I love the flavors of Spain, especially paella. If you don’t know what paella is, it is a great rice dish that can be filled with chicken, seafood, sausage, and vegetables – you name it! So, today I’m making my favorite paella that has chicken, chorizo, chickpeas and veggies. So good, and perfect for a lovely fall day. Oh, and you don’t have to have a paella pan – a large skillet will work too. But I have to say, I love my paella pan. If you find you enjoy paella I urge you to invest in a good, restaurant quality pan. You won’t regret it! Check out Hot Paella, a website that sells pans, and various other kitchen ware and foods from Spain at http://www.hotpaella.com.
A hint before you get started – prep all of your ingredients ahead of time so all you need to do is toss it all together. Since there are a lot of ingredients in this dish, believe me it’s great to have everything on the counter and ready to rock. If you can get a family member to act as your sous chef and chop everything up for you – EVEN BETTER! 🙂 Oh, and another note – you can improvise on absolutely EVERYTHING in this recipe. Running short on a few ingredients and you don’t feel like running out to the store? Improvise, improvise, improvise! Get creative in the kitchen! So, let’s get down to business.
- 4-6 saffron threads
- 6 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 1 – 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in pieces
- 12 oz of chorizo either in sausage form or in bulk (if sausage, cut in bite size slices)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large ripe tomato (or two small), seeded and diced
- 2 cups rice, medium grain either Bomba or Aborio
- 6 cups chicken broth, warmed
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 red pepper, roasted, skinned and seeded
- 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
- 2 oz. green beans, cut in bit size pieces
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
- salt & pepper to taste
In a small bowl combine the saffron in 2 TBSP warm water and set aside to soak for 10 minutes.
In your pan, warm 2 TBSP of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides. Transfer chicken to a plate. Add the chorizo to the pan and cook until browned. Transfer to plate with the chicken.
Add the remaining 4 TBSP olive oil and warm over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and golden. Add the tomato and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes longer.
Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat thoroughly with the pan juices. Add the saffron with its soaking liquid and add 4 cups of the warmed chicken stock. Mix in the paprika and season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the chicken and chorizo over the rice. Spoon the roasted red pepper, chickpeas, green beans and peas around and over the chicken and chorizo. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook gently until the rice is tender and the chicken is opaque throughout – about 20 minutes. As the rice absorbs the liquid, add more stock, 1/2 cup at a time as needed to keep the rice moist but not soupy. Remove from heat when the rice is still a bit underdone, it will finish cooking off the heat. Cover the pan and let stand for 10 minutes.
You can garnish with lemon wedges if you like, and serve directly from the pan at table for a really impressive presentation!