Quick and Easy Chicken Paella

Every once in a while, I get inspired to make something out of my comfort zone.  I've never had paella before, but it has always intrigued me.  I found a recipe that was "quick and easy."  The entire dish takes one hour--start to finish.  Also, no special equipment required!  It's a one-pan dish. Everything is done in a large skillet.  I have never put a skillet in the oven before, but I followed the directions and kept a close eye on the skillet (everything worked out just fine).

The sugar snap peas really added a nice crunch, and the bright green pods contrasted the red-hued paella.  I'm not a fan of dark meat chicken, so I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of the chicken thighs the recipe calls for.  I also threw in some leftover shrimp that I had in the freezer, which really added a nice seafood flair.   This dish reminded me of a combination of two classic Louisiana dishes, jambalaya and dirty rice, with a twist of some Spanish spices (saffron, chorizo, paprika).

Quick and Easy Chicken Paella
Author: BonAppetit
*Photo and recipe for this post courtesy of Bonappetit.com
Ingredients
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron threads
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 and 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika (I substituted with regular paprika)
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 and 1/2 pounds of chicken thighs, with skin and bones, excess fat removed (I used chicken breasts)
  • 4 oz. 1/4" thick slices, fully cooked smoked Spanish Chorizo (pork, beef and soy chorizo options readily available)  (I used the entire chorizo sausage since I only used one pound of the chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion (about 1 and 1/2 c.), chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 and 1/2 c. long grain rice
  • 2 c. low salt chicken or vegetable broth
  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, in juice
  • 1/4 c. chopped roasted peppers
  • 2 and 1/2 c. sugar snap peas, trimmed
Instructions
  1. • Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix white wine and saffron threads in small measuring cup; set aside. Combine salt, smoked paprika, and black pepper in small bowl; rub spice mixture all over chicken thighs. Heat heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and sauté until fat begins to render and sausage browns, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Transfer chorizo to large plate. Add olive oil to skillet. Add chicken thighs to skillet and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate with chorizo.
  2. • Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from skillet. Reduce heat to medium. Add chopped onion and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add long-grain rice and stir to coat. Add wine-saffron mixture and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Add chicken broth, tomatoes with juice, and roasted red peppers. Bring to simmer. Stir in browned chorizo. Place chicken thighs, skin side up, atop mixture in skillet. Cover skillet tightly with foil, then cover skillet with lid. Bake paella until rice is almost tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. Transfer chicken to plate. Stir rice; season to taste with salt and pepper. Scatter snap peas over. Return chicken to skillet, nestling into rice. Cover with foil and lid. Bake until snap peas are crisp-tender, rice is tender, and chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes longer.