Crispy chicken skin paella
- August 2023
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 25 min, plus simmering time 25 min
Nothing says summer holiday quite like a paella! Our version uses a quick homemade chicken stock and comes complete with shards of crispy chicken skin on top, ensuring no part of the chicken legs are wasted.
Rice at the ready! Check out our complete paella recipes collection.
- 40g (13g saturated)
- 26g (6.8g sugars)
- 600g free-range chicken thighs and drumsticks, skin on and bone in
- 1 onion, finely chopped (reserve the skin and root)
- ¼ bunch parsley, leaves and stalks separated and roughly chopped
- Dash olive oil
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- ½ red chilli, finely sliced
- 80g chorizo, sliced (optional, see Know How)
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 150ml white wine
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Pinch saffron
- 250g paella rice (we used bomba)
- 300g mixed sustainable seafood, such as prawns, squid, mussels, clams and/or scallops
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Heat the oven to 160°C fan/gas 4. Remove the skin from the chicken pieces with a small sharp knife, then remove any particularly fatty bits by scraping the undersides of the skins with the blade. Lay the pieces of skin flat on a tray in a single layer and cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden and crisp. Be careful not to let them get too dark in colour as they will turn bitter. Sprinkle with salt and set aside to cool.
- Cut as much meat from the chicken bones as you can, then set the meat aside and put the bones in a large saucepan. Pour in 1 litre water, the onion skin and root, the parsley stalks and any other bits of veg trim you have in the fridge to make a quick stock. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer while you cook the paella.
- Roughly chop the chicken meat into bite-size pieces. Put a wide, deep frying pan (or paella pan, if you have one) over a medium heat and add a dash of oil. Once hot, add the chicken, season well, then cook for a few minutes until browned all over. Remove from the heat.
- Finely chop the peeled onion, then add it into the same pan along with the chorizo, garlic, chilli and pepper. Add another pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes until softened, then return the chicken to the pan (along with any juices it has released). Stir in the tomatoes, white wine, paprika and saffron and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the rice to the pan and stir well to ensure each grain is coated and glossy, then strain the hot stock through a fine sieve into the pan. Leave to simmer gently for 25 minutes uncovered and untouched.
- Nestle your mixed seafood on top of the rice, then cover and cook for a further 5 minutes. By this time all the liquid should have been absorbed and the grains at the bottom of the pan should have crisped up and darkened.
- Remove the pan from the heat and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving topped with the crispy chicken skin, chopped parsley leaves and lemon wedges.
Easy swaps: This fantastic dish can be as extravagant or as simple as you like – omit the fancier seafood for something a little more weeknight, or go all-in with the biggest prawns you can find if you’re out to impress.
You may be tempted to stir the rice when making paella (as it starts off looking not dissimilar to risotto), but the key to paella is to leave it alone! Simmering the rice untouched results in wonderfully fluffy grains plus that all important crispy caramelised layer in the bottom of the pan known as socarrat.
In Valencia – the home of paella – you’d never see chorizo added. We’ve put it here as an option as we do love the flavour it adds, but feel free to leave it in or out depending on how close to an ‘authentic’ paella you want yours to be.
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