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The Milk Street Cookbook

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A home cook-friendly skillet version of the classic Spanish rice dish

Chicken and Bean Paella

1½ hours

Chicken and Bean Paella

Paella is considered a luxurious dish, loaded with seafood, scented with pricy saffron and served as an event in and of itself. Its beginnings, however, are more humble. The one-pan rice-based dish was prepared by Valencian farm workers as a midday meal, and it often included rabbit, snails, artichokes, rosemary and a variety of beans. This type of paella, called paella Valenciana, still is made today using many of the same ingredients. For our version, we opted for chicken thighs, canned white beans, fresh green beans and grape or cherry tomatoes; saffron is a nice addition, but entirely optional. Using the right rice is key to getting the proper subtly creamy but not overly starchy consistency. Look for Bomba rice, sometimes labeled simply as “Valencian rice.” Calasparra rice from Murcia, Spain, is another good option. If neither is available, substitute an equal amount of Arborio rice, but before cooking, rinse it well and drain, and also reduce the amount of broth to 2½ cups. To be efficient, during the 30 minutes that the chicken marinates, prepare the remaining ingredients.

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