Picture: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

The classic flavour combination of chicken with smoked bacon (speck) is always good. Add good olives and fresh bell pepper and you take it to the next level.

RECIPE: Spanish Chicken Casserole
Serves 4

2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp sea salt, ground
1 free-range chicken, jointed into 8 pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
220g speck, fat removed, diced, 1cm thick
1 big onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
3 bell peppers (capsicum), various colours, cored, cut into 1cm-wide strips.
400g can tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
2 sprigs rosemary
200g green olives, pips in

Rub paprika and salt into the chicken pieces. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and add the speck. Cook the speck over a medium heat until any fat has rendered and it has browned. Remove the speck to a plate. Leave the fat in the saucepan and turn up the heat to medium high. Add the chicken to the pan in two batches, browning all over, then remove to a plate.

Add the onion, garlic and bay leaves and cook for 4 minutes or until the onion has softened. Return the speck and the bell peppers to the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock, rosemary and chicken pieces. Bring the sauce to the boil, then lower to a low simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until chicken has cooked through. Stir in olives and serve with rice.

To serve: Use a packet of quick brown rice in the microwave for a mess-free, quick accompaniment.

The West Australian

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