2 cups chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium canned
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
Kosher or sea salt
1/4 tsp crumbled thread saffron
3 lb chicken pieces, bone-in, a combination of thighs, drumsticks, and breast (cut into chunks)
8 Tbsp olive oil
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb green beans (preferably broad, flat beans, but round ones are fine), ends snapped off and cut in half crosswise
1/2 lb snap peas or snow peas, strings removed
I box frozen artichoke hearts (already quartered)
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
2 Tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp Spanish smoked paprika (mild or hot, to taste)
3 cups imported Spanish bomba or valencia rice, or Arborio
1 roasted red pepper (good quality from a jar), sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips
Heat the broth, rosemary, salt, saffron, and 4 cups water in a
covered pot over the lowest heat for 20 minutes. Remove the rosemary.
Sprinkle chicken pieces all over with salt.
Keep the broth hot over the lowest heat. Preheat the oven to 400°F for gas, 450°F for electric.
Heat the oil over fairly high heat in a paella pan measuring 17-18 inches at its widest point (or in a shallow casserole of similar size), over 2 burners if necessary. Sauté the chicken over high heat until brown (it should not be fully cooked), about 5 minutes, turning once. (Be careful -- this will splatter.) Add the green pepper, onion and garlic, and cook until slightly softened, keeping the heat high. Stir in the green beans, snap peas, and artichokes, and cook on high for about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and parsley, cook 1 minute, then mix in the paprika.
Stir in the rice and coat well with the pan mixture. Pour in the hot broth and bring to a boil. Taste for salt and continue to boil about 5 minutes, stirring and rotating the pan occasionally, until the rice is no longer soupy but enough liquid remains to continue cooking the rice, about 5 minutes.
Arrange the red pepper strips over the rice in a "wagon wheel" pattern, and transfer pan to the oven. Cook, uncovered, until the rice is almost al dente, 10-13 minutes in a gas oven, 15-20 minutes in electric.
Remove to a warm spot, cover with foil, and let sit 5-10 minutes, until the rice is cooked to taste. Return the paella to the stove over high heat and cook, without stirring, until a crust of rice forms at the bottom of the pan (be careful not to burn it). This will take 3-4 minutes.
*Note: the crust is called the socarrat — a thin layer of rice at the bottom of the pan that becomes brown and crusty and is considered the quintessence of the paella. It is scraped off after the rice is served and passed around so everyone can have a share of it!