Chicken Paella

I woke up the other day craving paella and just had to have it.  Yes, we could have gotten takeout but I kind of wanted my whole kitchen to smell like it… weird, I know.  But you can’t really argue with a pregnant woman, now can you?  This paella is really flavorful, spicy and fresh at the same time – plus, it was easy to make and requires ONE pan.  Definitely adding this to our repertoire.  

INGREDIENTS

  • Approximately 1 lb. chicken tenderloin (a bit over is good), chopped into bite-size pieces
    • Season with paprika, oregano, salt and pepper
  • 1 medium link of chourizo/chourico (spicy Spanish/Portugese sausage)
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium Spanish onion (sweet onion), finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 red pepper, chopped small
  • 1 cup green Spanish olives (the kind stuffed with pimentos), sliced
  • 1 – 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed (take these out a the beginning of your prep so they’re thawed by the time you need them)
  • 2 cups medium-grain rice (don’t use Uncle Ben’s)
  • 4 cups chicken broth, warmed
  • Pinch of saffron (yes, it’s expensive, but a little bit goes a long way – consider it an investment)
  • Salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to taste

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Add the pinch of saffron to the warmed chicken broth and allow it to bloom while you prepare everything else
  • Slice up the chicken tenderloin into bite-size pieces and season both sides with salt, pepper, paprika and oregano – set aside
  • Remove the casing of the chourizo (just give it a shallow slice down the middle and pull it off), then slice it on an angle into thick pieces
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep saute pan (you need one with a lid) – add the chourizo and brown it, then remove it and set aside
  • Add the chicken to the same pan and cook it in the oil from the chourizo – once the chicken is browned and mostly cooked, remove it and set aside
  • Add the onion to the pan and cook it for a few minutes, then add the garlic and peppers and saute until the vegetables have softened
  • Pour in the drained tomatoes and toss in the olives and season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper if you want some kick
  • Add in the rice and stir until it is all evenly coated with the juices from the vegetables
  • Place the chicken and chourizo back into the pan and add in the warmed chicken broth with saffron
  • Give everything a stir and bring the contents of the saute pan to a boil and then lower the heat to low and cover with the lid
  • Leave the paella alone for 15-20 minutes – check to see if the rice is cooked and if it is, turn off the heat, add in the thawed peas and stir
  • Put the lid back on and let it rest for another 5 minutes, then enjoy!