Oh, paella. How I love thee. I used to think this was such a difficult recipe so I stayed away from cooking it. Then, I tried it at a restaurant once and KNEW I could recreate it with a little bit of practice. So can you!You can add one type of meat to this dish or multiple. You can make it seafood only or land animal only. You can mix it up! I usually do chicken thighs, shrimp, and chorizo or sausage. The flavor combos go well together and it’s easily a crowd pleaser.
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 tbsp olive oil
1 lb fresh or frozen medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb chorizo (or sausage if you prefer), sliced thin
2-3 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless, cut into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 tbsp garlic, minced
3 cups yellow rice (I just buy Mahatma yellow rice with saffron already in it – saffron is VERY EXPENSIVE)
*** You can also sub the yellow rice for 3 cups of long grain white rice and add in a paella spice packet by Sazon Goya seen BELOW (available in the international aisle near other spanish items)***
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen peas
Using a very large pan (or specific paella pan), heat oil over medium high heat and add chorizo to the pan. Sauté chorizo until cooked through and remove from the pan
Add chicken to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned or cooked through. Throw in the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook until veggies are softened, about 5-8 minutes.
Then add in the rice, stir and cook for 2 minutes before adding the broth. Add the chorizo back to the pan along with the tomatoes, paprika, and 2 tbsp olive oil
Simmer the ingredients on medium low heat in the pan until the rice absorbs the broth. ** I always tent the pan with foil to ensure the rice cooks through entirely. This may take a good 10 minutes or longer, so be patient! Keep checking the rice and taste, taste, TASTE!**
Nestle raw shrimp into the rice and sprinkle the peas over the entire pan. Reduce heat and cover the pan. Cook for about 5-8 minutes until shrimp have cooked through and the peas have warmed through.
Remove from heat and let it stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
Serve with lemon slices across the top of the paella and enjoy! I serve it with a crispy slice of baguette!
Oh, and a nice glass of red wine!