easy paella recipe chicken

easy paella recipe chicken

Paella is a traditional Spanish dish that is famous for its rich flavor and variety of ingredients. It is a hearty dish that is perfect for sharing with family and friends. One of the most popular variations of paella is chicken paella, which is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for weeknight dinners or weekend gatherings. In this blog post, we will share an easy paella recipe for chicken that is sure to please your taste buds.


  • 1 lb chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or paella pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet, skin-side down, and cook for 5-6 minutes until browned. Flip the chicken thighs and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes until browned on the other side. Remove the chicken thighs from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Add the chopped onion and sliced red bell pepper to the skillet and sauté for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are softened.
  4. Add the minced garlic, smoked paprika, dried oregano, and dried thyme to the skillet and stir to combine.
  5. Crush the saffron threads between your fingers and add them to the skillet.
  6. Add the Arborio rice to the skillet and stir to coat the rice with the vegetables and spices.
  7. Pour the chicken broth into the skillet and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet with a lid.
  8. Let the rice simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  9. While the rice is cooking, shred the cooked chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces.
  10. After the rice has cooked for 15-20 minutes, add the shredded chicken and frozen peas to the skillet and stir to combine.
  11. Cover the skillet with the lid again and let the paella cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until the peas are cooked through.
  12. Season the paella with salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Serve the chicken paella with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the top of each serving.


  • Use a high-quality chicken broth for the best flavor.
  • Make sure to crush the saffron threads before adding them to the skillet to help release their flavor.
  • You can also add other vegetables to the paella, such as diced tomatoes, artichoke hearts, or chopped kale.

Paella is a staple in Spanish cuisine, originating from the region of Valencia. The dish was traditionally cooked outdoors over an open flame, and often included seafood and various meats. Over time, paella has evolved to include a variety of ingredients and cooking methods, but the one thing that remains constant is its rich and savory flavor.

Chicken paella is a popular variation of the dish that uses chicken thighs as the main protein. The chicken is first browned in a skillet or paella pan, which helps to develop its flavor and create a crispy skin. The chicken is then removed from the skillet and set aside while the rest of the dish is prepared.

The vegetables in this recipe include onion, red bell pepper, and garlic. These vegetables add depth of flavor and a nice crunch to the dish. Smoked paprika, dried oregano, and dried thyme are also used to add a smoky and herbaceous flavor to the dish. Saffron threads are a key ingredient in paella, adding a distinct and luxurious aroma and flavor.

Arborio rice is used in this recipe, which is a short-grain rice that is commonly used in risotto. Arborio rice is perfect for paella because it absorbs liquid well and has a creamy texture when cooked. Chicken broth is used to cook the rice, which infuses the dish with even more flavor.

Frozen peas are added towards the end of the cooking process, providing a pop of color and a fresh flavor to the dish. The shredded chicken is added back to the skillet towards the end of the cooking time, allowing it to heat through and absorb the flavors of the paella.

When serving chicken paella, it is traditional to provide lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the top of each serving. The acidity of the lemon juice helps to brighten the flavors of the dish and cut through the richness of the chicken and rice.

This easy chicken paella recipe is perfect for beginner cooks who want to try their hand at making this classic Spanish dish. The recipe can be easily customized to suit your taste preferences, so feel free to experiment with different ingredients and seasonings. Serve this dish with a side of crusty bread and a glass of red wine for a truly authentic Spanish experience.

Chicken paella is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for any occasion. This recipe is a great introduction to paella for those who have never tried it before, and it can be easily customized to suit your taste preferences. With its rich flavor and hearty ingredients, this dish is sure to become a new favorite in your household. Give it a try and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills!

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