Fideo is a short, thin pasta, similar to vermicelli. In Mexico, it is used in the tomato chicken soup Sopa de Fideo, and in Spain, it is cooked like paella in fideuà, along with seafood and lemon. Here, we are giving it the paella cooking treatment, adding chicken and greens. The end result is a dish that is crunchy, creamy and altogether satisfying.
This recipe is for one, can be scaled up and follows in my mother’s footsteps by not having exact measurements. Partially, because I used what I had available and partially because I started testing out a new cocktail recipe while making it. Think of it less as a recipe and more as a guideline. Enjoy!
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, enough to coat the pan in a thin layer.
Season the chicken thigh with salt, pepper, and a healthy sprinkle of paprika on both sides. Add to pan and sear until both sides have nice brown coloring. Remove from pan.
There should be fat left in the pan. If not add a drop more olive oil. Add the fideos into the pan, tossing in the fat. Let the fideos toast until the reach a golden brown color. Remove to a separate bowl.
Next, add a bit more olive oil to the pan and reduce the heat. Add shallots and let them slowly cook until soft and brown, about 7 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350°.
Increase the heat to medium. Add garlic and tomato paste and stir well. Pour in 1/2 cup of the broth, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add broccoli rabe, salt, black pepper, and a healthy pinch of paprika and let come to a simmer.
Return the fideos back to the pan. Stir into the broth and evenly distribute. Nestle the chicken thigh into the middle of the pan. Pour in the remaining broth, enough to cover most of the fideos, leaving a thin layer dry on top.
Head over to the oven and bake the fideuà until the chicken is thoroughly cooked, and the fideos have absorbed all the broth, about 15 to 20 minutes. The top layer of the fideo should be crunchy. The fideos under the chicken will be soft, having absorbed all the tomato and broth. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes and then serve!