This chicken and shrimp paella is a great recipe for enjoying traditional Spanish cuisine in the comfort of your own home.
6 chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds), skinned
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 (4-ounce) link hot turkey Italian sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio or Valencia rice
1/2 cup diced plum tomato
1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup (1-inch) diagonally cut asparagus
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Sprinkle chicken with rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan; cover and keep warm.
Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring to crumble. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Add rice, tomato, paprika, saffron, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pan. Add broth and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Wrap handle of pan with foil; cover pan. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Stir in shrimp, asparagus, and peas. Cover and bake an additional 5 minutes or until shrimp are done.
Saffron, the exotic spice with a distinct, earthy flavor, gives this Spanish dish its characteristic yellow hue. It's a bit soupy when first prepared but quickly absorbs the liquid.
I'm a fairly accomplished home cook, but always thought paella would be too much work for a weeknight. Tonight I was looking for inspiration because I had 2 left over sweet italian chicken sausages and some rotisserie chicken in the frig. Also threw in, along with the peas, some left over green beans and some grilled veggies. I didn't have shrimp, but it was still AMAZING. And if you're using leftovers, so easy! My kids, who NEVER like anything mixed together both had second helpings. One pot meal! I might try replacing some broth with white wine next time.
Delicious and a lot of prep, but once everything is skinned, chopped and minced, it comes together quite quickly. Only change I made was using precooked frozen shrimp that I already had in the freezer. I thawed it half way in the refrigerator and then ran under cold water in a colander just before adding it to the pan in the oven; it was perfect, not over cooked at all and a time saver on the prep.
I've made this over and over and its always a hit. Sometimes I add baby clams, scallops but whatever changes I make I use the basic recipe. I've doubled it and served it to company with homemade sangria. Try it you'll love it!
Really nice version of paella; I particularly liked the addition of asparagus instead of the usual peas or green beens. Good balance of spices. For the one reviewer who was concerned about the crusty rice, that is what paella should be like on the bottom. Crisp, crusty and even a little blackened (but not burnt). The crust is called the Socarrat.
A lot more work than I envisioned when I read the recipe, but in the end it was worth it. Delish! I followed the directions exactly, except that I cooked in the oven for 12 minutes after I added the shrimp instead of 5. The rice was the perfect consistency and the flavors blended well. I will come back to this recipe the next time I'm craving paella.