Grains as Mains Baked Chicken Paella

I have followed author of whole heartedly healthy, Laura Agar Wilson from the very start of my food adventure. She is a health coach, writer and recipe developer and I have picked up many tips, tricks and recipes from my time spent reading her blog. When I found out she has written a book 'Grains as Mains', I was excited to try some of the recipes. Once overlooked, grains are starting to become popular after being made aware of the protein and vitamins it packs into something so versatile and tasty. Throughout the book, there are guides to replacements you can make which is helpful when some of the grains are difficult to find in smaller superstores as well as vegetable and meat substitutions. One of the first recipes that shouted to me was the Baked Chicken Freekeh Paella. As I didn't have freekeh in my cupboard, I substitued it for pearl barley and added a few more minutes onto the cooking time. It is a simple and easy to follow recipe, with everything only needing preparation and then leaving in the oven to cook. The one pot dish is simple for supper or brilliant as an entertaining dish as well.

Ingredients

4 chicken legs (I used breasts)
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
250g uncooked freekeh
400ml chicken stock
120ml dry white wine
175g chorizo
2 red peppers, finely sliced
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp parsley to garnish

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 190c. Season the chicken with plenty of salt and pepper, paprika and chilli flakes.
2. Place the freekeh, stock and wine in a large ovenproof dish. Then add chorizo, red peppers, chillies, onion and garlic and then place the chicken on top. Cover and put into the oven.
3. Roast for 35 minutes. Then remove the lid for the last 10 mins until the chicken is cooked and the grains fluffy (Add 15mins extra cooked if using pearl barley). Drizzle over the lemon juice and garnish with parsley.

The flavour of this dish is smokey with a slight hint of spice. It's a great one to make and have leftovers for lunch the next day as the flavour develops and gets even better!

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