This is a delicious, filling paella perfect for lazy afternoons and an even lazier cook. Okay, making a paella isn’t like making a toasted sandwich, but it’s very easy to do for a meal with so many ingredients.
You’ll be making a meal fit for four people, with plenty of rice, chicken and jamon iberica (Iberian ham), and a flavour that will leave your taste buds begging for more.
Paella has a mixed history, and the most common recipes require seafood (see our traditional paella recipe), however this isn’t to everyone’s taste, and inland Spain has adapted the paella with other ingredients. The renowned British chef Jamie Oliver also has his own chicken paella recipe.
By the way, paella is usually served during the day, and many Spaniards will think you’re a bit strange if you eat paella for dinner. Heavy foods with rice or pasta are not usually eaten by the spanish before bedtime.
Chicken Paella Ingredients (serves 4)
2 cups of arborio rice (white short grain)
4 cups of chicken broth or chicken stock
2 onions thinly sliced
6-7 cloves of chopped or pressed garlic
2 cups of pale dry sherry (fino)
1/2 a cup of chopped red pepper (pimento)
1/2 a cup of garlic stalks or substitute with scallions
2 large chicken breasts diced (skin on is preferred by Spaniards)
1/4 cup of diced Iberian Ham (or substitute with bacon)
Large pinch of saffron threads (or fine grade powdered saffron)
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
How to Make your Chicken Paella
We first need to prepare our saffron, place the saffron in a small dish, and add a tablespoon of boiling over it. Heat some oil in a 10 inch paella pan or skillet, and sauté the onion till soft and translucent. Add the garlic and stir well, then remove both.
Top up the oil in the pan, and saute the chicken till lightly browned, then add the ham. If you wish, you can also add some slices of chorizo. Remove the chicken and ham, and add to the previously cooked onion and garlic.
With a little more oil, add the rice and cook till it starts to change colour. Add the chicken, ham, onion, and garlic to the rice, stir, then add the chicken broth, saffron, and paprika.
Bring the paella to a boil and stir well. Now add the sherry, the garlic stalks, and the pimienta. Return to the boil for a few minutes, stirring well.
Season with salt if needed, and simmer covered for another 30 minutes, with occasional stirring. The only ingredient that may cause any problems will be the rice. Stir to avoid sticking, and if need be, add more broth. Once the rice is soft, the paella is ready to serve.
Garnish with parsley.
Many other tasty ingredients can be added if desired, for example chopped mushrooms, or the more traditional seafood such as prawns, mussels, and baby squid.