Using some paper towels make sure to pat dry as much of the moisture from the chicken as possible.
Drizzle the chicken with a lug of olive oil and sprinkle with the McCormick taco mix all over.
Heat up a large skillet on medium flame. Add a little olive oil, just enough to coat the pan and quickly pan sear the chicken on both sides until nicely golden brown. Take good care not to burn it. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
Add the onion to the pan with a pinch of sea salt and a little more olive oil if needed. Sauté for a few minutes then add the carrot and bell pepper. Cook the sofrito together for a few minutes then stir in the garlic, smoked paprika and rice. Toss to coat well.
At this point you can add the chicken thighs back to the pan together with the diced tomatoes, bay leaf and sea salt. Pour the water over the top and bring everything to a gentle simmer. Cover with a tight lid and cook on low flame for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let the chicken and rice sit covered for 10 minutes.
Discard the bay leaves, fluff the rice with a fork and serve sprinkled with the green olives, fresh cilantro and a nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.