Seafood Paella is probably the most famous and popular Spanish dish around the world. It originates in Valencia, a region on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, between Barcelona and Murcia that is known for its rice dishes. There are as many versions of paella as there are cooks in Spain! This version has chicken and pork, as well as clams, mussels and shrimp. If you like, leave out the chicken and pork for a purely seafood paella, or paella de marisco.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Yield: 10 Servings
- 1 yellow or white onion, diced
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 whole chicken or 8 drumsticks or thighs
- 1 1/2 lbs pork loin (fat trimmed), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 lb calamari (squid)
- 1 – 1 1/2 lbs medium grain or “bomba” rice
- 4-6 cups fish broth (or chicken broth if unavailable)
- 1 large pinch saffron 1 threads
- 1 1/2 lbs raw mussels in shell (frozen or fresh)
- 1 lb small clams (frozen or fresh)
- 1 1/2 lbs raw shrimp, medium or large – shell on
- 1 sweet red bell pepper
- 1 10 oz. pkg frozen peas
- Spanish olive oil, salt to taste
A traditional paella pan, a long wooden spoon or paddle, and a barbecue or gas burner are needed to prepare a paella for 10 servings.
Rice Note: The exact quantity of rice will depend on the size of the pan and number of servings, so have at least 1 1/4 lb of rice on hand.
Prepare the ingredients. If using a whole chicken, cut it and the pork into serving-size pieces.
Clean the squid of innards and spine, the remove the tentacles. Cut the squid tubes into rings.
De-seed and cut red pepper into long strips. Chop onions and tomatoes, set aside for later.
Warm the chicken broth in a medium sauce pan.
Cook the Paella. If using a charcoal barbecue, light the coals. When the coals on the BBQ are covered in white ash, cooking can begin.
Place the paella pan on the heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. When pan is hot enough, sauté the onions and tomatoes in the olive oil. Add olive oil as needed to prevent sticking. Once the onions are translucent, add the chicken and cook, browning on all sides. Add squid and cook, stirring often for about 10-15 minutes.
Add the rice, sprinkling in the form of a large cross on the pan. Stir for 2-3 minutes to thoroughly coat the rice with oil.
Crush the saffron threads and add to the warm chicken broth. Slowly pour broth into the paella pan until ingredients are all covered. Spread meat and vegetables evenly over bottom of pan.
Arrange mussels around outside edge of pan, pointing up. Place clams and shrimp in pan, spreading out evenly around the pan. Add slices of pepper on top.
Simmer, cooking rice. Add more broth if necessary. (If BBQ becomes too hot, raise the pan up, away from the heat.) When rice is almost cooked, sprinkle peas over the top.
When rice is cooked, remove from heat and cover with aluminum foil or large tea towel, allowing paella to “rest” for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Slice lemons into wedges and serve alongside paella.