2lbsboneless skinless chicken thighsabout 4-5 thighs (or skin-on, bone-in if you prefer)
1/2tspblack ground pepper
5saffron threads or 1 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp hot paprika
1small white onionsmall diced
1large green or red bell peppersmall diced
2cups white ricelong-grain
3large diced tomatoesskin and seeds removed (or about 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained)
3/4cupfresh or frozen peas
1 cup sweet corn
2 tbsp cilantro, pasrley or basil (fresh and chopped)
Season the chicken with a mixture of salt, pepper, and cumin, rubbing well on both sides. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then, add saffron threads (or turmeric) to the hot water and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, dice and chop the vegetables. Reserve. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp of oil and sear the chicken thighs, skin side down (or top of the thighs side down), for 3-4 minutes without moving or until skin is golden. Flip chicken to the other side and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Transfer thighs to a plate and reserve. Remove excess oil/grease (leave about 1 tbsp). Meanwhile, add and cook the onion and bell pepper over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the rice and sauté for about 1-2 minutes, stirring every now and then.
Add the wine and let almost evaporate about 2 minutes. Stir in the saffron, the broth, the tomato paste, and the bay leaf. Transfer the chicken back to the pan, nestling them on top of the rice. Let come to a boil.
Then cover the pan with a lid and let cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked and rice is al dente. The rice will absorb the liquids. About 3 minutes before the end of this cooking time, add the diced tomatoes and the corn and peas, cover, and let it cook. Right before serving, squeeze lime over the thighs and add the chopped herbs.
OPTIONAL: Before adding the lime juice and herbs, you may brush the top of the chicken thighs with a hint of honey and broil for a couple of minutes if desired.