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Chicken and Bean Paella

4 Servings

1½ hours

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Outside of Spain, 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.

4

Servings

Tip

Don't forget to stir in the rice after sprinkling it into the pan. Distributing the grains in an even layer and making sure they're submerged ensures even cooking. But after that, resist the urge to stir. Undisturbed cooking allows the paella to form a nicely browned bottom crust called socarrat. Finally, don't cover the pan as the paella cooks or the rice will wind up soggy and overdone.

1½ hours

Ingredients

Directions

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Reviews
Bruce S.
March 25, 2023
A good paella, but a few tweaks make it better
We really enjoy this recipe and have experimented with it. The following definitely makes it better: 1) include sliced spanish chorizo in with the chicken when browning it, 2) replace green beans with frozen petite peas, and 3) add a little cumin to the spices marinating the chicken.
Bill O.
June 27, 2022
Very good dish
Very different from the usual paella, with the beans and green beans and no shrimp or pork. I might like to add the other proteins in in the future.
Diana L.

I just finished making it and we eat it. Wow! This was amazing. Thank you for the recipe.

William D.

FANTASTIC! Wow, wow, wow. So good. So much flavour. Just the bomb. My kids both wanted seconds. We had no leftovers.
I suggest increasing both paprikas by 50%. We used Japanese short grain rice, which was just fine. The crust formed as advertised. The ten minute rest worked. Overall, excellent recipe! Thank you, C. Kimball and crew!

Sarah R.

We ended up with a burned bottom because we used campari tomatoes (it's what I had and they don't seem THAT much larger than cherry tomatoes). Do not do what we did or you'll end up with a scorched bottom but no crispy rice. The flavors (ex. burned stuff) were fantastic and I'll be making this recipe again soon using cherry or grape tomatoes. Curios why MS chose to use non-stick and not carbon steel or SS which is what most paella pans are made of.

Lynn C.

Hi Sarah -

So sorry to hear the bottom burned on your paella. We chose to use a nonstick skillet because we had issues with sticking during cooking. Although authentic, well-seasoned paella pans can essentially be nonstick, we felt that a nonstick skillet would yield the best results for most home cooks.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Sarah R.

I can't get this recipe right. I've made it three times and it's burned twice. On the third try, I had no crispy rice on the bottom. The flavors are absolutely amazing and I really want to figure out how to make this work. The smoked paprika makes it tough to tell whether the aroma is nutty or burned.

Lynn C.

Hi Sarah -

I'm so sorry you are having trouble with this recipe. My advice would be to lower the temperature of the heat and let it brown longer at the end. You might want to use a flexible spatula to check for browning on the bottom before removing from the heat. In my experience the rice doesn't get super crunchy. I would describe it more as browned and crisp. Hope that helps!

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Lynn C.

Hi Sarah -

I'm so sorry you are having trouble with this recipe. My advice would be to lower the temperature of the heat and let it brown longer at the end. You might want to use a flexible spatula to check for browning on the bottom before removing from the heat. In my experience the rice doesn't get super crunchy. I would describe it more as browned and crisp. Hope that helps!

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Andy N.

Cooked this, this evening. It was a bit of a hassle since earlier this month I fractured my hip and have to use a Zimmer frame. I think I just died and went to food heaven.

Eric B.

If I wanted to double the recipe in a larger pan, would the cooking times change?

Daphne K.

This recipe is delicious! I didn't the crispiness either but I'd still make it again, crispy would add another depth of flavor.

Jonathan M.

The instructions for this recipe leave out a step. It says, in a medium bowl, [season the chicken]. Then cook the chicken and return it to "the bowl". The bowl they're talking about is the bowl into which you've transferred the cannellini beans, not the bowl the raw chicken was in.

I believe this comes about because of Milk Street's unfortunate convention of grouping several steps together in every numbered step. IMO these recipes would be much easier to follow if each discreet action were a separate numbered step.

That said, we enjoyed it.

Peter Chris S.

No step is missing— you do, in fact, return the chicken to the bowl in which it was seasoned, and then you briefly cook the
beans and add them to that same bowl. Later you transfer the contents of the bowl into boiling broth and cook it for 20 minutes more, which eliminates any possible issues from reusing the bowl that had raw chicken.

Jessica G.

Totally delicious and a pretty easy weeknight paella as there wasn’t too much prep work involved. I used boneless skinless chicken breast because it’s what I had on hand and it actually worked really well; it wasn’t dry and it picked up the flavors nicely. I accidentally sautéed the green beans instead of the beans in the steak after the chicken (was moving quickly, just saw ‘beans’ and grabbed the green ones without thinking), but it seemed to work okay. I’ll definitely be making this again!