Chicken and Green Olive Paella

February 20, 2018
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

This paella gets a boost of flavor from some familiar Spanish ingredients: sherry, saffron, green olives, and smoked paprika. Crushing the green olives beforehand allows their briny juices to season the rice. Cubes of boneless, skinless thighs can be substituted for the whole variety used here; you’ll just need to increase the oil amount to 3 tablespoons during the browning stage, to make up for the lack of chicken fat that normally renders out of the skin. —Jennifer Clair

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe was featured in the article A Schmaltzy, No-Seafood (Read: Easier) Paella —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pinch saffron threads, crumbled (optional; we know it’s expensive)
  • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted or not (with or without the red pimento)
  • kosher salt
  • 6 whole chicken thighs
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into ¼-inch strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups short-grain white rice (like Italian Arborio or Spanish Bomba)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup dry (fino) sherry
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes, or equivalent canned
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. In a medium saucepan, combine the broth and saffron threads, if using. Bring to a boil, cover, and remove from heat. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  2. Place the olives on a cutting board, and using the flat of your palm, crush them lightly; remove the pit if they have them, and cut in half if particularly large. Set aside in a large bowl.
  3. In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken skin with salt and place skin-side down in the hot oil. Cook until the skin is golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Turn and cook for 3 minutes on the other side. Transfer the chicken to the bowl with the olives.
  4. To the hot pan, add the onion and peppers and cook until soft and lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add the rice, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice kernels are translucent and the spices are very aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the sherry and cook until it is absorbed by the rice, about 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, the infused broth, and reserved olives and chicken (make sure the chicken skin is face up). Bring to a boil and transfer the pan to the oven.
  5. Bake until the rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with the peas during the last few minutes of cooking.
  6. Let the paella rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • FrugalCat
  • Amelia McCann
    Amelia McCann
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    Cyndee Blenkush
  • salena
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6 Reviews

salena March 1, 2018
This is an excellent recipe. I got a beautiful crust on my rice (that doesn't happen often) in my Staub pan. This may be the best chicken and rice dish I have ever made, and I've made many. As with so many recipes, make it your own.
FrugalCat February 27, 2018
I used "salad olives" which are already broken up. This came out great, even with a mixture of regular and Hungarian hot paprika. (I don't keep smoked paprika in my inventory).
Sheree February 25, 2018
This was a great recipe; the flavors were amazing. I did use a bit more salt than the recipe required. Next time I make this recipe, I will add more cayenne (the heat profile was muted), halve the amount of olives and add shrimp and scallops. This one is definitely a keeper.
Amelia M. February 22, 2018
It looks like the rice was accidentally left off the ingredient list. How much rice should be used?
Cyndee B. February 22, 2018
try reading the recipe again....
Popoughie February 23, 2018