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Easy Spanish Roast Chicken with Smoked Paprika Rub

Written By: Byron | March 4, 2024
A Spanish roast chicken with a smoked paprika rub sits cooked in a large dish.

Easy Spanish roast chicken with a smoked paprika rub is a brilliant roast chicken recipe that is made with just a few easy-to-find ingredients and requires just 5 minutes of preparation. Simply lay a bed of onions and garlic, add the chicken, make the marinade with some salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, and paprika, and pop it in the oven.

As the name suggests, we have taken inspiration from the delicious and plentiful roast chicken recipes that can be sampled in many seaside Spanish cities during the summer. Roast chicken is a time-honored recipe that many local families hold dear to their hearts. A recipe that symbolizes warm summer nights, and easy-going beach holidays where roast chicken is served as a hardy meal after a day at the beach.

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Serving:

Main for 4

Ready in:

Around 2 hours

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Mash potato, veg, or rice.

Watch step-by-step recipe video

If you’re looking for this recipe’s video and many other great recipe ideas, why not check out our Spanish Radish YouTube Channel? We’ve got everything from quick and easy tapas recipes to delicious main meals, to incredible Spanish dessert options too.

    A large raw chicken with some onions, spices, and garlic.

    Method

    1. Sprinkle some salt over the chicken and allow to cure for 1 hour before roasting (optional).
    2. Preheat oven and a roasting pan to 400°F (200°C)
    3. Add a splash of olive oil to the baking dish, then add the onion wedges and half of the peeled garlic cloves. 
    4. Crush the remaining half of the garlic cloves and add them to a small bowl. Add the salt, pepper, smoked paprika, olive oil, and mix well. 
    5. Put the chicken on top of the onion wedges and garlic.
    6. Baste the chicken skin with the paste. 
    7. Pour the chicken stock around the chicken. Add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary beside the chicken. Loosely cover the chicken with some aluminum foil (ensure air can flow in and around the chicken) and put it in the oven when it’s heated to the right temperature.
    8. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the chicken (see cooking notes below). For a 4.4-pound (2kg) chicken, cook it for 1 hour and 30 minutes and the cooking juices begin to run clear. 
    9. During the last 15 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and let the skin crisp up. If you want extra crispy skin, put it under the grill/broiler for another 5 minutes. 
    10. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. 
    11. We love to serve it with mashed potatoes and spoon lots of the cooked garlic and onion over the mash. You can also use the cooking juices to make a delicious chicken gravy. 

    Cooking notes:

    • Seasoning the chicken skin with salt before cooking allows the skin to cure and will result in a more crispy skin and enhanced flavor. 
    • Pat the chicken skin dry with paper towel before applying the marinade, it will help it stick to the skin better before cooking. If you added salt to your chicken before, wipe it off now.
    • Every 15 minutes, baste your chicken with the cooking juices using a basting brush or spoon.
    • Bake the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F / 74°C. Use a meat thermometer to check. 
    • Use homemade chicken stock for best results.
      A Spanish roast chicken with a smoked paprika rub sits cooked in a large dish.

      Cooking with Spanish Herbs and Spices

      Spanish cooking uses a pretty basic scope of herbs and spices to season and enhance flair in dishes. One of the types of paprika features in most recipes, as does salt and pepper. We used La Dalia Spanish smoked paprika for taste and Himalayan pink salt since it’s healthier. When it comes to herbs, oregano and rosemary are popular (especially as they grow wild all over Spain).  

      This roast chicken recipe harnesses a small selection of herbs and spices but manages to achieve exceptional results. We use a simple marinade made with crushed garlic, some salt, white pepper (or ground black pepper), smoked paprika, and some good-quality healthy extra virgin olive oil for this recipe. A few sprigs of fresh rosemary thrown into the pan help give everything a subtle hint of extra flavor. 

      Read more about Spanish herbs and spices: 

      A Spanish roast chicken with a smoked paprika rub sits cooked in a large dish.

      Choosing the Right Whole Chicken for Roasting is Important

      Here are some tips for sourcing the best chicken, preparation, and cooking tips, and recommended cooking equipment. 

        • The chicken flesh should look firm and plump. Avoid any chicken that looks flabby or has a blue tinge to the skin. 
        • Avoid using frozen chicken as it tends to hold more moisture. 
        • A chicken that is 4-8 pounds (1.8-3.6kg) will cook best. The breast meat will be juicy and the dark meat will be cooked perfectly once it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F / 74°C. Use a meat thermometer to check. 
        • Place your baking dish in the middle of the oven with aluminum foil lightly covering it so some air can still reach the chicken. This will allow for the best air circulation and ensure the chicken is cooked evenly. 
        • Roast the chicken at around 400°F (200°C).

      How long to cook chicken by weight

      As a rule of thumb, in an oven preheated to 400°F (200°C) allow 15-20 minutes per pound/450g plus an extra 15-20 minutes. 

      Chicken weight (Pounds / Kilo) Approx. cook time at 400°F (200°C)
      3 / 1.35 1 hour
      4 / 1.8 1 hour, 20 minutes
      5 / 2.25 1 hour, 40 minutes
      6 / 2.7 2 hours
      7 / 3.2 2 hours, 20 minutes

       

      Nutrition Facts

      Servings: 4
      Amount per serving  
      Calories 419
      % Daily Value*
      Total Fat 22.4g 29%
      Saturated Fat 5.3g 26%
      Cholesterol 131mg 44%
      Sodium 906mg 39%
      Total Carbohydrate 9.3g 3%
      Dietary Fiber 2.1g 8%
      Total Sugars 3.5g  
      Protein 43.9g  
      Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
      Calcium 46mg 4%
      Iron 3mg 15%
      Potassium 522mg 11%
      *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

      A Spanish roast chicken with a smoked paprika rub sits cooked in a large dish.

      Easy Spanish Roast Chicken with Smoked Paprika Rub

      Byron
      Easy Spanish roast chicken with a smoked paprika rub is a brilliant roast chicken recipe that is made with just a few easy-to-find ingredients and requires just 5 minutes of preparation. Simply lay a bed of onions and garlic, add the chicken, make the marinade with some salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, and paprika, and pop it in the oven.
      5 from 1 vote
      Prep Time 5 minutes
      Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
      Resting time: 15 minutes
      Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
      Course Chicken, dinner, Main Course
      Cuisine American, Authentic Spanish recipe, Mediterranean, Spain
      Servings 4 main
      Calories 419 kcal

      Equipment

      • Garlic crusher
      • small bowl
      • 12x8 inch/30x20 cm ceramic baking dish or deep-sided baking tray
      • Basting brush (or spoon)
      • Paper towel
      • Kitchen knife and cutting board
      • Aluminum kitchen foil
      • Meat thermometer

      Ingredients

      • 1 whole chicken skin on (2 kg/4.4 pounds)
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1 head of garlic peeled
      • 3 yellow onions peeled and cut into wedges
      • 2 teaspoons white pepper
      • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
      • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
      • 2 cups chicken stock
      • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary optional

      Instructions
       

      • Sprinkle some salt over the chicken and allow to cure for 1 hour before roasting (optional).
        1 teaspoon salt, 1 whole chicken
      • Preheat oven and a roasting pan to 400°F (200°C)
      • Add a splash of olive oil to the baking dish, then add the onion wedges and half of the peeled garlic cloves.
        3 yellow onions, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 head of garlic
      • Crush the remaining half of the garlic cloves and add them to a small bowl. Add the salt, pepper, smoked paprika, olive oil, and mix well.
        2 teaspoons white pepper, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
      • Put the chicken on top of the onion wedges and garlic.
      • Baste the chicken skin with the paste.
      • Pour the chicken stock around the chicken. Add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary beside the chicken. Loosely cover the chicken with some aluminum foil (ensure air can flow in and around the chicken) and put it in the oven when it’s heated to the right temperature.
        2 cups chicken stock, A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
      • Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the chicken (see cooking notes below). For a 4.4-pound (2kg) chicken, cook it for 1 hour and 30 minutes and the cooking juices begin to run clear.
      • During the last 15 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and let the skin crisp up. If you want extra crispy skin, put it under the grill/broiler for another 5 minutes.
      • Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
      • We love to serve it with mashed potatoes and spoon lots of the cooked garlic and onion over the mash. You can also use the cooking juices to make a delicious chicken gravy.

      Video

      Notes

      Cooking Notes:

      • Seasoning the chicken skin with salt before cooking allows the skin to cure and will result in a more crispy skin and enhanced flavor. 
      • Pat the chicken skin dry with a paper towel before applying the marinade, it will help it stick to the skin better before cooking. If you added salt to your chicken before, wipe it off now.
      • Every 15 minutes, baste your chicken with the cooking juices using a basting brush or spoon.
      • Bake the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F / 74°C. Use a meat thermometer to check. 
      • Use homemade chicken stock for best results.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 300gCalories: 419kcalCarbohydrates: 9.3gProtein: 43.9gFat: 22.4gSaturated Fat: 5.3gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 906mgPotassium: 522mgFiber: 2.1gSugar: 3.5gCalcium: 46mgIron: 3mg
      Keyword Baked, baked Chicken, chicken, garlic, onions, oven roasted, Roast Chicken

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