Nourishing, vibrant, and served without pretension, paella has held a place of honor and practicality in Spanish homes for centuries. If mussels aren't your favorite, you can easily substitute littleneck clams in their place--just be sure to thoroughly scrub the clams' shells in cold water before using. To round out the meal, choose a good Spanish red wine from the Rioja region, grab a crusty baguette, and serve with a light salad.
2 links Spanish chorizo sausage (about 6 1/2 ounces) or turkey kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 (4-ounce) slice prosciutto or 33%-less-sodium ham, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
1 cup frozen green peas
8 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Lemon wedges (optional)
How to Make It
To prepare the herb blend, combine the first 4 ingredients, and set aside.
To prepare paella, combine water, saffron, and broth in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact; set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; saute 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Add sausage and prosciutto; saute 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Add shrimp, and saute 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and bell pepper; saute 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, paprika, and 3 garlic cloves; cook 5 minutes. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in herb blend, broth mixture, chicken, sausage mixture, and peas. Bring to a low boil; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mussels to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Arrange shrimp, heads down, in rice mixture, and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup lemon juice. Remove from heat; cover with a towel, and let stand 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
This was good-not awe-inspiring, but really good. Made for Christmas Eve dinner and enjoyed it I followed the recipe to the letter, except I used Andouille sausage and added ~1 t of smoked paprika. I think subbing white wine for the water would have been a good idea.
Made this per the directions except skipped the mussels and subbed white wine for the water. Pretty time and labor intensive, and not cheap to make, but it did turn out well and made a lot. It's a good date night activity if you like cooking together.
We really enjoyed this recipe. I forgot to buy the red peppers, so we skipped that. I had fres tomatoes, so we seeded and chopped them. We also used clams in addition to the mussels. And we omitted the ham. That being said, I found it needed a little more salt. Maybe because we used fresh tomatoes and skipped the salty ham. Otherwise, it was yummy! The liquid was spot on. Next time I would use more chorizo and cut them in 1/2 moons. And definitely will remember the red pepper!
This is fantastic - made it last night for a group of friends and they all kept going back for more.It's very forgiving with substitutions. You can use any spicy cured meat for the chorizo - I used some spicy italian cured meat I had left over. I didn't use red pepper either but added a few drops of tabasco, and I used less onion and parsley and it still tasted great.
Excellent. I have made this many times now to rave reviews. Plus I have adjusted the recipe according to ingredients I have on hand or to food allergies of guests. I have always used chicken breasts and kielbasa with shrimp. Sometimes adding prosciutto but I have never used mussells, which I would like try. I use Mahatma saffron rice in 5 oz packages. (I use three for the recipe)
I have made this recipe twice, first time, I used chicken breasts instead of thighs because I couldn't find them, and it was fantastic! The second time I did use the thighs and did not like them at all, it made the paella kind of "greasy." Before I put the leftovers away, I removed and discarded the chicken, and the next day, it was fantastic! So, lesson learned, next time, use chicken breasts, and try reheating it the next day by putting it in a metal dish with some water and covering with foil... Even better!