Baked Paella with Chickpeas

  • Baked Paella with Chickpeas

Baked Paella with Chickpeas


Photographer Kent Blechynden "The Dominion"
(serves 6)

Ideally make this dish with Spanish paella rice. You may find it in speciality section of supermarket or in speciality food stores. However as this is a homely dish don't get stressed out regarding rice variety. Use a supermarket version of risotto rice, or simply use a medium or long grain rice. Do not wash the rice first.


30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

180g (1) onion (finely diced)

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

560g (1 ¾ cups + 2 tbsp) rice

1.250 litres (5 cups) boiling vegetable stock, or ater

175g (1 cup) canned chickpeas {drained], or soak dried overnight and cook till al dente and measure one cup}

70g (1/2 cup) currants

1/4 cup roughly chopped dill

1/4 cup roughly chopped Italian parsley leaves

240g (1 ½ ) red peppers (cut into 2cm dice)

3 tbsp capers (rinsed and roughly chopped)

1 tbsp roughly chopped Preserved Lemon Peel {or 1 tsp coarsely grated lemon zest}

85g (3 large) leaves rainbow chard, or silver beet, with stalk (thinly sliced)

1/4 tsp lightly toasted and ground saffron

3 tsp flaky sea salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 bulb Roasted Garlic



· Preheat oven to 180°C.

· Pour a frypan onto a medium heat, add oil and heat. Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until onion is translucent but not browned. Add garlic and cook until softened.

· Add rice, stock or water, chickpeas, currants, dill, parsley, red pepper, capers, preserved lemon peel or lemon zest, rainbow chard or silver beet, saffron, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Pour into an ovenproof ceramic dish with 2.5 litre volume. {I always use a 28cm diameter terracotta Spanish cazuela. } Using the back of a spoon, spread out rice to an even depth. Place garlic bulb upright in the centre of the dish pushing it into the liquids.

· Place into preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Cover with aluminium foil and cook for a further 15 minutes or until rice is cooked and fluffy.

· Remove from oven and rest paella ,covered, at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.

· Serve hot. Squeeze pulp from Roasted Garlic onto each serve.

Preserved Lemon Peel

(makes 20g)

A quick method of making preserved lemon peel.


4 lemons

30ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice

1/4 cup table salt

50g (1/4 cup) sugar

3 fresh bay leaves (thinly sliced)

1 red chilli (deseeded and coarsely chopped)

45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil



· Peel lemons using a vegetable peeler, being careful not to include any white pith. Place peel into a bowl. Add lemon juice measure, salt, sugar, bay leaves and chilli. Stir to combine.

· Cover with plastic wrap and leave in refrigerator for 2 hours.

· Tip mixture into a sieve and run under cold water to rinse off salt.

· Transfer peel and aromatics to a clean tea towel and dry thoroughly.

· Place into a sterilised jar and pour in olive oil. Stir until peel is covered in oil.

· Cover jar and store in refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Roasted Garlic


3-4 bulbs of garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

½ tsp flaky salt

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

extra olive for storing roasted garlic



· Preheat oven to 180°C. Trim top quarter off whole garlic bulbs to expose cloves. To avoid bitterness place in a small saucepan of water set over a medium heat, bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes. Drain. Discard any loose skin and puncture sides and top with a fork.

· Place into a small ceramic dish and drizzle with oil .sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper.

· Place in oven and roast for 40 minutes or until cloves start popping out of skins.

· To store roasted bulbs, or squeezed out pulp: Place in a container, cover garlic with olive oil and cover container with lid. Leave in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.