A simple version of a paella, this Spanish-style rice with chicken has to be one of Marcus’ family’s most asked-for meals. It’s a great way to cook for a crowd, and looks wonderful when placed in the middle of the table.
12 chicken thighs
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 red (bell) pepper, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
150 g/5¼ oz. chorizo, cubed or sliced
420 g/2¼ cups paella rice
1.5 litres/6¼ cups chicken stock
½ tsp paprika
A few strands of saffron
1 lemon, quartered
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A handful of freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
Paella pan (or large flat pan that will fit in your barbecue with the lid down)
Set up your barbecue for lid-on direct cooking at a moderate heat (around 180°C/356°F).
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then cook on the barbecue for around 25–30 minutes, skin-side down, until crispy and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 74°C/165°F. Set aside.
Drizzle the olive oil into the paella pan and add the onion, garlic, celery, red (bell) pepper and carrot. Place the pan on the barbecue and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add the chorizo and continue to cook until it releases its oils.
Add the rice and allow to cook for a few minutes, before adding enough of the chicken stock to cover. Add the smoked paprika and saffron and season with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer with the barbecue lid down until most of the liquid has been absorbed, around 20 minutes.
Put the cooked chicken thighs on top of the rice and add the quartered lemon. Turn the heat down and cook for another few minutes until the rice starts to form a slight crust on the bottom of the pan. At this stage, the rice will be cooked perfectly.
Garnish with some chopped flat-leaf parsley and serve.