Chicken with Rice/Paella

Chicken with Rice/Paella

Today for the end of summer, we are sharing a recipe from the 31st Anniversary Edition of The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook. A chicken and rice “paella" or "arroz con pollo” recipe from Spain.

This paella comes from Sue Svrcek of Pennsylvania. Sue’s mother, Hope Ibanez, immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island in 1916 with her brother. But when she arrived, it was discovered her brother had smallpox. Hope and her brother were sent back home. 

Determined to become an American, Hope returned in 1918 with her husband to settle here in the U.S. 

Sue notes that her mother's paella recipe is something that is made differently in each province of Spain, and this is how it was made in the town where Hope grew up.


Chicken with Rice/Paella

1 ½ chicken, cut up
1 lb lean pork, cubed
½ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 fresh cloves of garlic (or more) minced
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 sprig parsley
2 cups uncooked rice
1 tsp lemon juice
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
Pinch of toasted saffron
1 cup hot chicken broth
¼ cup dry white wine
2 ¼ cups chicken broth


  1. Heat the oil and saute the chicken until golden and place in large casserole. Do the same to the pork. Strain out the drippings, and saute the pepper and onion in the drippings until the onion is transparent.
  2. Add tomato, garlic, lemon juice, bay leaf, and salt. Mix well and cook until mushy. Set skillet aside.
  3. In a separate pot, heat the 1 cup of broth and dissolve the crushed and toasted saffron in the broth. Add wine to the broth, and pour this mixture into the skillet. Add the parsley and mix well. Add the chicken and pork into the skillet. Cover and cook over medium heat until chicken is tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the 2 ¼ cups of broth and the rice. Stir careful ONCE!! Bring to a boil. Cover, and place this in a preheated to 325 oven for 20 minutes. Remove, let stand for 15 minutes covered, and remove lid.


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