Quick Chicken Paella with Sugar Snap Peas

Let’s be honest—paella is never really quick and easy, but this version is straightforward and keeps your active time in the kitchen to under an hour. Paella is a traditional Spanish dish that often mixes meats, fish, and even snails with rice to create a rich, one-pot meal. This recipe keeps it simple, adding only chicken thighs, Spanish chorizo (as opposed to Mexcian chorizo), and sugar snap peas to the rice.

roasted peppers and Olympic Provisions chorizo

roasted peppers and Olympic Provisions chorizo

The key ingredient that makes paella memorable is saffron. Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world. It comes from the crocus flower and imparts a beautiful, yellow hue to anything it touches. This recipe requires soaking 1 tsp of saffron in white wine, which gives you a chance to watch the color as it seeps into the wine.

saffron yellow

saffron yellow

DSCN1779

Believe it or not, I follow this recipe exactly as it’s written. I use fire-roasted tomatoes instead of regular diced tomatoes, but that’s the only change I make. This time I used a locally made chorizo from Olympic Provisions. It worked perfectly, but I didn’t notice much difference from the less expensive, imported Spanish brands. Typically I use fresh snap peas, but it’s winter and the ones in the store looked tough and sad to me, so instead I bought a local, organic brand of frozen snap peas. I let them thaw while I was cooking so they would be ready to add in near the end of cooking, just as the recipe requires. They were a fine substitute, although the fresh peas retain a little more snap to their texture.

DSCN1773

spice rub

toast the rice then deglaze with saffron wine--watch the yellow appear!

toast the rice then deglaze with saffron wine–watch the yellow appear!

This paella makes enough for six servings, and it’s definitely rich and filling. I like to serve it with a green salad to lighten the meal up a little bit, often with a few olives to keep with the Spanish theme. This is company worthy meal, so invite over some friends and dive in!

I used my cast iron pot instead of a paella pan

I used my cast iron pot instead of a paella pan

DSCN1787

Quick Chicken Paella with Sugar Snap Peas via Epicurious

Bon Appétit            April 2010

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s