Paella is a Spanish rice dish from the Valencia region. Nowadays, Paella is usually associated with seafood, however the traditional so-called paella Valenciana used to be cooked with rabbit, chicken, snails, and beans. The Paella recipe that we usually make is a combination of chorizo, chicken, and seafood, but you can make it any way you like, all the protein can be substituted with something you like.
This dish takes time and patience and is best shared with friends and family with a nice bottle of Rioja.
TIP: If you do not have paella dish, you can use any 12″ or larger skillet. We use a Le Creuset skillet and it works perfect.
- 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
- pinch of saffron (8-10 threads)
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 2 skinless chicken thighs, chopped into small pieces
- 2 – 3 oz of soft chorizo sausage
- 8 scallops
- 8 shrimp peeled and deveined
- few mussels or clams
- 2-3 garlic cloves, unpeeled plus 2 more cloves peeled and mashed
- 1 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into strips
- handful of green beans (about 10)
- 3-4 oz of artichokes, marinated in olive oil
- 1 onion, grated
- 1 ripe large tomato, grated
- 1 cup of paella rice
- 1 fresh rosemary spring
- salt to taste
- lemon wedges
Step 1: In a sauce pan bring the chicken broth to a boil, reduce the heat, and add the saffron (a little bit of saffron goes a long way) cover and keep warm for when needed.
Step 2: Warm up the paella or skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. When the oil is hot add the chicken and chorizo with the unpeeled garlic and cook until chicken is golden brown ~15 minutes. Transfer the partially cooked chicken and chorizo to a platter and cover to retain heat, leaving the garlic in the pan.
Step 3: Brown the scallops in the same skillet, only for couple of minutes on each side, until nice and brown. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Step 4: In the same skillet, saute the pepper slices until they are limp and look burned on the edges, adding more oil if necessary. Add more oil if needed. Transfer the pepper slices into a bowl, cover, and set aside.
Step 5: Reduce the heat and saute artichokes and green beans for about 20 minutes. When they are done remove them from the skillet or push them to the edge of the skillet.
Step 6: Increase heat and add grated onion, mashed garlic and grated tomatoes, season well with salt and cook until the liquid has been reduced and the mixture, or sofrito, is dark red color ~ 15 minutes. We use a ninja food processor to chop up onion, garlic and tomato together. Remove the unpeeled garlic and dispose of it.
Step 7: Add dry rice to the mixture of sofrito, green beans and artichokes and mix well. Let it cook for couple of minutes, then spread the rice out evenly in the pan and add the chicken and chorizo back to the pan. Once again make sure that everything is spread evenly in the pan and then slowly add about half of the broth and saffron liquid to the pan.
Step 8: Every 10 minutes check if there is enough liquid in the pan, only check in small area not to disturb the rest of the arrangement, and add more broth and saffron liquid if needed.
Step 9: Once rice is almost cooked add in scallops, shrimp, and clams or mussels along with pepper strips. when all liquid is evaporated and seafood is almost done, turn up the heat to caramelize the bottom layer of the rice, for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, let paella sit for 5-10 minutes covered and then serve.
Step 10: Bon Appetite!
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