This is my own version of an authentic Spanish Paella that I’ve adapted and modified from recipes in Penelope Casas’ fine Spanish cookbook, The Foods and Wines of Spain, along with Mario Batali’s Paella recipe from the PBS series Spain – On the Road Again.
This recipe is adequate for four or five people and can certainly be scaled up if you have a larger paella pan. I use chicken wings, chicken sausage, mussels and shrimp as my toppings, but those are only suggestions.
Unlike Risotto, a paella should never be stirred during cooking. The reason is because the bottom layer of rice that is in contact with the paella pan forms a crust, and it is this crust that lovers of paella covet. While an authentic paella will require rice from the region of Valencia, I find that Goya medium grained rice makes an excellent substitute, and is considerably less expensive. Pimenton (smoked paprika) can be a bit difficult to find, but many grocery stores are beginning to carry it. Its use is important, as it gives the dish a subtle, smoky flavor that is one of the marks of a good paella.
Feel free to experiment and let me know what you think!
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 medium spanish onion, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, pureed
- 8 chicken wings, segmented
- 1 lb. Italian style chicken sausages, in 1/2 in slices
- 12 large shrimp, shelled
- 12 Mussels, scrubbed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon Sweet Pimenton (Spanish smoked Paprika)
- 2 1/2 cups Spanish rice, such as Valencia or La Bomba (medium grained white rice is a good substitute)
- Roast the chicken thighs in a 375 degree oven until done.
- Remove casings from the chicken sausages and cut in 1/2 in slices. Fry in a Saute pan until done.
- Preheat a 15-inch Paella pan over medium-high heat–preferably over a heat source that can evenly heat the entire pan. I suggest removing the grills from your gas grill and cooking directly on the flavorizer bars (or whatever you want to call them) in order to get the pan closer to the heat source. A stove-top burner is too small.
- Add the oil and heat until smoking. Add the scampi and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onion to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree, stirring it into the onions, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the salt, saffron, pimentón, and halibut cubes, stirring for about 5 minutes.. Add the stock, bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir well to distribute it evenly. Add the chicken sausage, chicken thighs, and mussels, arranging them in nicely, bring the stock back to a boil, and cook, without stirring, for 10 minutes.
- Reintroduce shrimp to paella, taste for salt and add it if needed, then cook, again without stirring, for 10-15 more minutes, or until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.