Cooking Becomes so Easy

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Serves: 8-10

1 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp sweet paprika
4 tbsp olive oil
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2.5cm / 1 in cubes
1 avocado
3 tbsp lemon juice
115g / 4 oz San Simon or other smoked cheese, diced
8-10 black olives, pitted
8-10 cherry tomatoes
85g / 3 oz Manchego or Cheddar cheese, cubed
8-10 pimiento-stuffed green olives
1/2 cantaloupe melon, deseeded
5-6 slices serrano ham

For the picada:
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
6 tbsp pickled cucumber, finely chopped
150ml / 5 fl oz olive oil


Mix the vinegar, garlic, chilli, paprika and olive oil together in a bowl. Add the chicken and stir well to coat, then cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.

Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan. Tip the chicken mixture into the pan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature, then spear the chicken pieces with wooden cocktail sticks.

Peel and stone the avocado and cut into bite-size cubes. Toss in the lemon juice, then thread onto wooden cocktail sticks with the smoked cheese.

Thread the black olives, tomatoes, Manchego cheese and stuffed olives onto wooden cocktail sticks. Scoop out 20 balls from the melon with a melon bailer or teaspoon. Cut the ham into 20 strips and wrap around the melon balls. Thread the melon balls in pairs onto wooden cocktail sticks.

To make the picada, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until thoroughly combined into a fairly thick paste. Arrange all the filled cocktail sticks "bandilleras" on a large serving platter and serve with bowls of picada.

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