (350F).
Warm 1 tbsp oil in a heavy-bottom pan over a medium-high heat and place chicken pieces, skin side down. Brown for 8 minutes, and turn over, cooking for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
In the same pan, scatter the onions, and peppers and cook gently with the leftover marinade. Then layer the peppers on top, followed by the olives, tomatoes and then rice. Mix lightly, ensuring even distribution of al the ingredients, and then layer the kale and tomatoes, finishing off with the browned chicken pieces and small pieces of sobrasada spread evenly over. Pour the stock over, cover with the lid and put in the oven.
Cook for 45 minutes, occasionally mixing in the kale with the rice. Once the time is up, check rice is cooked, and place under a hot grill without the lid to crisp up the skin. Serve up at the table, with leaves.