5 from 3 votes

Easy Spanish Chicken

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This Spanish chicken and rice is baked in one pan with olives, tomatoes, and chorizo. This recipe includes tangy, bold flavors and a garlicky bravas sauce.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
£1.18
Makes: 6
mains
Spanish
Freezable

Add some spice to your next meal with this one-pan Spanish chicken. This recipe uses flavourful yet simple seasoning, savory chorizo, juicy chicken thighs, tomatoes, olives, and rice for a deliciously rustic dish. It features a tangy, bold bravas sauce that will have you hooked and ready to make the recipe again immediately.

Browned chicken thighs in a tomato sauce with green olives and green herbs.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Comforting – This Spanish chicken and rice includes juicy chicken thighs and cosy ingredients, making it the perfect recipe for gloomy days/rainy weather.

Bold Flavors – Spanish seasoning helps take this one pan chicken and rice dish to the next level with garlicky, tangy flavors.

Meal prep- I love to make this Spanish chicken recipe for meal prep as the flavours tastes even better then next day. It also freezes really well which is great if you want to space out the occasions when you eat it. 

Here are a few other hearty, comforting chicken recipes for you to try; Mini Chicken Pot Pies with Puff Pastry Crust, Baked Chicken and Cauliflower and Easy Chicken and Chorizo Risotto

What is Spanish chicken?

This Spanish chicken dish includes an array of Spanish and Mediterranean ingredients, like green olives, paprika, and chorizo. These ingredients help create a Spanish/Mediterranean-style flavour that’s tangy, bold, and slightly spicy.

I took inspiration from arroz con pollo, a dish that originates in Spain and is made with rice, vegetables, saffron, and chicken. Then, I added a slightly different twist with bravas sauce and chorizo.

Bravas Sauce (Spanish Chicken Sauce)

Bravas sauce is a delicious way of seasoning this Spanish chicken. Bravas, meaning “fierce” in Spanish, refers to the smoky, bold flavours in the sauce. It’s a tomato sauce that’s known for being tangy, garlicky, smoky, sweet, spicy, and utterly delicious. It’s most commonly used in Madrid to give a complex taste to fried potatoes. But this versatile sauce is great for everything from chicken to fish and sandwiches!

This salsa is typically made with olive oil, garlic, tomato paste or crushed tomatoes, paprika, chicken broth, and red pepper flakes. These ingredients combine beautifully to produce the sauce’s distinct, complex flavour.

Cooking With Chicken Thighs

Why choose chicken thighs over breasts?
For Spanish chicken recipes, I recommend using chicken thighs with their skin on, as it helps create juicier pieces of meat. Since this recipe calls for the Spanish chicken to bake in the oven, it’s more likely for the meat to dry out if you’re using chicken breasts, especially if they are boneless and skinless.

Cutting off the extra skin
When making easy, one-pot chicken recipes like this one, I recommend trimming the excess skin off of the meat. You want to keep most of the skin on, as it helps lock in moisture. However, the extra bits that hang off tend to get soggy or flabby, so it’s best to cut them off before adding the chicken to the oven.

Checking temperature with a meat thermometer to get perfect doneness.
Ensure chicken and rice dishes are cooked properly by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the chicken will be 165°F (74°C) when it’s done. Be sure to stick the thermometer into the meat and avoid the bones to get a more accurate reading.

Need advice when cooking chicken from frozen? See my ; Frozen Chicken Thighs in Air Fryer (Perfectly Cooked in 25 minutes or less) and How to cook frozen chicken breast in the air fryer

Ingredients

Ingredients to make the Spanish chicken recipe laid out on a pale blue background and labelled.

Chicken Thighs – This Spanish chicken isn’t complete without juicy chicken thighs. You can also use boneless chicken thighs, drumsticks, or chicken breasts. However, you’ll need to adjust the time noted below if you use these swaps.

Chorizo – I recommend using cooked chorizo for this Spanish chicken recipe. That way, you’ll have crispy chorizo chunks. Raw chorizo will also work, but you’ll need to brown the crumbles before adding them to the baking pan.

Rice – Rice helps create a more filling, comforting Spanish chicken and rice recipe. However, you can also use potatoes if you prefer.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations/ Adaptations

Here are a few ways to make this yummy Spanish chicken your own! Instead of using rice with the Spanish chicken thighs, serve the chicken over boiled or roasted potatoes. You can also swap the skin-on thighs out for skinless chicken thighs, drumsticks, or chicken breasts. If you prefer spicier Spanish chicken breast recipes, add chilli powder or a small amount of cayenne to increase the heat.

Create a more filling dish by including beans, which add fibre to the recipe. Or, use different veggies that align with your preferences. For example, this recipe would be peas or sliced bell peppers.

Need inspiration for some other chicken and chorizo recipes? Try my ; Creamy Chicken and Chorizo Pasta, Spanish Chicken and Chorizo Stew and Chicken and Chorizo Paella

How to make Spanish chicken

NOTE: I cooked the onion, garlic and tomato in a frying pan before adding it to the chicken tray bake, but you can easily add these straight into the baking tray with the chicken, chorizo and peppers to make this a one pot dish.

Preheat oven to 190°F (374°C)

Before placing the chicken into a large baking tray, cut off the excess skin that isn’t directly attached to the thigh.

  1. Add the peppers into the pan, then the chicken thighs and chorizo (Image 1). 
  2. Coat in 1 tbsp olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes (Image 2). 
2 step by step photos, the first with chicken thighs in a baking tray with peppers and spices and the second with the spices covering the chicken.

3. Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp of olive oil into a large pan. Add the onion into the pan and season with salt and optional chilli flakes. Saute for 5 minutes, or until softened (Image 3). 

4. Next, add the garlic into the pan to cook for 2 minutes (Image 4). 

2 step by step photos, the first with finely sliced onions in a pan and the second with the onions frying in a pan.

5. Then add 3 cans of chopped tomatoes. Stir to combine and cook for 15-20 minutes, until reduced nicely (Image 5).  

6. When your oven timer goes off, add the reduced chopped tomato mixture evenly into the tray. Scatter the green olives and pop back into the oven for another 30 minutes (Image 6). 

2 step by step photos, the first with onions and tomatoes in a pan  and the second with browned chicken thighs and peppers in a baking tray.

7. When your oven timer goes off, add the reduced chopped tomato mixture evenly into the tray. Scatter the green olives and pop back into the oven for another 30 minutes.  *Cook the rice during this time (Image 7).  

8. After 30 minutes, the chicken should be fully cooked and your kitchen will smell divine. Serve a portion of rice with the Spanish chicken. Top with fresh parsley, a crack of black pepper and a pinch of flakey salt. Enjoy! (Image 8). 

2 step by step photos, the first with onions and tomatoes in a baking tray with the chicken thighs and the second with browned chicken thighs and peppers in a baking tray.

Tips for the best result

Use a meat thermometer to check the thighs
To get the best results with this Spanish chicken and chorizo dish, it’s necessary to use a meat thermometer. When the chicken is 165°F (74°C) inside, it’s ready. Avoid overcooking the chicken or you’ll get dried-out meat.

Add smoky paprika to boost flavour
Traditional bravas sauce recipes call for Spanish paprika, which is known for its smoky taste. Smoked paprika can achieve a similar taste with this chicken and chorizo rice. If you prefer, you can use sweet or spicy paprika instead. As a heads up, they will change the flavour of the recipe slightly.

Don’t skimp on oil
This recipe calls for a good amount of oil on the Spanish chicken, and for good reason! The oil helps create a deliciously crispy skin and helps the chicken get golden brown in the oven. Be sure to use enough oil for a more flavourful recipe.

Serving Suggestions/ Leftover & Reheat instructions

I recommend serving this Spanish chicken with a fresh green salad and bread and butter on the side. It’s also great alongside fruit salad, chips and salsa/guacamole, or other Spanish/Mexican/Mediterranean-inspired sides.

If you have any leftovers, allow them to cool fully. Then, store them in airtight containers in the fridge. They should be good for 3-4 days. You can also freeze leftovers. I recommend storing leftovers in an airtight baggy if you plan on freezing them, as it will help save room. You can keep the frozen leftovers in the freezer for up to one month.

When reheating from frozen, allow the leftovers to defrost in the fridge overnight. Then, heat them on the stove, stirring occasionally until warm. If you’re in a time crunch, you can also zap the leftovers in the microwave for a few minutes.

FAQs

Why did my rice turn out mushy?

There are a few reasons why the rice may be mushy. If you use too much water, it can cause the rice to turn into a mushy mixture. Or, if you cook the rice at too high a temperature or for too long, the grains can also become mushy.

Why are my chicken thighs tough?

There is typically only one reason chicken thighs turn out tough when making Spanish chicken—overcooking. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to check the chicken’s internal temperature. Don’t leave the chicken in too long, or you’ll be left with dry/tough meat.

Can you make this ahead?

You can make this chicken ahead of time. However, it typically only stays good for 3-4 days in the fridge, so keep that in mind when making this recipe.

Can I cook this on the stovetop?

Yes, you can also cook Spanish chicken dishes, like this one, on the stovetop. A skillet will help create a similarly crispy skin on the chicken. Be sure to sear the chicken on medium high heat first, to crisp up the skin.
 

Explore More Recipes

If you tried this Spanish Chicken recipes, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

Easy Spanish Chicken

Print
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
£1.18
mains
Spanish
Freezable
Servings: 6
This Spanish chicken and rice is baked in one pan with olives, tomatoes, and chorizo. This recipe includes tangy, bold flavors and a garlicky bravas sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg pack of chicken thighs (£3.14)
  • 1200 g (3 cans) of chopped tomatoes (£0.35×2)=(£0.70)
  • 2 small onions, diced (£0.26)
  • 110 g ½ chorizo sausage, sliced into small chunks (£2.50/2)=(£1.25)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced (£0.39)
  • 250 g white rice (£0.52/2)=(£0.26)
  • 50 g green olives, roughly sliced (£1.00/2)=(£0.50)
  • Fresh parsley (£0.60)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper

Method

NOTE : I cooked the onion, garlic and chopped tomatoes in a frying pan before adding it to the chicken tray bake, but you can easily add these straight into the baking tray with the chicken, chorizo and peppers to make this a one pot dish.

  • Preheat oven to 190°F (374°C)
  • Before placing the chicken into a large baking tray, cut off the excess skin that isn’t directly attached to the thigh. Add the peppers into the pan, then the chicken thighs and chorizo.
  • Coat in 1 tbsp olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp of olive oil into a large saucepan. Add the onion into the pan and season with salt and optional chilli flakes. Saute for 5 minutes, or until softened.
  • Next, add the garlic into the pan to cook for 2 minutes before adding the 3 cans of chopped tomatoes. Stir to combine and cook for 15-20 minutes, until reduced nicely.
  • When your oven timer goes off, add the reduced chopped tomato mixture evenly into the tray. Scatter the green olives and pop back into the oven for another 30 minutes.
  • Cook the rice during this time.
  • After 30 minutes, the chicken should be fully cooked and your kitchen will smell divine. Serve a portion of rice with the Spanish chicken. Top with fresh parsley, a crack of black pepper and a pinch of flakey salt. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure chicken thighs reach 165°F (74°C) internally to avoid dryness.
  • Enhance the flavour with smoky paprika, substituting Spanish paprika for a similar taste.
  • Generously apply oil to chicken for crispy skin and golden-brown finish in the oven.

Nutrition

Servings: 6 servings
Fat: 26g
Calories: 660kcal
Carbohydrates: 45g
Protein: 62g

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