Serves 8 (serving size: 1 chicken thigh and about 1/2 cup rice mixture)
A Spanish dish from the Valencia region, paella is named for the cooking vessel itself: a round, shallow pan made of carbon steel that heats quickly and evenly. A good paella pan helps develop the socarrat, or crispy layer of rice crust on the bottom that's the most prized part of the dish. A large skillet will work as well if you don't have a paella pan. Look for short-grain Bomba or Valencia rice at specialty markets. Be aware that risotto rice like Arborio won't work here, since paella rice isn't meant to be creamy.
Stir together lemon rind, juice, and saffron in a small bowl; set aside.
Heat oil in a 13- to 15-inch paella pan or skillet with lid over medium-high. Sprinkle chicken with black pepper and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Add 4 chicken thighs to pan; cook, skin side down, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Turn chicken over; cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; repeat with remaining 4 chicken thighs. Add onion, thyme, and garlic to pan; cook, stirring often, 4 minutes. Add rice; cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Add wine; cook until reduced by about half, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice mixture, stock, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Nestle chicken, skin side up, into rice. Cover and reduce heat to medium; simmer until rice is just al dente, about 18 minutes. Uncover pan.
Add peas and red pepper pieces. Increase heat to medium-high; cook until rice begins to brown on the bottom and edges of pan, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with parsley; serve with lemon wedges.
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