Welcome to my culinary haven, where I’m thrilled to share the secrets of a remarkable Spanish Chicken Paella recipe. Join me on this flavorful journey as we unlock the vibrant tastes of Spain and indulge in a dish that will transport you straight to the Mediterranean coast.
Spanish Chicken Paella
- 1 mixing bowl
- 1 medium saucepan or skillet
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1⁄2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 8 ounce skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
- 11⁄2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 1⁄3 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 2 cups frozen green peas
- 1 1⁄2 cups uncooked Bomba rice
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, torn into pieces
- Lemon wedges
- Add the lemon rind, lemon juice, and saffron to a mixing bowl. Mix well.
- Season the chicken thighs with 3⁄4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan or skillet.
- Add 4 of the chicken thighs and stir-cook for 8–10 minutes until evenly brown. Set aside and repeat with the remaining thighs.
- Add the onion, garlic, and thyme to the pan and stir-cook for 3–4 minutes until softened.
- Mix in the rice and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and stir-cook for 2 minutes until reduced to half.
- Mix in the stock, lemon mixture, and remaining 3⁄4 teaspoon salt. Mix in the chicken thighs.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 18–20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Mix in the red pepper and peas; cook for 5 minutes until rice is brown.
- Serve with lemon wedges and parsley on top.
Alternative Method: Spanish Chicken Paella in a Pressure Cooker
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bell peppers (red and yellow), diced
- 1.5 cups Arborio rice
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup pitted green olives
- Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Set your pressure cooker to sauté mode and heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and diced bell peppers. Sauté for 5 minutes until the vegetables are softened.
- Add the Arborio rice to the pressure cooker and stir it with the vegetables for 1-2 minutes until lightly toasted. Sprinkle in the smoked paprika, turmeric, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper. Stir well to coat the rice and vegetables with the spices.
- Pour in the diced tomatoes and chicken broth, giving it a good stir to combine. Add the chicken pieces, frozen peas, and green olives to the pressure cooker.
- Close the lid of the pressure cooker and set it to high pressure cooking mode. Cook for 8 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the rice to become tender.
- Once the cooking time is complete, carefully release the pressure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Give the paella a gentle stir to mix all the ingredients evenly.
- Serve the Spanish Chicken Paella hot, garnished with fresh parsley and accompanied by lemon wedges for squeezing over the dish. The vibrant flavors and tender chicken will transport you to the sunny streets of Spain.
Note: The pressure cooker method significantly reduces the cooking time, making it a convenient option for busy days when you’re craving the flavors of Spanish Chicken Paella without the traditional stovetop cooking process.
- To achieve the best results, use a wide, shallow pressure cooker to allow the rice to cook evenly and absorb the flavors.
- Sautéing the rice with the vegetables and spices before pressure cooking adds depth and enhances the overall flavor profile of the dish.
- Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for their tender texture and ability to withstand pressure cooking without drying out.
- When releasing the pressure from the cooker, do it gradually to avoid any sudden bursts of steam and potential splattering.
- Allow the paella to rest for a few minutes after cooking to allow the flavors to meld together before serving.
- Spanish Chicken Paella is perfect for a festive gathering or a special family dinner. It’s a dish that brings people together.
- Serve the paella as a main course, accompanied by a fresh green salad or a side of roasted vegetables for a complete and satisfying meal.
- Garnish the paella with freshly chopped parsley and lemon wedges for a vibrant touch. Squeezing the lemon juice over the dish adds a refreshing citrusy note.
- Pair the paella with a glass of chilled white wine, such as a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a light-bodied Spanish Albariño, to complement the flavors of the dish.
- For a more casual setting, serve the paella in individual bowls or on a large platter, allowing everyone to help themselves and enjoy the communal experience.
Can I make Spanish Chicken Paella ahead of time?
Absolutely! Spanish Chicken Paella tastes even better the next day as the flavors continue to develop. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of chicken broth to revive the moisture.
Can I use other meat instead of chicken?
Certainly! While chicken is traditional, you can experiment with other proteins like shrimp, mussels, or even a combination of seafood and chicken to create your own unique version of the paella.
How can I make the paella vegetarian?
To make a vegetarian version, simply omit the chicken and replace it with an assortment of colorful vegetables like bell peppers, peas, artichokes, and asparagus. Vegetable broth can be used instead of chicken broth for added flavor.
Can I freeze Spanish Chicken Paella?
While it is possible to freeze paella, the texture of the rice may change slightly upon thawing and reheating. For the best results, it is recommended to consume the paella fresh or store any leftovers in the refrigerator for a few days.
Embark on a gastronomic journey with our tried-and-tested Spanish Chicken Paella recipe. Uncover the secrets behind this iconic dish and impress your loved ones with the vibrant flavors of Spain. Don’t forget to share the recipe far and wide and subscribe to our blog for more delectable recipes that will ignite your passion for cooking.