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Pachi’s Spanish Rice with Chicken

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Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice

My mother-in-law, who is from Spain, taught me how to make this rice.  The recipe has been passed down from generation to generation without ever being written down.  I did my best to write it in a an easy to use recipe.  Most of the measurements are approximate: just put some in, taste it, and add more if you think it will taste better.  This is a large recipe that can of course be cut in half or further reduced.  You can also play around with it a bit by throwing different things in (different kinds of meat, other vegetables) to make it more suited to your tastes or to use up some things you have on hand. Happy cooking! 


  • 1 whole chicken, cut up (or it’s equivalent of legs or some other bone-in cut)
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper
  • 2 cups of peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of crushed, stewed tomatoes
  • About 2 cups of chicken broth
  • About 2 T of dried minced garlic and parsley
  • About 3/4 tsp of chili pepper
  • About 1 tsp of paprika
  • About 1 tsp of oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • About 2 – 3 tsp salt
  • About 1 tsp of saffron (or turmeric, which is much more economical and more similar enough to work)
  • Rice (two handfuls per person)


  1. Heat up 4 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan.  Fry the chicken until it is cooked through.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, roast two red peppers.  (If you have a gas stove, you can put them right on the fire rotating occasionally until the entire pepper is charred.  Otherwise, you can cut the peppers in half and put them open side down on a pan and put them under the broiler until charred.  After the peppers are charred, put them in a paper bag, close it, and leave them there for about 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, take them out and the burnt skin should peel right off).  After you scrape/peel off the skin, dice the peppers.
  3. Once the chicken is cooked through, add the 2 diced onions, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and the crushed, stewed tomatoes.  Leave it sautéing until the onions are soft.
  4. After the onions are soft, add the diced, roasted peppers and all of the seasonings: chili pepper, paprika, oregano, bay leaves, saffron or turmeric, and salt.  The measurements above are estimates: put a little less and then add more to taste.
  5. Add the broth.  The amount of broth/liquid in the sauce needs to be double the amount of rice you will put, so adjust the amount of liquid accordingly.  If you find that it is getting dry while the rice is cooking, then you can add hot broth or water.
  6. Leave the sauce simmering for a while (10 – 15 minutes) to thicken up and for the flavors to mix well.  Add the rice and lower the temperature to low.  Again, make sure the amount of rice is half the amount of liquid.
  7. Cover and leave it simmering for about 20 minutes until the rice is cooked through.  Mix in about 1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley and serve.

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