Chicken Paella for Two (Plus)

by Anne Bennett on April 11, 2010

What better way to address the chicken blahs (mentioned in my last post) than to rustle up some paella made with…chicken. Alas, I remain unable, or unwilling, to turn away from our fine-feathered friends. Chicken is a master of disguise– it takes to almost any blend of herbs and spices and can be found in nearly all of the world’s cuisines. Add to that its reputation for being low fat and blah, blah, blah. (Do I need to repeat its many nutritional virtues? You know what they are.)

Here is a recipe from Weight Watchers magazine, which I tinkered with in the following ways: the recipe called for two fresh baby artichokes. Nice idea, but try finding them on a Saturday afternoon when you’re in a hurry. Canned whole artichokes were a fine substitute. It also called for jarred roasted red peppers. You can use them, but they are more expensive than fresh red peppers, and I like the slight crunch of cooked fresh peppers.

I chopped fresh tomatoes and sprinkled them on top when I served this. I also added a pinch of cayenne to the dish as it cooked, and served it with Frank’s Hot Sauce. This recipe takes well to improvisation. If you like peas, add them. Asparagus? Use them in place of green beans. Shrimp instead of chicken? What? No chicken? It’s not possible!

By the way, I usually cook my own brown rice in a rice cooker, but I keep Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain Brown Ready Rice on hand because it’s a great, last-minute vehicle for lots of entrees. I just open the package and toss it in, as with this dish, or microwave the package per directions (90 seconds) and you’ve got perfectly cooked brown rice.

ww-paella

2 (1/4 lb.) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut in half
1 small onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin 1/2″ long slices
1 large garlic clove, minced
3/4 t. smoked paprika (I used regular paprika)
1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 whole canned artichoke hearts, quartered*
1/4 lb. fresh green beans, cut into 2″ long pieces
1 (8.8 oz.) package Uncle Ben’s shelf-stable whole grain brown Ready Rice
fresh tomatoes (I use Costco’s) chopped, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a shallow baking dish with nonstick spray.

Spray a nonstick skillet and saute chicken on one side until browned. Turn chicken over and sprinkle onions and red peppers around in skillet. Cook, stirring, until chicken is browned on the other side. Stir in garlic, paprika and salt. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover. and simmer about 10 minutes. Stir in green beans, cover again and cook about 6 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Stir in rice and artichokes. Place mixture into prepared baking dish and bake until bubbling, about 8 minutes.

The original recipe called for 1 1/3 cups of the Uncle Ben’s rice, but the entire package contains 2 cups, and I wasn’t about to toss out a mere 2/3 cup rice just to keep the WW points value down. I added the whole package and had a lunch-sized portion of leftovers. Delish.

*If you use fresh baby artichokes, add them when you add the broth, as they need more time to cook.

Serves: 2 (plus aforementioned lunch-sized portion)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rich May 3, 2010 at 6:58 pm

I got a link to your recipe from a friend whom I gave smoked paprika to, and she loved it. I highly recommedn thespicehouse.com for getting smoked paprika or any other spices. Very fresh. No, I don’t work for them, just a happy customer). The smoked paprika is excellent in a variety of dished such as jambalaya, pork, chicken, rice, etc. Thanks for the recipe, bon appetit!

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