Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Perfect Paella

  • In February, Shawn & I gave my dad a birthday present: a meal of his choice, cooked by the two of us. Three nights ago, he told us that he wanted us to make him this birthday meal… and he wanted Paella. The two of us are leaving on a 'cross country-into Canada-40-day tour on Friday, so this freaked us out a little bit, but there was no way we were going to say no. :)

  • We found a recipe online that had raving reviews, and seemed pretty simple, so we adapted it to include some really yummy seafood, and put our spin on some of the spices & techniques. It turned out to be the perfect paella… not too saucy, yet not dry; tons of flavor, and perfect balance between the chicken/Andouille sausage and the seafood. My dad LOVED it.

  • No need to be afraid of making paella any longer. This recipe is not very involved at all. Enjoy!

  • Ingredients:
  • chicken thighs, skinned 
  • 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • (4-ounce) links fully-cooked Andouille sausage, sliced in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/3 cup chopped onion 
  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 cups uncooked Arborio or Valencia rice
  • 3/4 cup canned diced organic tomato
  • 1 1/3 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/3 teaspoon saffron threads
  • garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cups free range, low-sodium chicken broth 
  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, shell & tail intact
  • 1/2 pound Mahi Mahi (or other fish that will hold it's own), skinned & de-boned, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ~20 high quality fully-cooked frozen Blue Tip mussels, cleaned & de-bearded
  • 1 1/4 cup (1-inch) diagonally cut asparagus 
  • 3/4 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup green onion, sliced diagonally in 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges

  1. Directions:

  2. Preheat oven to 400°.
  3. Rub chicken down with Herbes de Provence, smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Heat the oil in an 8-quart nonstick pot or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pot; cover and keep warm.
  4. Add sausage, onion and bell pepper to pot; cook 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove & set aside. Add shrimp & fish to pot; cook 2 minutes on each side; remove & set aside (seafood will not be fully cooked). Return sausage, onion, and bell pepper mixture to pot. Add rice, tomato, paprika, saffron, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pot. Add broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Cover pot. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Stir in shrimp, fish, mussels, asparagus, and peas. Cover and bake an additional 5--8 minutes or until chicken & seafood is completely done. Serve in a large bowl with mussels featured on the top. Finish with sliced green onions & lemon wedges.
Recipe adapted from

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