A few weeks back, I snapped (heellllo, follow along) myself (with some friends!) making one HELL of a paella! So many of you tweeted me for the recipe that it instantly shot up to the top of my recipe to-do list.
Paella has always been one of those dishes that really intimidated me…reserved only for those that really know what they are doing…or really know about paella…but you know what? That just isn’t true! It can be a fabulous weeknight dinner for your family or served up as an impressive meal for an intimate dinner party.
Paella is all about the prep…and building layers…layers of ingredients and layers of FLAVOR!
A major part of that flavor comes from saffron…the TRUE key to paella. It adds the yellow color to the dish and a flowery, nutty, unique flavor you just can’t find anywhere else…you can add it directly in to the dish… but I like to make a tiny saffron broth first by steeping the threads to extract as much flavor as I possibly can…
For Saffron broth: Steep 1/4 cup water with 20 saffron threads for 5-20 minutes. You can do this with wine or chicken stock too.
One of my favorite go-to ways to really make my paella pop is to roast some of the ingredients first…for ex: the tomatoes and bell peppers…
To roast the tomatoes: preheat your oven to 400 degrees and drizzle tomatoes with olive and salt. roast for 25 minutes or until sunken and slightly charred. For the bell peppers, you can roast them over the burner on your stove top or you can use the store bought variety. (Easy and just as good)
Start with a large skillet over medium heat, warm some olive oil and sauté chicken and shrimp till HALFWAY COOKED. Remove from heat and set on to a separate plate. Add onion and cook till translucent.
Add roasted tomato, bell pepper and garlic….sauté 1-2 minutes.
Add Arborio rice and evenly combine with all other ingredients…then, flatten the rice.
Add all of your seasonings….Don’t stir the rice! Spanish paella has a beautiful crunchy crust across the bottom. Let some of your rice brown a bit…
Add saffron broth….
Add chicken stock…
Add peas and artichokes and let rice absorb the stock.
Start to add all the meat back to the pan…
Mussels too…and put a lid on it. This will make sure that the mussels cook! This will also help your rice to finish cooking.
Garnish with fresh herbs and enjoy right away!
recipe by Haylie Duff
Total Time: 45 Mins
Prep Time: 10 Mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 chicken breast, diced & seasoned w/ S&P
6-8 large shrimp (average 2 pieces per person)
6-8 mussels, cleaned(same as above)
1 spicy sausage link
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice (usually calls for bomba, but its hard to find!)
3 small roasted roma tomatoes
1 large roasted red bell pepper
1/2 cup peas, I used frozen
3/4 cup chopped artichoke hearts, I used frozen
20 saffron threads + 1/4 cup boiling water
2 1/2- 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
3 tbsp lemon juice and a tiny touch of zest
Handful of fresh herbs, like flat leaf Italian parsley and cilantro
Spices: 1/2 tsp chili powder, cumin, celery salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
Bring large skillet to medium heat, warm olive oil. add chicken and shrimp. Cook till HALFWAY DONE. Remove from heat and place on separate plate. Add onion to skillet and cook till translucent. Add tomato, bell pepper and garlic. Saute 1-2 minutes. Add rice and evenly combine with al ingredients. Flatten across the pan and let simmer another minute. Add lemon juice, seasoning and saffron broth. Add chicken broth and let rice absorb the liquid. Do not stir the rice. Once rice has absorbed most of the liquid, add the meat and seafood back to the pan to finish cooking. Cover with a lid to guarantee that everything is cooked all the way through. Garnish with fresh herbs.
*Do not eat any mussels that do not open.