Pollo Campurriano

A dish from farming country inland from Santander. Well-powdered with paprika, the chicken is fried, then cooked with ham and peppers, and served with rice. Small pickling onions can replace the spring onions, but cook them in their skins for 5 minutes before peeling.

  • Serves 4
  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes.


  • 4 small corn-fed chicken quarters
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon flour
  • 5 oz streaky tocino or raw ham, cubed
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 8 fat white spring onions or pickling onions
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 16 fl. oz chicken stock
  • 1 spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 7 fl. oz calasparra rice
  • 9 fl. oz dry white wine


Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Salt and pepper the chicken well, rubbing the flesh with 2 teaspoons of paprika, then dust with flour. Fry skin side down over medium-high heat, for 5 minutes on each side, until golden. When you turn the chicken, add the tocino or chopped ham, peppers and spring onion bulbs.

Move to a casserole in which the chicken will fit tightly in one layer. Pack the chicken in neatly and sprinkle with the remaining flour. Tuck the spring onion bulbs, ham and peppers into any spaces with the bay leafs. Add just enough stock to cover the ingredients - about 6-8 fl. oz. Put on the lid and simmer gently.

Add the onion to the oil remaining in the frying pan and fry until softened, adding a little more oil if needed. Add the chopped garlic cloves and the rice. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of paprika and stir gently. Pour in the wine and bring gently to the boil. Add 10 fl. oz of stock and cook gently for 15 minutes. The stock should just be absorbed. Small quantities of rice can dry out so watch for this and add another couple of spoonfuls of liquid from the chicken pot if necessary.

When the rice is done, cover with foil and leave to stand off the heat for 5 minutes. Turn off the chicken too. Serve the two dishes together. You can sprinkle a little chopped green onion top over the chicken to garnish.

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Cantabria recipes: The Region of Cantabria is very rich in history, art and natural areas: the sea, valleys with mild and warm micro-climates, fertile pastures... the varied cuisine cleverly combines the products from the sea with those from the pastures and market gardens.