Valencian-Style Chicken Paella
By Katie Button
This is my take on the classic Valencian-style paella that combines rabbit or chicken with snails and beans. I love the creaminess of giant lima beans, especially the ones from Rancho Gordo, a bean company in Northern California. Their earthy sweetness pairs so well with the savory seared chicken and the juicy artichokes. When those three ingredients simmer together, they’re essentially creating a stock that will infuse the rice as well.
Recipe from the book CÚRATE by Katie Button with Genevieve Ko.
Chicken Paella with Lima Beans & Artichokes
20- TO 22-INCH PAELLA PAN (SERVES 10 TO 12)
- 8 ounces dried large lima beans (1 cup)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 6 chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks split
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 artichokes, trimmed to hearts, cut in quarters
- 12 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 large green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups canned crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons pimentón (smoked sweet paprika)
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups bomba, calasparra, or Arborio rice
- 4 rosemary sprigs
16- TO 18-INCH PAELLA PAN (SERVES 6 TO 8)
- 4 ounces dried large lima beans (1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks split
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 artichokes, trimmed to hearts, cut in quarters
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup canned crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon pimentón (smoked sweet paprika)
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup bomba, calasparra, or Arborio rice
- 2 rosemary sprigs
The night before cooking, cover the lima beans with cold water by 3 inches. Cover and let stand until ready to cook, then drain well.
Prepare an outdoor grill that will fit your paella pan. If you have a standard round kettle grill, the handles of the paella pan may prevent the pan from sitting directly on the rack. It’s okay as long as the base of the pan is smaller than the grill grate. Heat enough wood or coals to completely cover the bottom of the grill until very hot.
Carefully place the pan on the grill and add the oil. Heat until the oil and pan are very hot. Season the chicken with one-third of the salt and all of the pepper. Place in the oil, skin side down. Cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.
Add the artichokes to the hot oil and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with half of the remaining salt and transfer to the plate with the chicken.
Add the garlic to the hot oil and cook, stirring, until golden, about 15 seconds. Add the bell peppers and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes are starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Stir in the pimentón and saffron.
Add the lima beans and water and return the chicken and artichokes to the pan, along with any accumulated juices. Stir in the remaining salt. Bring to a simmer, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the rice until evenly distributed around the pan. Make sure all the grains are submerged in the liquid. Scatter the rosemary on top. Cover, with the grill vents open, and simmer until the rice and beans are tender and the liquid has evaporated, 10 to 20 minutes. The cooking time will depend on how hot your fire is at this point and the type of rice you use. The bottom of the rice should be browned and crusty too.
Wearing heavy-duty oven mitts, transfer the pan to a heatproof surface or very large cooling rack. Tent with foil and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Oven Paella: To make this in the oven, position a rack in the bottom of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Follow the instructions above and use a stovetop, straddling the pan between two burners, to sear the chicken and artichokes over high heat, sauté the vegetables over medium heat, and simmer the beans over low heat. After stirring in the rice and topping with the rosemary, transfer to the oven and bake. If the bottom hasn’t developed a crust by the time the rice and beans are tender, return to the stovetop and set over high heat. Cook just until a crust forms, then tent and let stand as above before serving.
Excerpted from the book CÚRATE by Katie Button with Genevieve Ko. Copyright © 2016 by Katie Button with Genevieve Ko. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Evan Sung.