Chicken and Pork Paella

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In this delicious version of the classic Spanish recipe, chicken and pork ribs combine with rice, artichoke hearts and romano beans for a hearty and satisfying dish, laced with alluring flavors of saffron, garlic and smoky pimentón. Slideshow: More Paella Recipes 

Chicken and Pork Paella
Before it became a kitschy-yellow symbol of Spain and the world’s most celebrated—and misunderstood—rice dish, paella was a strictly regional masterpiece deeply rooted in the Mediterranean province of Valencia. The term paella describes both the flat steel pan and a super-Valencian dish of rice layered thin in that pan with well-browned chunks of rabbit (or duck), chicken, snails and a small handful of vegetables, all cooked in a broth bolstered with a tomato sofrito. Cooking is best done outdoors on a fire stoked with vine cuttings, with the whole extended family there, scraping up the socarrat, the crunchy bottom layer of rice. The secret to a perfect paella at home: Don’t mess with it too much. Use the same rice (a Spanish short-grain variety), the same pan and the same grain-to-liquid ratio until you can get your arroz perfectly plump but still slightly al dente. Method mastered, paella—or any of the other extraordinary regional rice dishes of El Levante, the stretch of Spain’s Mediterranean coast that embraces Valencia—is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Need we say more?Where to eat it: Chef María José San Román offers an array of vibrant rice dishes at her Michelin-starred flagship, Monastrell, in Alicante. Get the recipe:Chicken and Pork Paella. Photo: Christopher Peter Testani
Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
Yield:
6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 pound boneless country-style pork ribs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons finely grated garlic

  • 2 teaspoons pimentón de la Vera (smoked sweet Spanish paprika)

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • Large pinch of saffron, finely ground in a mortar

  • 1/4 cup boiling water

  • 2 large tomatoes, halved crosswise

  • One 9-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed

  • 1/4 pound romano beans, cut into 2-inch lengths

  • 8 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths

  • 6 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

  • 2 cups Bomba rice

  • 1 large rosemary sprig

  • 1 roasted red bell pepper—quartered lengthwise, seeded and cut crosswise into small strips

  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the chicken and pork with 1 tablespoon each of the olive oil and garlic and 1 teaspoon of the pimentón. Season generously with salt and pepper and mix again. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°. In a small heatproof bowl, mix the saffron with the boiling water and let cool completely. Grate the tomato halves on the large holes of a box grater set in a bowl until only the skins remain; discard the skins.

  3. In a 15-inch paella pan or large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat until shimmering. Add half the chicken-pork mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned but not cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with another 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the remaining chicken-pork mixture.

  4. Add the artichokes, romano beans, the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Push the mixture to one side of the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of garlic and 1 teaspoon of pimentón to the other side of the pan and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the grated tomatoes and the scallions and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetable mixture is deeply colored and coated in a thick sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken-pork mixture, 4 cups of the stock and the brewed saffron. Bring to a boil over high heat, then scatter the rice evenly on top, shaking the pan to distribute it evenly. Simmer over moderately high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the rosemary sprig and the remaining 2 cups of stock and season with salt and pepper.

  5. Transfer the paella to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Scatter the roasted red pepper and the peas on top and bake for 3 minutes more. Serve hot.

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