Paella with Chicken and Sausage

Spain’s most famous dish, made easy enough for any day of the week.
TIME About 1 hour
MAKES 4 to 6 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
½ pound Spanish chorizo or other smoked sausage, chopped
2 cups any short- or medium-grain white rice, rinsed
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (pimentón)
½ cup dry white wine
3 to 3½ cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock or water
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

1 Heat the oven to 450°F. Put the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin side down, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until the pieces are deeply browned and release easily from the pan, 5 to 10 minutes. Turn, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook on the other side, rotating the pieces as necessary until browned, another 5 minutes or so. Remove the chicken from the skillet.

2 Lower the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, and chorizo to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and the sausage begins to crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until it is glossy and starts to smell toasty. Add the paprika and stir until it is fragrant, less than a minute. Stir in the wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

3 Pour 3 cups stock over the rice and tuck in the chicken pieces. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake, undisturbed, for 15 minutes. Check to see if the rice is dry and just tender. If not, bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until it is. (If the rice is dry but not yet tender, add a little liquid—¼ cup or less— before baking for another 5 minutes; repeat if necessary.)

4 When the rice is ready, taste and stir in the bell pepper and more salt and pepper if you like; return the skillet to the oven. Turn off the heat and let the paella sit for at least 5 and up to 15 minutes.

5 When you’re ready to serve, you can give the paella a crust: Put the pan over medium-high heat until the rice sizzles lightly and begins to smell toasted—but not burned—2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with the parsley and serve.

  • Vegetarian Paella with Lots of Tomatoes Skip the chicken, sausage, and peppers and go directly to Step 2. Core 1½ pounds ripe tomatoes and cut them into wedges. In Step 3, put them on top of the rice and liquid before transferring the pan to the oven.

  • Spanish chorizo is fully cooked—either smoked or cured—and has a fairly firm texture. If you can’t find it, use another smoked sausage like kielbasa.
  • Valencia rice is traditional for paella, but any short- or medium-grain white rice will do.
  • Smoked paprika (pimentón in Spanish) is available in most supermarkets and has a distinctive robust flavor.
  • To divide the chicken, pull the meat from the bones with a fork and serve everyone a bit.

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