This easy chicken paella recipe would get on your weeknight recipe list once you see how easy it is to make! The recipe is packed with veggies, juicy chicken cut into bite-sized pieces, and perfectly cooked fluffy rice.
Best Chicken Paella Recipe
Making Spanish Chicken Paella might seem hard or intimidating to make. But not after you try my recipe! It might not be the most traditional paella recipe, but it’s certainly delicious and super duper easy to make!
I packed it with colorful veggies, juicy chicken thighs and loaded it with flavor! What else you could ask for?
Ingredients for chicken paella
Paella rice – is what I used for this one. If you do decide to use another type of rice, though, you might need to change the chicken stock ratio.
Chicken thighs – bone out, skin off are best because we are going to cut them into bite-sized pieces, and they stay juicer when cooked for a longer period of time. Substitute with chicken breast.
Carrot – peeled and chopped into desired pieces.
Green beans – either fresh or frozen. I like to cut them into 5cm/2inch pieces.
Onion – it can either be a white or red onion. It’s best when thinly diced.
Garlic – thinly sliced or minced.
Fresh tomato – peeled and diced. You can substitute with canned tomato.
Chicken stock – gives the best flavor. It can be substituted with a chicken stock bouillon cube or water.
How to make this recipe
Start off by cutting the chicken tights into bite-sized pieces. Add them to a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Dice the onion, chop the carrot and green beans into the desired size, add them to a bowl and set aside. To another bowl, add the peeled diced tomato.
In a nonstick, add olive oil and preheat it over medium heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Pull the chicken to the side of the nonstick pan and add the chopped veggies in the middle. Saute the veggies for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Meanwhile, in a pot, add the chicken stock and let it preheat over medium-high heat.
Add the thinly sliced garlic and cook for another minute. Then add the peeled and diced tomato and sprinkle a pinch of salt on top. Saute for another 4-5 minutes or until the tomato softens up a bit.
In the meantime, wash and drain the rice 2-3 times. Add the rice to the pan and cook the 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the boiling chicken stock to the rice and stir lightly. Taste the stock and add more salt to taste. Once the paella is boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Cover the pan with aluminum foil or a lid and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
Once the rice has soaked in the water, take it off the heat and let it steam for another 10 minutes covered. Take the lid off and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve and enjoy!
A few paella recipe notes
- You don’t need a paella pan to make this recipe. Use your favorite nonstick pan, and you’d still get great results.
- Make sure you use paella rice because using any other rice would change the ratio of the water.
- I didn’t add saffron to my paella, but you are welcome to add it if you are a fan of it. It’s best to add the saffron right after you add the rice to the pan. This would help toast the spice so the oils and aromatics can bloom.
- After the rice has rested in the pan, make sure to fluff the Paella with a fork – this would prevent having big chunks of rice, and everything will get incorporated evenly.
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Chicken Paella Recipe
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 500 g / 1 pound bone-out skin off chicken thighs or regular chicken breast
- 1 chopped carrot
- 1/2 medium diced onion
- 100 g green beans either fresh or frozen
- 2 sliced garlic cloves
- 1 diced tomato fresh is better but can would work too
- 200 g / 1 cup paella rice
- 600 g / 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes. Dice the onion, chop the carrot and green beans into the desired size, add them to a bowl and set aside. To another bowl, add the peeled diced tomato.
- Preheat a nonstick or paella pan over medium heat. Once preheated, add the olive oil, then add the chicken.
- Cook for 10 minutes, flipping it halfway through.
- Pull the chicken on the side of the pan and add the diced onion, carrot, and green beans in the middle. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- In a pot, add the chicken stock and let it come to a boil.
- Add the sliced garlic and cook for another minute.
- Finally, add the peeled diced tomato sprinkle a pinch of salt on top, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Wash the rice with water, drain it and add it to the paella. Cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Add the boiling chicken stock. Mix lightly, taste the stock, and season with salt and pepper.
- Once the paella is boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Then cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
- Check the rice on the 15-minute mark if it has soaked the water and it’s cooked, take the pan out of the heat and let it sit covered for another 10 minutes.
- Take the lid off and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve and enjoy!
- I didn’t use saffron in my paella recipe, but if you are a fan of it you can add it once you add the rice to the pan.
- After the rice has cooked and rested in the pan, make sure to fluff the Paella with a fork – this would prevent having big chunks of rice, and everything will get incorporated evenly.
- Chicken tighs are best for this recipe but you can substitute them with regular chicken breast.