Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chicken Paella

Chicken paella is one of my favorites. Betty Crapper could eat several platefuls quite happily.

It's not the quickest meal to put together, but requires minimal effort once you have the chicken and chorizo browned. I find the hardest thing about the dish is removing the casing from the chorizo. Betty Crapper really hates getting chorizo under her fingernails.

You will need chicken broth, chopped tomatoes, white rice, peas, olive oil, salt, pepper, turmeric, saffron, chopped onions, minced garlic, sliced chorizo, and cut up chicken thighs. 

Don't skip the saffron. Buy it because you will make this dish again. It's good. Betty Crapper would not lie to you.

Once you have everything chopped, sliced, minced, and measured you are ready to go. 
Brown the chorizo, followed by the chicken. Let them hang out in a plate while you saute the onions and garlic.

The hard part is done. Add a little chicken broth to the pan and scrape up all the browned bits. Return the chicken and chorizo to the skillet and add the rest of your ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover, and place in the oven. After 25-30 minutes it's done. The rice will be hiding under the chicken, chorizo, peas, tomatoes, and olives. I promise.
Stir it all together and it will look like this:

Betty Crapper would not lie to you. Trust me, she is a horrible liar.

Chicken Paella
(inspired by Ellie Krieger's So Easy)

2 tbsp olive oil
3 ounces Spanish chorizo, casing removed, sliced into 1/4 in rounds
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
5 ounces frozen peas (half package)
1  cup uncooked white rice
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1/4 cup sliced green pimento-stuffed Spanish olives
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to season chicken
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to season chicken
1/8 tsp ground turmeric
small pinch of saffron

Preheat oven to 375 F. Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper, set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large, oven-proof skillet with lid. Brown chorizo and remove to a plate (about 3 minutes). Next, brown chicken in batches and remove to a plate (about 5 minutes each batch).

Add remaining oil to skillet. Add the chopped onions and cook until soft and translucent (about 3-5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute. Add some of the chicken broth to pan and scrape up all the brown bits. Return chicken and chorizo to skillet and add the remaining ingredients (rest of broth, peas, rice, tomato, olives, and spices). Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to oven. Cook 25-30 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir and serve.

Makes 4-5 servings.

  • Don't forget to season your chicken with salt and pepper before browning. I have made this recipe without seasoning the chicken, as Ellie Krieger wrote her recipe, and have found the chicken pieces to be tasteless in the finished dish. 
  • My recipe has half the amount of peas called for by Ellie Krieger. When I made the dish with 10 ounces of peas, the peas were overwhelming.
  • Use caution when removing the skillet from the oven. Betty Crapper once (ok twice) absentmindedly reached into the oven without protection and burned herself. Oops! That handle sure does get hot.
  • This recipe doubles very well and makes great food for a party. Just make it in a large Dutch oven.


  1. very tasty looking, you make it look so easy :) when are you having us over for dinner??? hhhmmmm!!

  2. Looks delicious (minus the olives) and I think I would definitely keep all the peas, since I love them :o)

  3. Thanks Liz. When do you want to come over?

    Susi, 10 oz really was too many peas, and I like peas.

  4. This is such a delicious comfort meal! And something my whole family would love.

  5. I love paella! Your version looks so tasty!

  6. Well, that is a new one. Paella with chicken. Never heard about this combination. I would have to use anchovy stuffed olives!

  7. I've never had this dish before but will now! Great photos of the ingredients. Did you know Tumeric is like a super food? Look it up and read all the amazing health benefits :)

  8. So my first thought'll have saffron. Then: Yep. There it is. Well, no way I'm buying that. But then I read "Don't skip the saffron. Buy it because you will make this dish again. It's good." and felt terribly guilty for my earlier thoughts--the ones that you seem able to read! In all seriousness, this does look mighty good and I have been wanting to try paella...

  9. One of my favorite dishes of all time. I've never made it though, but I do have a paella pan. I should bust that bad boy out and get down to it.

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

  10. I love paella and yours looks wonderful. The color of the rice always gets to me :-). Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  11. Saffron is a gorgeous thing to have on hand for recipes like this. The paella is gorgeous! This is definitely a recipe that I'd love to try. Looks comforting, flavorful and delicious.

  12. I love paella, but don't make it too often. It truly is a lot of work. But it is so darned good, especially the leftovers.
    PS Please stop by my blog ( and enter my $70 giveaway. Deadline is Sun., 7/25, midnight.

  13. I need to make a vegetarian version of this - now! I love saffron :D

  14. I am adding this to next weeks menu plan :) It looks wonderful!!!