Saturday, June 22, 2013


I’m hosting book club today and making Paella for the group.  Believe it or not, paella is traditionally a Spanish poor man’s dish where seafood is in abundance along the Mediterranean.  Not so much the case here in Iowa.  Oh to live by the sea and have cheap fresh seafood available.  The photos are pictures I took on Sawyer’s and my birthday last year when I fixed Paella for the family.  I only fix this on special occasions.  Wish I had their pans.  They made a perfect Paella.  A good Paella pan is a help if you make it a lot.

I like my recipe because you can do a lot of prep work in advance to save time. 

Seafood and Chicken Paella with Chorizo

Spanish dried chorizo (I ordered on the internet)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 cup canned diced tomatoes (Using my golden canned tomatoes for the color)
2 cup Arborio rice
Good pinch of saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
3 cups water
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 pound large shrimp (I use frozen that is already cleaned)
½  cup chicken broth
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
6 bone in chicken thighs
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 scallion, thinly sliced
What ever sea food you would like to add to the dish (Mussels, crab, lobster, etc.  Make it your own)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Salt and pepper 6 chicken thighs with bones and roast in the oven until they are completely cooked.  Set aside.  You can do this well ahead of time and refrigerate or used left over roast chicken.

In a 12 inch large skillet (make sure you have a lid for it), Cut your chorizo into bite sized pieces.  Add a bit of olive oil to the pan and add the onion and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened and just beginning to brown, 5 minutes. Toss in your chorizo and cook for a minute or so.  Stir in the tomatoes, rice, saffron with its liquid, and the water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, without stirring, until the rice is al dente and the liquid is absorbed, 20 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet and cook over high heat, turning once, until pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to the rice.

Wipe out the shrimp skillet. Pour in the broth and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add the mussels if you are using them, cover and cook, shaking the skillet, until the mussels open, about 3 minutes. Pour the mussels and their cooking liquid over the rice.  If a mussel does not open toss it out. 

I take my mussels out and add them without the shell.  You may wish to leave them in the shell for presentation.

Add the cooked chicken into the rice. Cover and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes (longer if the chicken is cold), until the paella is just heated through. Garnish with the parsley and scallion, drizzle with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and serve.  Serve with crusty bread family style.

As always, I'm looking forward to today.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

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