Saturday, February 19, 2011

Iron College Chef: Chicken Paella/Stir Fry

Even if you have limited cooking experience, you know how frustrating it can be to not have an ingredient available in your kitchen. It can sometimes be irritating when trying to find a recipe last minute, but can't use it because of missing a couple small ingredients. 

Sometimes you just got to go with the flow and work with what you have. Gradually, I am learning on how to do this. If I am short on an ingredient, I will often use google to find a substitute.

As I have mentioned before, I absolutely love watching the original Iron Chef,  Iron Chef America as well as any season of Top Chef. While most of these dishes are way out there and I would only be able to imitate with an extensive culinary education, you can still use it for inspiration. The basis of the meal is still the same, it's how you season it that makes a difference, and the possibilities are endless. You can make a simple paella without having to buy ingredients that you may never use again.  

I also have a confession. I like to pretend to play my own Iron Chef or Top Chef challenge in my kitchen (just at a lot slower pace!).  So, on a Wednesday night, I found myself trying to find a way to use my chicken breast and the rest of my vegetables while they were still ripe. 

I based my recipe off a chicken paella recipe and experimented. I'm not sure if you can classify this as paella exactly. It's more of a stir fry/paella combination. 

Most paella often includes shrimp- however I still have not acquired a taste for any delicacies of the sea. (Though I keep trying for my mother)  Thus, you can adjust recipes for your own liking- and this was one of the best things I've made while going off the recipe map. 

Chicken Paella/Stir Fry? 

1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 chicken breast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups rice (I used a packet of brown rice)
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 medium heirloom tomatoes chopped roughly
3 table-spoons of chopped roasted red peppers from jar
3/4 cup sugar snap peas (trimmed) 

1. Heat heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Pan-sear chicken. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side. Chicken will have a light brown color. Remove from pan and allow to cool.

2. Add chopped onion and cook until translucent for about 4-5 minutes and stir often. Then add minced garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add rice and cook for a couple minutes while stirring.

3. Stir in wine and chicken broth and bring to boil, scraping down the sides to prevent burning.

4. Once the rice has softened (it will expand in size), chop tomatoes and red peppers and add them to the skillet.

5. Bring to simmer and make sure rice is cooked through as well as snap peas.  Chop  chicken into rough pieces, add and mix well.

6. Serve! 

Bon Appetite!
Chef Maggie


  1. This looks delicious!! As a new cook, I'm still learning how to experiment and it doesn't always work out, but this one looks like a winner!

  2. This Paella looks perfect and I like the way that it is stir fried!