So I knew from the star that this recipe was not for your average paella because it’s made with orzo instead of rice. I decided to go to the thoroughly reliable Wikipedia page on paella to see what the overall definition of the dish is, and the first thing I read was, “Valencian paella consists of white rice, green vegetables, meat…” I cracked up because my paella has meat, but that’s about the only similarity. The only greens in this recipe are the peas, and I hate peas so I left them out. It ended up looking a lot like jambalaya, and I have never had any other paella so I don’t have anything to compare it to. I can tell you that this chicken paella is absolutely delicious. I think that orzo might be my favourite pasta (after spaghetti of course), and I am always happy to see it rather than rice, which I think can get pretty boring after a while.
This was a really quick meal to make that is good for a weeknight. The only thing that takes me a while is chopping up the veggies, and I always do that ahead of time and just store them in ziplocs or containers in the fridge until I am ready to start cooking. I actually like to group all of the ingredients in the order that they go into the dish so it’s all just ready to go for cooking because I get super stressed out when I have to multitask. Cooking is generally a stress-relieving thing for me when I am prepared in advance, but I am a crazy mess when I am trying to do everything at once. Chicken Paella
1 tsp cooking oil
6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes pieces
4 oz chicken (or turkey) sausage, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped red pepper 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup diced Roma tomatoes
3/4 cup orzo
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed (I didn’t include these)
Heat cooking oil in large frying pan on medium. Add chicken and sausage. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned. Remove to plate with slotted spoon. Cover to keep warm. Add red pepper, onion, and garlic to same frying pan. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often, until onion starts to brown. Add remaining ingredients (except for the peas), chicken, and sausage. Stir. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed and pasta is almost tender. Sprinkle with peas. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir. Makes 3 1/2 cups. Serves 2.