Chicken Basque

11 Dec

This meal brings together so many of my favourite tastes. I like it so much I would consider it a contender for my last meal!

It is my take on a Delia recipe from her Summer Collection. It’s brilliant because the preparation is straightforward and then everything cooks in one pot for a while, reducing the time you will spend washing up, and giving you very little to do once the prep is sorted. But, more than that, it is just meltingly, savouringly amazing.

I know a lot of people think very highly of Delia, and using this recipe as an indicator of her brilliance, I would be inclined to agree with this view, but this is actually the only recipe of hers I have ever used, so I haven’t had an awful lot of experience to form a valid opinion of my own. I also mention her status because I feel almost ashamed to share the changes I’ve made to this recipe, as if it wasn’t good enough in it’s original form. Of course I’m still going to, just because they suit me in terms of taste and convenience. Delia is also very precise with her instructions, but I’ve allowed for more improvisation here. Finally, I’ve used less salt, because I really don’t think it’s necessary to add flavour in the quantities Delia suggests.

Serves 2.

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 75g chorizo, cut into 1cm slices
  • 1 onion, cut into small wedges
  • 1 pepper (red for preference), halved and deseeded and sliced
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste or tomato purée
  • 1/2 tsp hot paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 85ml dry white wine
  • 125g basmati rice
  • 1/2 medium sized orange, cut into wedges
  • handful pitted black olives


  1. Heat some oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan or frying pan with raised sides. Add the chicken thighs (do not crowd the pan – you may need to do this in batches), and brown them all over. When they are ready, transfer them to a plate lined with kitchen paper.
  2. Add the onion and pepper, turning the heat up a little. Add more oil if it is necessary. Stir from time to time for about 5 minutes, allowing them to brown slightly at the edges.
  3. Then add the chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. Toss them around for about a minute until the garlic and chorizo have taken on some colour. Next, add the rice, tomato paste, paprika, thyme, chicken stock, wine and some seasoning, then place the chicken thighs on top of it all, using them to push the rice down into the liquid. Finally, scatter the orange wedges and olives around the chicken.
  4. Cover with a lid and cook over the gentlest possible heat for 35-45 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Check up on it once or twice as you may need to add a splash more water to save the rice from being undercooked and/or burning the pan. I like to leave mine until the rice is almost risotto-like in consistency, whilst Delia prefers hers to retain a bit of bite. Suit yourself of course 🙂

A final word: I like to leave the orange in amongst everything when I dish this up, but if you choose to do this too, make sure that the orange is sweet beforehand. If it is sweet, it will complement the meal beautifully, but if it is sour, you’d be better off discarding it before you start to eat. Discard it anyway, if you prefer, but trust me when I say sweet is super! 😛


One Response to “Chicken Basque”

  1. Sophie33 December 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    I love Delia’s recipes a lot too! She rocks!! MMMMMMMMMMMM!

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