Chicken Paella for the Everyday Cook


The first person that comes to my mind when the word ‘paella’ pops up is my mom. She loves paella so much that whenever we go to Centris Sunday Market, it is the paella man that she naturally gravitates toward to. We even ordered paella from Louie Heredia, a once-famous celebrity who now is famous for his paella valenciana, one Christmas. What I look for in a paella is it’s flavor once lemon is squeezed over the paella itself. Aside from the sought-after crunchy rice at the bottom of the pan which we call tutong, a bounty of vegetables aside from the protein is a plus for me.

The real way to cook paella is making use of authentic ingredients, and fresh ones too – Saffron threads, Arborio rice, and cast iron paelleras. But not everyone can afford all these. Because I have started to work full-time, my mom took my place in cooking for most of the week while I cook on the weekends. She had been following Manila Spoon for quite some time now on Facebook and saved this particular recipe for Chicken Paella which is, for us, an easy version compared to the real thing. It made use of the things that we normally had in our pantry. It was easy to do. We did not need to have saffron or an incredible cast iron paellera which I will be saving up for in the future.

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The well-balanced taste pulled through. It was what we expected to taste like – paella. Make sure you have the real Spanish chorizo for it raised the dish a notch higher. Also, if I were you, and because I am a lemon lover, squeeze a wedge of lemon over your paella for a bright, tangy and tasty meal! It is a keeper! Thanks to Manila Spoon, we know have a paella recipe up in our sleeves!

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This easy paella is a great way to mix up your dinner menu.

Chicken Paella
Adapted from Manila Spoon

Serves 6 to 8

1 whole chicken, cut to pieces
Salt and pepper
Flour for dusting
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 ½ cups rice (uncooked)
3 cups chicken stock
2 plum tomatoes, petite diced
1 cup frozen peas
1-2 bell peppers, seeded and diced
4oz chorizo, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and then dust with flour.

Heat the olive oil in a large deep oven-proof pan or a Dutch oven and then fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken pieces to a baking tray and into the oven for about 20 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking in the oven, prepare the accompanying vegetables.

Using the same pan where the chicken was cooked, sauté the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are soft, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the paprika and turmeric. Stir-fry just until aromatic, less than a minute. Add the uncooked rice and chicken stock and mix. Bring to a boil. When it begins to boil, turn off the heat. We will continue cooking it in the oven.Get the chicken from the oven and place in the pan with the rice and cook in the oven for about 15 mins. The rice should be almost dry at this point. Take the pan out of the oven, remove the chicken pieces to a plate, and then stir in the remaining ingredients except the chorizo. Put the chicken back on top  of the rice. Place the lid on the pan and then bring it back to the oven and bake for a further 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the rice has fully absorbed the stock. During the last few minutes, heat a little oil and fry the chorizos until brown and crispy. Keep warm.

Remove the pan from the oven and transfer its contents to a deep serving dish, placing the chicken on top. Spread the chorizos around. Serve with a wedge of lemon, if desired.

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2 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing the recipe

    Annie
    http://www.ohmybuhay.com

    1. You’re very welcome!

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