Saturday, April 24, 2010


Paella is one of my favorite dishes to make. Easy, full of flavor, and colorful..... this recipe has it all. It's also very easy to throw together with whatever you have on hand, and it makes a ton of food, so I normally get the next night off from cooking dinner. Can't beat that. It covers all the bases as far as a balanced meal goes as well. Rice, chicken, sausage, shrimp and veggies. What more do you need. It's the perfect one pot meal..... well, two pots really, but they both get combined in the end.....

DSC_0202 warmer + boost

On some nights, I just don't feel like dealing with the chicken, so I leave it out. On this particular night, I felt like if we were to eat chicken one more time that week, we would all end up clucking out in the yard the next morning. Ever feel like that? Oh good, I'm not the only one. On this night, I left the chicken completely out. The shrimp and sausage was a pleasant as well as welcome change to our all-chicken diet that week.

DSC_0199 warmer + boost

I have never added the mussels to this dish, primarily because this is my go-to easy dinner dish and mussels just say 'trouble' to me. Classic paella has the mussels as well.

DSC_0211 warmer + boost

You can throw whatever veggies you happen to have on hand in here. Sometimes I have peas and carrots and throw them in there as well. This particular night, I forgot and added only corn. You can also add whatever amount suits you..... you can't screw this dish up.

DSC_0206 warmer + boost

It does have a pleasant spiciness to it from the red pepper flakes. Since I am feeding a 12 year old, and a rather picky one at that, I always err on the side of less spicy and add only 1/2 a teaspoon of the red pepper flakes, so I don't end up making another completely separate dinner in the end..... if you know what I mean. You could certainly add more if you like it spicier.

DSC_0213 warmer + boost

And yes, I realize that this is flat leafed parsley and not cilantro..... but hey, for this dish, anything goes...... What are you waiting for??? Make it tonight!

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray and

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups enriched white rice
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 bay leaf
1 quart chicken or stock
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, cut into thirds
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 package of chicken sausages sliced into rounds (either packs of 4 or 5, both will work)
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
18 green lipped mussels, cleaned (optional)
1 cup frozen peas (or peas and carrot mix)
1/2 bag frozen corn
2 lemons zested
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 scallions, chopped
Lemon wedges

In a very wide pan or paella pan, preheated over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, crushed garlic, red pepper flakes, add rice and saute 2 or 3 minutes. Add saffron threads, bay leaf, broth, and thyme and bring liquids to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan with lid or foil and reduce heat to simmer for 13 minutes.

In a separate nonstick skillet, over medium high heat brown chicken on both sides in 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add peppers and onions to the pan and cook 3 minutes longer. Add sausage to the pan and cook 2 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.

After about 13 minutes, add shellfish to the rice pan, nesting them in cooking rice. Pour in peas, scatter lemon zest over the rice and seafood, then cover the pan again. After 5 minutes, remove cover or foil from the paella and discard any unopened mussel shells. Stir rice and seafood mixture and lift out bay and thyme stems, now bare of their leaves. Arrange cooked chicken and peppers, onions and chorizo around the pan. Top with cilantro and scallions. Serve with wedges of lemon and warm bread.


  1. Thanks for the recipe! Looks and sounds yummy! I've never made this before and don't know if I've ever eaten any either. I may try this soon!

  2. You are very welcome Beth.... Try it. You'll love it.