Oven Baked Chicken Paella

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I have made paella a few times since my holiday in Spain. This week I decided I needed to make a small adjustment to preparing my chicken paella. This week my Dad came to stay with us and I was due to start a zoom meeting at 7pm which is about the time we would sit down to dinner. The meeting would last about an hour and that meant if I wasn’t organised, we would be eating by 9pm. I don’t like to eat late. I got into the kitchen and decided to get ahead as much as possible with all the preparation and then finish it off in the oven. I gave Brian instructions to put the oven on at 19h15 to preheat it. Put the paella onto the gas stove to heat up the the stock, add the rice once stock is bubbling, cover in foil and put into the oven.

It was really a simple set of instructions, but he got chatting with my Dad and lost sight of the time, after a few glasses of wine. When I finished my meeting I was famished and ready for my pre-prepared paella. My Oven Baked chicken Paella was not ready for me, I had to wait until 20h45 to eat. It was delicious when it was finally ready and of course Brian took all the credit.🙄

Chicken Paella pre-prepared and baked in the oven to finish off
Pre-prepare paella up to just before adding the rice

Quick Chicken Paella

Servings 6 people

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbls Olive oil
  • 5-6 free range Chicken drumsticks on the bone season to taste
  • 8 deboned chicken thighs season taste
  • 18 -24 strands of saffron
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250 g green beans flat chinese green beans are more authentic
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp mild chilli flakes nôra flakes if you can get them
  • 1/2 tin chopped tomotoes
  • 200 g tinned butter beans
  • 1 l chicken stock
  • 1 tin of snails optional
  • 400 g paella rice you can use Bonnet rice from Tastic
  • 6 x 5cm sprigs fresh rosemary

Instructions

  • Heat a 40 – 50 cm paella and add 4 Tbls Olive oil
    4 Tbls Olive oil
  • once heated add chicken drumsticks and cook for 10 minutes turning continuously to ensure an even golden colour.
    5-6 free range Chicken drumsticks on the bone
  • add thighs and cook for 3 -5 minutes turning to ensure enven cooking and golden colour
    8 deboned chicken thighs
  • While chicken is cooking boil the kettle. Place the saffron and salt in a mortar and pestle and grind to a fine pink texture. Scoop 2 tbls of fat from the paella and add that to the saffron with 1 cup of boiling water. This is the perfect way to bloom the saffron and intensify its flavour. This was the best tip I learnt in my cooking class in Valencian
    18 -24 strands of saffron, 1 tsp salt
  • Remove the chicken from the paella (pan) and remove the meat from the drumsticks. Cut into smaller bite-size pieces. Set aside until later. Keep the bones to add back to the pan to create the chicken stock. This is optional but I really like to extract as much flavour from the bones as possible. These will be removed just before I add the rice in the final stage of cooking.
  • In the same pan with the chicken juices add the green beans and cook until the skin blisters, turn as needed to ensure they don't burn
    250 g green beans
  • Add garlic and cook for 1 minute
    3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • Add the spices and cook until the green beans are coated in the spices
    1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp mild chilli flakes
  • Now add the tomatoes ( You can use 3 grated roma tomatoes if you prefer) and cook to create a soffritto which is a thickened Spanish tomato sauce. This is the key to a successful Valencian paella
    1/2 tin chopped tomotoes
  • Add the butter beans and stir to coat in the soffritto.
    200 g tinned butter beans
  • Now add the stock (or water) and the bones back to the pan and cook until the pan is bubbling. Check the seasoning. I add 1 tsp of salt and a few crack of black pepper.
    1 l chicken stock
  • If you are using the snails you can add them now along with the reserved chicken pieces and rosemary.
    1 tin of snails, 6 x 5cm sprigs fresh rosemary
  • At this stage you can switch the gas off and leave the pan to cool. I do this if I am expecting guests and I want to relax and enjoy their company. I have made paella in front of a few people, but it does take me longer because of the distractions and the chatter and I battle to concentrate. I find if I make the paella to this point, I don't stress. It can sit for an hour or two while the flavours intensify. I then remove the bones and add the rice later with a cup of water, cover the pan in foil and bake it in the oven at 180℃ for 30 minutes or until the rice is done and the stock is fully absorbed. You can also just cook it on the gas for 15 to 20 minutes if you prefer, which is the authentic Spanish way. You don't get the socarrat with this method as much as on the stove, but you need to weigh up what's more important for you and decide from there.
    400 g paella rice
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: Chicken paella, paella

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