Smoked Paprika Chicken – a delicious nod to Spain

Apologies again to all my lovely followers for my absence the last few weeks. I’ve been working tirelessly on completing the edits for my new novel. I’ve self-published my previous two novels on Amazon (you can check them out here). This time around I’d like to pitch the book to an agent and I’m hoping to have it ready by the end of the year. Wish me luck!

But regardless of how busy I am there is always time to cook good food. Some standards can never be allowed to let slip.

I can’t tell you how happy I am that spring has arrived in New Zealand. Winter this year seemed interminable, not helped by the horrible cough I had for weeks on end. But you need to be a little wary of spring. Just when you think it’s time to whip out the spring/summer wardrobe, Mother Nature decides to remind you that it’s not summer. Not yet. And on those chilly spring evenings I still find myself seeking comfort from the evening meal.

It’s no secret how much I love a good chicken dish. I’ve posted plenty of recipes celebrating this fabulous bird. I’m particularly fond of chicken slow-cooked on the bone. It is so tender and delicious and can be paired with an endless array of flavours.

This smoked paprika chicken gives a small nod to Spain with the wonderful flavours of smoked paprika, tomatoes and sherry vinegar. Try to ensure you get the proper Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón). There is also a Hungarian version but it does have quite a different flavour (and incidentally is perfect used in a stroganoff).

As for the chicken pieces, you can use any combination you like. I love the look of the thighs and drumsticks but by all means use eight thighs if you’re not a fan of drumsticks.

I won’t pretend that this is a quick dish. Clearly it’s not. But surely not every meal cooked is about racing against the clock. There is nothing to be done while the chicken cooks away gently in the oven and the end result is worth every minute spent.


Smoked Paprika Chicken

Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper (capsicum), sliced into strips
  • 1 yellow pepper (capsicum), sliced into strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 300g tinned tomatoes
  • 100g semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • Bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the chicken:

  • 4 chicken thighs, bone in
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • Dash olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Smoked paprika


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

I like to start with the sauce. That way you can be preparing the chicken while the sauce is bubbling away.

Add the olive oil to a pre-heated pan. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent. Then add the peppers and sauté until they also start to soften. Finally add the garlic and sauté for another couple of minutes.

Sprinkle over the smoked paprika and chilli flakes and stir through the onions and peppers until well combined.

Add the tinned tomatoes, semi-dried tomatoes, chicken stock, caster sugar, salt and bay leaves. Grind over some pepper. Stir everything together well. Lastly, add the sherry vinegar and stir through.

Let the sauce simmer gently for 10 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, you can prepare the chicken. Make sure you have a heavy-based frying pan hot and ready to go.

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and then rub a little smoked paprika over each piece. Drizzle each piece with a little olive oil and rub in. Place the chicken pieces in the hot pan and fry each side until burnished and golden. You may need to do this in a couple of batches.

Pour the sauce into a large rectangular oven dish. Place the chicken pieces in the dish, settling them into the sauce.


Cover with foil and bake for 1½ hours.

At the end of cooking time, remove the foil and take a moment to breathe in deeply. After its time in the oven the dish smells so incredible.


Remove the chicken pieces and put them aside on a warm plate, loosely covered with foil.

Transfer the sauce into a pan large enough to take the sauce and chicken. You also want this to be a pan that you can serve the dish in. Bring the sauce to the boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes or so until it has thickened. Have a taste and check for seasoning. It may need a little more salt.

Add the fresh parsley and stir through, leaving aside a few parsley leaves for garnishing.

Return the chicken pieces and leave to simmer in the sauce for a few minutes to ensure they are warmed through.

Sprinkle over the reserved parsley leaves to garnish and take it to the table just as it is – in all its burnished and flavour-packed glory. There will be much gratitude awaiting you.


This sensational dish can be served with any number of things although I mostly like to serve it with basmati rice that I’ve stirred some flaked toasted almonds through. Also, try cooking the rice in chicken stock instead of water to give it some extra flavour.

Some steamed green beans would also make a lovely accompaniment.





  1. annika says:

    Thank you for the update my friend. I did notice your absence and was dreading that perhaps you had another bad cough. I wish you lots of luck for your latest novel but having read one of your books already, I am certain everything will work out perfectly. Thank you also for now giving me the idea of what to ask my husband to bring for me from Spain… pimentón (I’m sure they sell it here, but it would be the perfect souvenir from there!) I am sure he won’t object as this dish looks right up his alley and perfect for our cooler weather. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, my lovely friend. I will definitely keep you posted on progress. The book has been a lot of work but it’s undoubtedly a labour of love. Fortunately I finally managed to kick the cough but it took weeks! And that pimentón will be a perfect gift. It is so wonderful with so many dishes. You’ll fall in love with it – trust me xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow tracey, writing a third book already, that’s truly the coolest thing ever. You are a rock star!!!
    The recipe sounds really delicious, I always bring back lots of smoked pimenton when I go to Spain so I’m well stocked. ☺ need to make this asap.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Myra. The novel has certainly been quite a project. But a labour of love. As for the chicken, if you’re a fan of pimenton then you will absolutely adore this dish. Such a joy to cook and to eat.


  3. First, congrats on your undertaking. I wish you much success (and luck) on the publishing.
    Although this dish may not be so simple, most things in life worthwhile aren’t. Effort makes the reward that much more delectable. I so appreciate the detail you lay out in your recipes.
    Keep up the good work!
    Hopefully this spring gives your body a chance to fully recover from the winter’s challenges.
    Get/Stay healthy and remain happy always. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Jonathan. As always, such an inspiring comment. I completely agree – many things in life that are worthwhile take a little work and effort. I’m feeling much better thanks and definitely looking forward to summer!

      Liked by 1 person

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