Earlier this year, I decided I wanted to learn how to make Paella. My college friend Beth, who lives south of Seattle, has perfected this recipe and offered to teach me via a video call. John and I have been in the NW for the past several months helping my Dad so we were able to visit her in person and learn first-hand how easy and delicious this meal is to prepare.
You can get fancy and buy the Paella pan, however, it really isn’t necessary. A wide skillet pan can work as well. I have a wide Le Creuset pan I plan to use next time I make it. Traditional Paella is made in wide pans to allow the rice to cook evenly. If this becomes a dish I prepare often, then I may bite the bullet and buy the pan. In the meantime, I’ll get creative.
I love how this dish incorporates simple and fresh ingredients and you can customize the dish based on your preferred proteins.
Spanish Paella Recipe
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
1 lb chorizo
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
4 cloves Garlic
3 roma tomatoes, very finely diced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch saffron threads
Salt and pepper
¼ cup white wine
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces
¼ cup flat leaf Parsley chopped, divided
2 cups Spanish Rice (also called “bomba” rice, calaspara rice, arroz redonda)
5 cups Chicken Broth
1/2 cup frozen peas
½ lb Jumbo Shrimp or prawns, about 12 – peeled, tail on
1/2 lb Mussels (about 10-12), cleaned properly (beards off)
Lemons, for garnish
- Add olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add chorizo and sauté with the onion, bell peppers and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add chopped tomato, bay leaf, paprika, saffron salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add white wine and cook for 10 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.
- Add chicken pieces, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and rice to the pot. Cook for 1 minute.
- Pour the broth slowly all around the pan and jiggle the pan to get the rice into an even layer. (Do not stir the mixture going forward!).
- Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Give the pan a gentle shake back and forth once or twice during cooking.
- Cook for about 15-18 minutes (uncovered), then nestle the shrimp and mussels into the mixture, sprinkle peas on top and continue to cook (without stirring) for about 5 more minutes. Watch for most of the liquid to be absorbed and the rice at the top nearly tender. (If for some reason your rice is still not cooked, add ¼ cup more water or broth and continue cooking).
- Remove pan from heat and cover pan with a lid or tinfoil. Place a kitchen towel over the lid and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices. Serve