Sunday, November 4, 2012

Recipe 26: Paella

 When I went to Spain a few years ago one of the most interesting dishes was Paella, which is sort of a giant skillet of rice and meat.  I have always pondered what it would like to cook and if it would be hard or easy.  A lot of the recipes are pretty time consuming, so I decided to try one of the easier variants.  In fact, it was directly called Easy Paella.  So that was a good sign for ease of cooking, perhaps not for taste.

Here is an image of the final result:

And here is the recipe that I used: (Link)


  •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  1 tablespoon paprika
  •  2 teaspoons dried oregano
  •  salt and black pepper to taste
  •  2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
  •  2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  •  3 cloves garlic, crushed
  •  1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  •  2 cups uncooked short-grain white rice
  •  1 pinch saffron threads
  •  1 bay leaf
  •  1/2 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  •  1 quart chicken stock
  •  2 lemons, zested
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound chorizo sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil, paprika, oregano, and salt and pepper. Stir in chicken pieces to coat. Cover, and refrigerate.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or paella pan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, and rice. Cook, stirring, to coat rice with oil, about 3 minutes. Stir in saffron threads, bay leaf, parsley, chicken stock, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Stir in marinated chicken and onion; cook 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and sausage; cook 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp; cook, turning the shrimp, until both sides are pink.
  4. Spread rice mixture onto a serving tray. Top with meat and seafood mixture.


Saffron is super expensive, so I did not buy it.  I am not sure if that makes this dish super different, but I didn't feel like spending $20 for a few threads of saffron.

I also used hot Italian sausage instead of chorizo.

The Process

 For most of this recipe Sprinkles sat on top of the cabinets and stared at me while I cooked.

 I started by preparing and marinating the chicken.
 Then I prepared the chicken stock and herbs and started to cook that.
 After a little bit I started the chicken and onions in a second skillet.
 Once the chicken was ready I added the bell pepper and sausage to the mix.
 By this time the rice was just about done, and it was looking at least a little bit like Spanish rice, so that was a good sign.
 Finally I added the shrimp to the meat mixture... now it was just a huge pile of meat in the skillet.

Once all the meat was cooked up I mixed the rice and meat mixture together in a 9x13 dish.

Then I served it up.

I thought that this was a good dish, it was a lot like the spanish rice and sausage dish that I made previous, and there was a lot of meat in this.  But I liked it.  Some people suggested adding another bell pepper and other veggies like peas and that might be a good addition, but this was still a pretty good dish, and I think that being able to use two skillets was good, since otherwise I would certainly have run out of room.


Eric said...

That looks tasty, but much less orange than the paella we had in Spain. There must be some other spice or sauce or something they add to it. Or maybe it's just the lighting of the picture.

The Elephant said...

Yeah, that is very true. It isn't quite the same as what we had in Spain. Maybe it's the saffron!