What’s cooking today: Spanish orange-paprika chicken

What’s cooking today: Spanish orange-paprika chicken
Tony Jackman’s Spanish orange-paprika chicken. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

The colours are lively, the flavours are lively — here’s a midweek supper recipe that will have you toasting life itself.

Our chicken recipes always fly, if you’ll pardon the expression. It’s clear that you love them, and thank you for that. Here’s a chicken dish with a strong Spanish touch, inspired by the last of the oranges in my garden. 

At this time of year, in the shoulder season between winter and the long, hot summer to come (and we need to brace ourselves for it), the oranges that remain as the season closes are hanging alongside sprays of white orange blossoms on the tree. It’s a special moment in the annual growth cycle, one making its exit while the other is an early herald of the abundance to come next winter.

There’s a good hit of paprika in this dish too, lending a spicy breadth to the strength of the tomato component, and something sweet to leaven it. If you are able to find some pale dry sherry (good luck with that), use that instead, but I used some lekker Old Brown Sherry, which is still very much on the market despite Monis’ once beloved sherries having been culled. Such a pity.

Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with Obies, and it works really well in this recipe. Let’s see it, then, as a South African adaptation of a Spanish tradition.

(Serves 4)


8 chicken portions

3  Tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, diced

3 carrots, peeled and cut into slices diagonally

3 Thyme sprigs, picked

Juice of 2 oranges

3 long strips of orange peel

250 ml chicken stock

50 ml old brown Sherry

1 heaped tsp paprika

Salt and black pepper

2 bay leaves

2 heaped tsp cornflour dissolved in water


I used chicken thighs and breasts in this recipe, but any portions will do. If using breasts, cut them in half right through the middle. I removed the bones from the breasts, but not the thighs.

Brown the chicken portions in olive oil. Remove.

Braise the chopped red onion in olive oil with the celery and garlic, until softened.

Pour the chicken stock into a jug with the orange juice and sherry.

Add this to the pot and deglaze, scraping the bottom with a flat-edged wooden spoon or silicone spatula to get all the bits of flavour from the bottom into the stock.

Add the browned chicken back to the pot. Add the carrots, orange peel, thyme and bay leaves.

Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Bring to a simmer and cook till the chicken is tender, about half an hour.

Thicken with dissolved cornflour and cook gently for a few minutes more.

Serve with steamed rice. DM

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.

This dish is photographed on wares by Mervyn Gers Ceramics.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • mikestreak says:

    I appear to be missing the “tomato component”
    There’s a good hit of paprika in this dish too, lending a spicy breadth to the strength of the tomato component

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

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