If you’re like me and can’t justify buying a paella pan but can justify buying a cast-iron skillet, this may be the recipe for you! The skillet gives the paella a great crispy bottom, and makes it a great flavorful dish to make at home any time.
Skillet Chicken and Clam Paella with Garlic Aioli Recipe
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
2 garlic cloves
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 pound tomatoes (about 2)
4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
12 littleneck clams, scrubbed clean
10 threads saffron
1 1/2 cups short grain rice (I used Calasparra)
1 sprig rosemary, leaves only
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 chicken thighs and 2 legs, or 4 chicken thighs
Kosher salt and pepper for seasoning
1/4 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and halved
1 diced bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
chopped fresh parsley
1. Mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt using a large heavy knife. Whisk together yolk, lemon juice, and mustard in a bowl.
2. Combine oils and add, a few drops at a time, to yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until all oil is incorporated and mixture is emulsified. (If mixture separates, stop adding oil and continue whisking until mixture comes together, then resume adding oil.)
3. Whisk in garlic paste and season with salt and pepper. If aioli is too thick, whisk in 1 or 2 drops of water. Chill, covered, until ready to use.
1. Halve the tomatoes and remove the seeds to a fine mesh strainer set over a small bowl to catch the juice. Grate the seeded halves on the large hole side of a box grater and discard the skins. Combine the reserved juice and grated tomato and set aside.
2. Add chicken broth to a medium pot and heat over high heat until boiling. Lower heat to a simmer and add clams. Simmer until clams open, about 8-10 minutes, then turn off the heat. Remove clams to a bowl. Add saffron to the broth and cover to keep warm.
3. Combine the rice, rosemary, salt, and paprika in a small mixing bowl. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
4. Heat oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over high heat. Add chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 5-6 minutes per side. Move the chicken to the outer edges of the pan.
5. Add the green beans, bell pepper and garlic to the center of the pan and cook until they begin to soften and darken in color, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Add the tomatoes and their juice and cook until most of the liquid has disappeared and the tomatoes thicken and darken, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
7. Add the rice mixture to the center of the pan and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
8. Redistribute the chicken pieces on top of the rice. Reduce the heat to medium and add 2 cups of the warm chicken broth and stir to distribute the rice evenly in the pan, making sure that all rice is completely submerged in liquid.
9. After about 15 minutes, when all of the liquid is absorbed and the rice appears dry, add an additional 2 cups of broth. Continue to cook without stirring, until the liquid is absorbed, about another 15 minutes.
10. Add the cooked clams to the top of the paella. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of broth as needed, until the rice is cooked through.
11. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool 5 minutes. Garnish with lots of freshly chopped parsley and serve with aioli.