- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 4 chicken drumsticks
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Paprika or smoked sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup 2-inch pieces vermicelli pasta
- A generous pinch of saffron threads
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 5 ounces thick-cut speck, smoky ham or Serrano ham, diced
- 1 large onion or 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2-3 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, 1 red and 1 green
- 2 chili peppers, red or green, seeded and finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large ripe heirloom or organic beefsteak tomato, cored and chopped
- 1 slightly mounded cup long grain rice
Season the chicken liberally with salt, pepper and paprika and add to a pre-heated large, shallow pot with 1 tablespoon EVOO. Once browned, remove the chicken to a plate and drain off the fat. Add butter to the pot and melt. Brown the pasta for 2 minutes or until golden, remove to plate and reserve.
Place the saffron and chicken stock in a small pot and warm it up to steep the saffron threads.
Once the pasta is browned and has been removed from the pot, add the remaining tablespoon EVOO, a turn of the pan, and brown the ham, about 2 minutes. Add the onion, celery, bell peppers, chili peppers, garlic and bay leaf to the pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes to soften them up a bit, then add the tomatoes and rice. Stir in the pasta and warm saffron stock. Add the chicken and cover the pot; cook for 18 minutes, until rice is tender. Serve or cool completely and store for make-ahead meal.
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
Heat the dish in the oven until heated through. To reheat: Add 1/2 cup stock or water, sprinkled around the pan. If made ahead for a make-ahead meal and reheated, the rice will become crunchy on top and at the edges, but this can be a plus in the texture of the dish.