Journey to Spain's Costa del Sol for this amazing pan-cooked dish containing a fiesta of seafood, chicken, and rice.
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 to 1 1/2 lbs of chicken, cubed
- 12 oz. of chorizo (removed from casing)
- 2 small yellow onions, diced
- 3 bell peppers (any colors you like), diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 tsp of saffron threads
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 8 fluid oz of clam juice
- 4 cups of chicken stock
- 4 cups of short-grain rice
- 3 tsp of ground red pepper
- 1 lb of medium-size cooked shrimp (defrosted if frozen)
- 1 lb of small scallops (defrosted if frozen)
- 1 lb of mussels
- 1 16-oz bag of frozen peas, defrosted
- Salt and pepper to taste
I would seriously advise chopping and having everything ready before you start. It will make life easier on you since timing is part of this recipe.
With the mussels, place them into a colander and rinse them thoroughly with cold water. Remove any mussels that aren’t closed and throw them away.
Making the Paella
- In your chosen pan, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium-high heat.
- Season the chicken with 1 tsp of ground red pepper along with salt and pepper to your taste.
- Cook the chicken in the pan until it’s halfway to nearly done and set it aside.
- In the pan, heat up the last two tbsp of olive oil and place the chorizo in it. Cook the chorizo for about six to seven minutes.
- Add in the onion and bell peppers and cook until onions become golden and peppers are soft.
- Stir in the garlic, saffron, tomatoes, and chicken.
- Pour in the clam juice and three cups of the chicken stock. Stir.
- Continue heating the mixture until the liquids begin to boil, then reduce heat to medium.
- Allow the mixture to cook for ten minutes at medium, and then carefully add in the rice. Stir carefully and allow rice and liquids to incorporate.
- Let the mixture now cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Check the rice. If it’s not done, then give it more time. If the liquid is gone, then add more chicken stock to your discretion.
- Season the shrimp and scallops with the remaining ground red pepper as well as salt and pepper to your taste.
- Add the shrimp, scallops, and mussels to the pan and mix with spatulas to get the seafood buried in the mixture.
- Wait about five or six minutes, then add the peas.
- Turn the heat to low and simmer for another five to ten minutes.
Most recipes call for dark meat on the chicken, but I’m more a fan of boneless skinless breasts. Some might think less of this, but I say use whatever cut of meat you like.
Have a second pan ready if you’re not using a Paellera. Right about when I was ready to add the clam juice and chicken stock, I ended up taking a third of the mixture out of the pan and placing it into a second pan. If the amounts seem high, then feel free to divide everything in half. My amounts were based on how much you get in packages of frozen seafood as well as cartons of chicken stock. I’ll add in though that even with my amounts, it went fast.
This recipe can translate to other varieties. If you would like to Paella Valenciana, substitute the seafood for a pound of rabbit, 1 cup of white beans, and 20-25 snails. For Paella Marinera, take out the chicken and chorizo and perhaps try other seafood to your liking. Squid is a suggestion. If you would like to do Paella de Verduras, then take out all the meat and add in eggplant, white beans, and artichokes.
The beauty of this dish is you can substitute any way your tastes desire. Just remember the rice, saffron, and garlic are the key ingredients.