Now that the weather is cooler, I’m more inclined to make myself a proper lunch. On the menu today were left-overs from Monday, which were still rather tasty. (If I do say so myself…) So I thought I’d share the recipe with you — it’s the sort of thing that’s easy to make, can be easily doubled if you need to, and doesn’t require anything fancy. In fact, I usually have everything on hand that I need. Alas, I have no photo of this lovely, colorful dish because I ate it up first and then decided to share the recipe. You’ll just have to imagine how pretty it is — or make it and find out for yourself!

Rubi’s Chicken with Artichokes

4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

1 1/2 cups frozen quartered artichoke hearts (don’t thaw)

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 cup pitted green olives, sliced

1 small can roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

1 T pimentón de la Vera (smoked paprika — hot or sweet, your choice)

3 T olive oil

1/2 cup chicken stock

In a saute pan with a lid, heat the olive oil and soften the onions. Add the chicken thighs and brown gently on both sides. Add the pimentón and stock and stir well to make a sort of broth. Add the olives, artichokes, and peppers. Cover and simmer over medium heat until chicken is tender, about 10 minutes.

I serve this with rice — Spaniards love rice, and the ordinary short grain stuff you can get in every supermarket is a staple. (We save the “bomba” for paella.) The trick is how you cook it. The ratio of water to rice is important — twice as much water as rice, plus a little bit more. For two generous servings, I use 3/4 cup of rice and just shy of 2 cups of water.

Heat a few teaspoons of olive oil in the pot and saute two minced garlic cloves (three if you’re making a lot of rice), taking care not to burn them. Then stir in the uncooked rice, being sure to coat it with olive oil. Add water, a half a chicken bullion cube, and a bay leaf. Stir it once, cover, and turn the heat down low. Don’t stir it again! Keep an eye on it and when most of the liquid has been absorbed (I start looking at 10 minutes), taste the rice for done-ness and take it off the heat while it’s still a little “brothy.” Let it stand for a few minutes, and the rice will absorb the rest of the liquid.

[I always make a little extra rice so I have some on hand if I want “arroz a la Cubana” for dinner, though as Neki has pointed out before, it’s not 100% authentic because I don’t have mine with plantain. I should probably change that policy, since I like fried plantain a lot. Wonder if they sell it in my local market?)

¡Buen provecho!