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Spanish Beer Chicken

Spanish Beer Chicken

What are you doing to feel normal? To forget that we use phrases like "the virus" and "pre-pandemic" and "social distancing" more often than ever thought possible? For some people, it’s routine that brings comfort, and for others, it’s the lack of it. I have never been a schedule keeper, so that was never really an option for me. Cooking makes me feel normal, it just makes everything feel ok. 

One-pot meals feel like normalcy, it makes me feel like I have better things to do than the dishes, even if I don’t. Because really, I don’t. This particular one-pot meal reminds me of traveling, of Spain and even of Brazil for some reason. It reminds me to trust that I will someday get on a plane again, and that the world is out there waiting for us to visit once it’s safe. 

For now, this is as close as I can get to leaving town. It’s as close as I can get to travel, and it will just have to do for now. For now, we just sit back and appreciate the healthy people in our lives, and a job if you have one, and know that the rest is out there to enjoy later. For now, it’s one-pot chicken, beer, and Netflix. There are far worse fates. 

Spanish Beer Chicken


  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 bone-in and skin-on pieces of chicken legs, thighs
  • 2 bell peppers chopped
  • ½ of one large white onion chopped
  • 1 cup (180g) uncooked white rice
  • ¾ cups (6oz) low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup (8oz) pale ale beer
  • 1 (14oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (4oz) link Spanish chorizo* chopped
  • ¼ cup (45g) chopped Spanish olives
  • ¼ cup (6g) chopped parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a small bowl combine the paprika, garlic, salt, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and salt.
  • Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with the spice mixture, reserve any remaining spice mixture.
  • Add the chicken, skin side down to a large, shallow pan with a lid (off heat). Add to medium heat, add the lid at a vent or add a splatter guard. Cook until the chicken skin has browned and a significant amount of fat has rendered (cooking chicken at a lower temperature for a longer time helps to render more fat and crisp the skin much more effectively than searing in a hot pan).
  • Once the chicken skin has crisped, remove from pan (the chicken does not need to be cooked through). Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of the fat. 
  • Add the chorizo, bell peppers and onion to the pan over medium-high heat
  • Once the vegetables have softened and started to brown, add the beer, stirring and scraping to deglaze the pan.
  • Add the broth, and tomatoes bring to a low simmer, stir in the rice.
  • Add the chicken back into the pot in an even layer.
  • Cover and add to the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the rice is softened and cooked and the chicken is cooked through.
  • Top with Spanish olives and parsley. Serve warm.


*Spanish chorizo is very different from Mexican chorizo. If you can’t find Spanish chorizo, a good substitute is linguica, or Andouille sausage.

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Kristine Gauthier May 9, 2020 um 8:33 am

Hello! This looks great. Do you think I can do this in a cast iron pot/pan?


Jackie May 9, 2020 um 5:34 pm

Yes, if it’s big enough. It should be about 12 inches across or hold about 3 quarts. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil before you put it in the oven.


Cheryl March 13, 2024 um 5:51 pm

Hi, thanks for the recipe! I’m about to start making it and I just noticed salt is listed twice in the ingredient list. Is the second one supposed to be pepper maybe?


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