Spiced Chicken and Rice

Chicken on the bone, with paella rice, vegetables, herbs, spices and garlic mayonnaise. A true one pot wonder.

It was a little hard to name this dish and really “spiced chicken and rice” doesn’t really do it any justice. This really is absolutely delicious, if I don’t say so myself! I wanted to make a dish like paella but with a very different flavour. I am very happy with the results and cant wait to cook this again, I hope you like it too!

The dish uses chicken wings with the skin removed, cooked on the bone this gives the chicken flavour and keeps the meat moist as the dish cooks. You could substitute wings for thighs or legs, but I think wings work best.

The wings are browned in a pan before adding a mixture of onion, garlic, red pepper, celery and red chilli. This is fried until the vegetables start to soften then a little sugar, black pepper, smoked paprika, ground cumin and chilli powder is added then stirred through the vegetables. Paella rice is added and stirred through the mixture to coat every grain in the flavour base. A glass of white wine is added then cooked off, followed by some tomato paste, chicken stock and a little water. The heat is turned down and the dish is left to simmer until the rice is cooked. The dish is garnished with some freshly chopped coriander, lime wedges and a generous drizzle of garlic mayonnaise.


 Serves two

Preparation time 15 minutes, cooking time 35 minutes

Ingredients and method

500g chicken wings – skin and connective tissue removed

4 cloves garlic – peeled, crushed and finely chopped

2 medium sized red onions – finely diced

1 red pepper – finely diced

150g Paella rice

125ml dry white wine

1 tsp Smoked paprika

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tbsp. olive oil

500ml chicken stock – keep hot to add to rice

175ml water – add extra if liquid cooks off before rice is ready

2 tsp tomato paste

Black pepper – to taste

Salt – to taste

3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaf –  add to dish and for garnish

4 lime wedges – garnish

Garlic mayonnaise – in squeeze bottle to drizzle over dish

Method: Start by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide deep frying pan, then add the chicken wings and brown over a medium high heat. Once chicken is browned add the celery, garlic, onion, chilli and red pepper, stir fry for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Add 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp chilli powder, a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper and 2 tsp of brown sugar and stir through the vegetables. Next add the paella rice and stir well until each grain is coated in the spice mixture, then add a glass of wine and stir until it is cooked off. Add 2 tsp of tomato paste and stir through the rice then add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander, 500ml chicken stock and 175ml water. Gently stir through the rice, bring to the boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Leave uncovered for around 25-30 minutes until the rice is cooked. If required you can add a little extra water and cook for longer if rice is not ready, the chicken will only get more tender and fall off the bone delicious. Before serving check the rice for seasoning then add salt and pepper to taste. Complete the dish by adding lime wedges, sprinkling coriander, then drizzling a generous amount of garlic mayonnaise over the dish.


Tomato soup

A simple recipe for simply delicious tomato soup.

The great deep flavour comes from a flavour base of garlic, onion, chilli, bay leaf, carrot celery and Romano pepper. A balance of spices – turmeric, cumin, coriander, saffron and smoked paprika adds another dimension. Plum tomatoes, seasoning, a little sugar, basil, parsley and coriander complete this tasty soup.

This recipe works wonderfully with my Easy Homemade Bread recipe.


Recipe for 4 large portions

Preparation time 15 minutes, cooking time 40-45 minutes

Ingredients and method

4-5 cloves garlic – peel, crush

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion – peel, dice

2 white onions – peel, dice

1 large red chilli – slice (keep seeds for extra heat if you wish)

2 bay leafs

3 carrots – peel, slice

2 sticks celery – slice

1 Romano red pepper – remove stalk and seeds, dice

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp smoked paprika

Pinch saffron

6 plum tomatoes – cut in half

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp dried basil

1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley – plus a little finely chopped as a garnish

Generous handful of fresh coriander  – leaf and stalk

1.5L stock – vegetable or chicken

Salt and pepper to taste

Method: heat the oil in a deep soup/stock pot then add the garlic cloves and fry gently for around a minute. Add the onions red chilli and bay and fry for a further 3-4 minutes. Next add the celery, carrot and romano pepper and fry for a further 4 minutes. Add the spices and stir thoroughly so the spices coat the whole mixture, fry for a couple of minutes but take care not to burn the spices, loosen with a little water if the spices catch on the pan. Next add the tomatoes, sugar and herbs and stir thoroughly, fry for a further 3-4 minutes again add a little water if mixture catches on pan. Add the stock, a generous amount of black pepper but only a little salt – more can be added to finished soup. Bring to the boil then cover, reduce heat and simmer for around 30 minutes. After this remove from heat and carefully remove the lid, use a wooden spoon to remove the bay leaf (can be hard to find but is important!), then use a stick blender to blitz into a smooth soup. Taste for seasoning then ladle into bowls, dusting with a little finely chopped parsley as a garnish. You could also for extra refinement pass the soup through a sieve as an optional last step.

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Chicken Wing Curry and Pilau rice

Using a wonderful tomato based curry paste to slow cook skinless on the bone chicken wings for a delicious curry dish. Served with flavoured pilau rice.

I was inspired to make this dish after watching an old episode of Rick Steins India where he watched a fisherman’s wife make a white fish curry. It got me thinking that using similar techniques and a modified version of her curry paste with chicken on the bone could make a wonderful dish. Turns out I was right, if I don’t say so myself. This dish is also nice and healthy as there is not much oil used and no cream or coconut milk, with no compromise on flavour.

The curry paste is made in a mini blender out of tomato, onion, garlic, cumin seeds, ground turmeric, paprika, black peppercorns, salt, ginger and chillies – all blitzed into a smooth curry paste. Mustard seeds are fried in hot oil until they begin to pop then the curry paste is fried to release its wonderful flavours and aromas. I removed the skins from some good quality chicken wings which were browned in the fried curry paste. Next some water was added to loosen the sauce along with some curry leafs and a little sugar before turning down the heat and simmering uncovered for 40-50 minutes. The curry is finished off with a little chicken stock and some chopped coriander just before serving.

This curry would work well with your choice of rice or Indian bread, I served it with a simple pilau rice which complemented the flavours very well. This is simple to make and can be easily cooked towards the end of the curry process. Onions, bay, sliced garlic, ground cinnamon, ground coriander, ground turmeric, cardamom, cloves and saffron are fried in some melted butter until softened. Washed rice is then added and stirred until each grain is coated. Twice the rice volume of chicken stock is added then the heat is reduced, pan covered and left to simmer until the stock has been fully absorbed. The rice is fluffed up with a fork and then served. I use this rice recipe with some of my other Indian dishes such as Special Cod Makhani  and Chicken Makhani.


Serves two people

Preparation 20 minutes, cooking time 1 hour


For the curry paste:

4 round tomatoes

3 onions – mixture of red and white is best

6 cloves garlic – peeled

Tsp cumin seeds

Tsp ground turmeric

Tsp Paprika

Tsp Salt

4 black peppercorns

1/2 thumb of ginger – peel and chop finely before adding to blender

2 large red chillies – remove seeds for less spicy

2 red bird eye chillies – remove seeds for less spicy

Method: add to a min blender/mini chopper and blitz into a smooth paste.


For main dish:

500g skinless chicken wings – must be on the bone

1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

1-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

12 fine green beans – trimmed, cut in half

6-8 curry leafs

1-2 tsp sugar

Handful coriander leaf – roughly chopped

water to loosen sauce

Chicken stock – I used approx. 150ml

Method: Add 1-2  tablespoons of vegetable oil to a non stick pan, preferably a wide, deep frying pan, over a medium high heat. Add the mustard seeds and fry them until they begin to pop. Add the curry paste and stir fry for 4-5 minutes until fragrant then add the chicken wings and brown them in the paste. Add approx. a mug of water to loosen the sauce then add the curry leafs, green beans and a teaspoon of sugar. Stir through, bring back to the boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 45-50 minutes. The sauce will slowly reduce as it cooks so you will need to add some chicken stock to bring it to your chosen consistency, I used approx. 150ml stock but this depends upon how thick or thin you like your curry sauce. A few minutes before serving, heat the sauce through (if required), add the coriander and stir it through the dish.


For the pilau rice:

150 basmati or long grain rice – rinsed thoroughly 

1 white onion – diced

2 cloves garlic – thinly sliced

15g butter

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground coriander

4 cloves

4 cardamom pods

Bay leaf

Pinch saffron

Chicken stock – twice the volume of the rinsed rice 

You require a medium to large pan with a tight fitting lid (glass is best)

Method: melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat then add the onion, garlic and all the spices. Stir and fry for around 4 minutes until the onion softens and the spices become aromatic. Add the rice and stir through until the rice is fully coated and the mixed through the spiced onion mixture. Add twice the volume of stock to the volume of rice, bring to the boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover pan with a tight fitting lid and leave on a low heat. Let the rice drink the stock as it cooks, it should take around 10 minutes for the rice to fully absorb the stock. Once stock is fully absorbed carefully remove pan lid and fluff rice with a fork before serving.


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