Simple Chicken Paella

Simple Chicken Paella

Aaliyah is a massive fan of chicken and rice. When I say chicken and rice, I mean chicken curry with rice. It’s her staple. I know if I’m serving this up for dinner, there will be no complaints - no little fussy pointy fingers coming out – ‘mummy what’s that?’, she’ll gobble it down and will have a full satisfied little belly. Not just Aaliyah’s though – the hubby’s too. Whilst this is great, I’m not overly keen on feeding Aaliyah the same meals; I don’t want her to get ‘comfortable’ with what she knows. I’m trying my best to keep meals interesting for her so I decided to cook up a variation of chicken and rice.

Introducing my BIG FAT FAMILY PAELLA! This is delicious! It includes two of Aaliyah’s favourite ingredients – chicken and rice, but it’s a totally different cuisine. And the fact that paella’s are so bright and colourful is really appealing to kids. I’m not going to lie - this does create some extra washing but it is totally worth it.

Aaliyah’s verdict – well initially she looked at her bowl and said ‘where’s the REAL chicken and rice’ but as you know Aaliyah is not a fussy eater; she’ll happily try new things. She ate, scoffed and loved! Another one to add to the list!


Serves family of 4. Total preparation and cooking time: 35-40mins.


  • 425g (15oz) white basmati rice
  • 1 litre (1¾ pints) chicken stock – reduced salt variety
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 30ml (1fl oz) vegetable oil
  • 700g (1lb 9oz) chicken breast fillets – skinless, boneless, cubed
  • 6 cloves of garlic – peeled, minced
  • Salt to taste (optional)
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 chillies – red and green (optional) – stems chopped, pounded to paste
  • 2 bell peppers (green and red) – washed, deseeded, chopped
  • Fresh coriander (cilantro) or parsley for garnish - chopped


Add the rice, stock, turmeric, saffron and oil to a large pot and stir. Bring to the boil and simmer (covered) on low heat for 10-12mins until the rice is tender.

Whilst the rice is cooking, stir-fry the chicken cubes with garlic, salt to taste (if you wish), black pepper and chillies (if you like a little heat). Stir-fry until tender and set aside.

Finally, grill the peppers on a griddle pan for a few minutes to give them a lovely smoky flavour. I like to do this at the same time as stir-frying the chicken to save time.

Combine everything and garnish with a little chopped parsley or coriander. Serve immediately.

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