James Street Cookery School: Two tasty dishes for families getting back to business

Niall McKenna's Chicken, chorizo and red pepper baked rice
Niall McKenna

THIS week’s recipes are perfect for a quick and easy two-course meal that's filled with flavour. With everyone back to school and the wheels of life starting to spin again, quick dinners are something of a staple in our household at the minute.

As daily schedules become busier again, there is no doubt it will take a toll on home-cooked dinners. These recipes are perfect any evening of the week but they’re especially nice for a Friday night treat – spicy chicken, chorizo and red pepper baked rice followed by a scrumptious dessert, dark chocolate and orange mousse.


(Serves 4)

300g paella rice, rinsed

400g uncooked chorizo sausage

2 red peppers, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

4 skinned chicken thighs, sliced

1 tin tomatoes

250ml of chicken stock

Rapeseed oil



Preheat the oven to 180C. Slice the chicken thighs. Add a dash of rapeseed oil to a frying pan on a medium heat. While this is heating up, cut the chorizo into one-inch slices, then cook in the pan until brown. Add in the onions and peppers and cook until translucent.

Once cooked, transfer all to a large casserole pot with the rice and chicken slices, pouring over the tinned tomatoes and stirring thoroughly. To ensure there is no flavour left behind, add a small amount of chicken stock to the pan, swirl it around, then pour into the casserole dish; this is called de-glazing.

Place the casserole dish in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

If you want to make a herb oil for drizzling on the top, finely chop 50g parsley, 25g spinach, 25g mint, one clove of garlic, add three anchovies, two teaspoons of capers in brine, 25ml of olive oil, salt and pepper into a blender and blend. This can be saved for one day but it needs to be stored in an airtight container. It’s also important to wrap in tinfoil to avoid discolouring.


(Serves 4)

150g of dark chocolate

50ml of double cream

Grated zest of one orange

3 eggs, separated

2 tbsp of sugar

Handful of pistachios, deshelled and crushed

Cream garnish


Start by breaking the chocolate into a heatproof bowl, then place the bowl above a pan of simmering water and leave until the chocolate melts. Once it has melted, add in the cream and orange zest and mix together.

Beat the egg yolks and add the sugar, stirring well to combine. Next, whisk the eggs whites to form stiff peaks and gently add into the chocolate mixture until completely combined. Cool in the fridge. To serve, garnish with the cream and pistachios.

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