Ahhh, summer always reminds me of Paella. The quintessential Spanish dish. Slightly crunchy rice and tangy, lemon-drenched seafood. A dish I never thought I could make. But turns out it’s not that difficult.
You can make Paella with whatever meat and vegetables you choose, traditionally it is a little like Jambalaya with shrimp, sausage, chicken and mussels. However use whatever you like or whatever looks good at your local market.
At first the recipe looks overwhelming but be persistent, I believe in you.
First find a good skillet, if you have cast iron or aluminum use it, if you only have nonstick the rice might not get as crispy on the bottom but the paella will still be delicious.
1/2 lb of shrimp
2 chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
2 links of spicy sausage of your choice
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil divided
2 pinches of Spanish Saffron soaked in 1/4 cup water for 15-30 minutes
4 cups of chicken broth
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 medium onion medium chopped
1 green or red bell pepper finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped (or one can of diced tomatoes, drained)
1 tsp Spanish Paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp of red pepper flakes
2 cups of short grain white rice
1 bunch of parsley, chopped
1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
lemon wedges for serving
Clean, shell and devine your shrimp. Set aside.
In your paella pan first saute chicken in 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat, about 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Set aside.
Next in same pan saute your sausage over medium high heat, about 8 minutes or until browned. Set aside.
Combine saffron and broth in saucepan and simmer but do not boil.
In paella pan saute 2 tbsp olive oil (you can use more if you’d like), onion, peppers and garlic over medium heat until browned about 10 minutes. Then add paprika, oregano, red pepper and rice. Saute for another five minutes until rice starts to brown. Then add tomatoes, parsley, broth, chicken and sausage. Bring to low boil and allow to simmer covered for about 10-15 minutes. Do not stir. Nestle shrimp and/or mussels into top of rice when liquid is almost gone and simmer for another 5 minutes.
If rice is still hard but liquid is all absorbed you can add a little hot water and allow to simmer 5 more minutes..
When liquid is all gone and rice is chewy remove from heat and sprinkle with lemon juice. Allow to stand covered for 10 minutes (if you can wait!) and then eat. Garnish with lemon wedges if you like.
You can also add peas, green beans or any other meats or vegetables you have on hand. It’s great with infused olive oils as well. This makes enough for 6-8 people.
Try it and send us your pictures on Facebook!