Smoked Chicken and Asparagus Paella with Broad Bean, Almond and Sorrel Pesto

Ed Baines's stylish version of a traditional Spanish rice dish combines garlic-roasted chicken, asparagus and a zingy green pesto
By Ed Baines
Smoked Chicken and Asparagus Paella with Broad Bean, Almond and Sorrel Pesto
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time:
  • Effort: medium



  • 2 chicken legs
  • pinch of paprika
  • 8 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 250 g chorizo sausages, chopped into chunks
  • 2 chillies, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery
  • 100 g short grain rice
  • 1 beef tomato, chopped
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 400 ml chicken stock
  • 8 asparagus
  • pinch of saffron
  • black pepper

for the pesto

  • 50 g almonds
  • 1 bunches sorrel
  • 200 g fresh broad beans
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 200 g pecorino cheese, grated
  • 25 ml olive oil
  • black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Rub the chicken legs with the paprika and a drizzle of olive oil.

2. Place the chicken legs in a roasting tray with the garlic cloves and roast for 25 minutes until cooked through.

3. Take the roast chicken flesh off the bone and reserve the roast garlic.

4. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep, heavy-based frying pan. Add in the chorizo, chillies, onion, carrot and celery and fry over a medium heat until the vegetables are softened, around 5 minutes.

5. Add in the rice and mix in well.

6. Add the tomato, and cook for 3-4 minutes.

7. Pour the wine in and bring the mixture to the boil. Add the stock 100 millilitres at a time.

8. Cook for 20 minutes, then add the asparagus, and cook for another 5 minutes.

9. Add the roast chicken flesh, reserved roast garlic and saffron. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

10. To make the pesto, toast the almonds in a dry frying pan until lightly browned, taking care not to burn them. Remove and cool.

11. In a food processor, blend together the dry-fried almonds, sorrel, broad beans, garlic, Pecorino and olive oil into a paste. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

12. To serve the paella, put a generous helping on a plate, and garnish with the pesto.

Rate This Recipe