In my non-YouTube life, paella has been one of my most requested recipes. I’ve served it to guests in our home and I’ve taken the leftovers to lunch where I get a lot of questions about it. So here’s the “long-awaited” paella recipe. This is not a WW version of paella. It’s the real deal, but it happens to be very healthy and WW friendly. If this recipe serves 6, a serving would be 1 piece of the chicken and 1/5 of the rice. That’s a lot of rice! It still comes out to be 8 WW SP per serving, so if you cut back the rice on your plate and have leftovers, it might even be fewer.
Authentic paella valenciana started as a hunter’s dish, made out in the open field with the rice and spices they could carry with them, and the game, like rabbit, that they caught. I suppose this led to the tradition that in Spain, paella is a dish usually prepared in a large quantity outdoors over an open flame, primarily by men. When I had paella in Spain 20 years ago, it was overseen my my friend’s dad and uncle, but with her mom lending a hand and giving advice. The beautiful seafood paellas that you see in pictures bursting with shrimp and shellfish are great, and they have a place, but they are not authentic paella valenciana.
Paella Valenciana, serves 6 generous servings (8 WW SP per serving)
- 1 1/2 lb chicken thighs, boneless and skinless (about 6)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 jarred piquillo peppers, patted dry and diced, or jar roasted red peppers
- 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 15 oz. can flat green beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 1/2 cups Calasparra or other non-long grain rice such as Arborio
- 1/2 cup cups dry white wine
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- saffron, generous pinch
Preheat your oven to 325F.
Add chicken broth and saffron to a small saucepan and warm on low heat until it’s time to add it.
Add oil to a hot paella pan or skillet and add chicken that has been salted and peppered generously, and let cook on medium heat 5-6 minutes and then flip to brown on the other side. Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Add onions to the pan and cook until they turn translucent. Add tomatoes and combine well, being careful to scrape up the flavorful brown bits from the bottom of the pan as the tomatoes cook. Add peppers and garlic and allow to cook down for about 10 minutes. This step has created the sofrito base of the dish.
Add paprika and rice and make sure the rice is coated in the paprika and sofrito. Add the wine and broth and stir to combine. Allow the contents of the pan to come to a soft boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the rice does not stick. Add the green beans and stir to evenly distribute them throughout the mixture. Allow the paella to simmer until it is no longer soupy, continuing to monitor so that it does not stick.
Add the chicken back to the pan and place in the oven uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with foil or the lid of your pan for an additional 10 minutes to allow it to finish cooking. Serve and enjoy!