Paella is one of Spain’s most widely recognized dishes. It showed up in Spanish cuisine in the mid-19th century in the Valencia region on the eastern coast. Field workers often made the rice dish at lunch time, including ingredients like tomato, onion, snail, and rabbit. Today the dish is made all over Spain and beyond, and as a result, it’s ingredients vary widely – everyone has their own favorite things to include. It’s kind of the tater tot casserole of the Mediterranean. Find our recipe below, but don't be afraid to get creative, adding things you like and removing things you don't!
1.5 lbs. Chicken, Cubed
1 lb. Raw Shrimp (Medium or Large Sized)
4 oz. Spanish Chorizo, Cut into 1/4" Coins
2 C. Arborio Rice
4 C. Chicken Stock
2 Tbsp. Paella Seasoning
2 tsp. Paprika, Premium Grade
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, Cut into Strips
3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
1/3 C. Fresh or Frozen Peas
2 Lemons, Sliced
1 Bay Leaf
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Heat a paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat on the stove. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to the pan and when the oil is hot add the cubed chicken. Brown the chicken until you no longer see any pink on the outside, stirring regularly. The chicken does not need to be completely cooked.
Remove the chicken and add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to the pan. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic and cook until softened.
Add the Paella Seasoning and Paprika (or our Basque Seasoning) to the pan along with the vegetables, chorizo, and browned chicken. Stir to coat everything well with the spices.
Add the rice to the pan and give it another stir to coat the rice with the seasoning.
Stir in the chicken stock, add the bay leaf, and bring stock to a boil, stirring very little. Once the broth comes to a boil reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes (most of the liquid should be absorbed, but the rice should still be wet).
Tuck the shrimp in the rice and sprinkle the peas over the dish. Continue cooking until almost all of the liquid absorbed and shrimp is cooked through, which shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and garnish the pan with sliced lemons.
Substituting our Basque Seasoning (read our Spotlight Spice story about our Basque Seasoning) for the Paprika will add a bit of depth and additional flavor to the dish.
Not enough stove space? Instead of simmering on the stovetop, you can use the oven. Just cover the pan with foil and cook in a 375°F oven for approximately the same amount of time. Toward the end of cooking, remove from the oven, add the shrimp and peas, and put back in to finish cooking.