This seafood paella is a showstopper that goes from stovetop to table top in under 45 minutes. I’ve traveled all over the world in search of incredible food, and without a doubt, a classic paella remains one of my all time favorite meals. While it has ancient roots, paella has become popularized in the region around Valencia on Spain’s eastern coast, where it’s a source of culinary and cultural pride. The versatile one-pot rice dish is made with a wide range of ingredients—including rabbit, snails, artichokes and lima beans—but the combination of chorizo, clams and head-on shrimp is a foolproof crowd pleaser that I come back to again and again. Traditionally cooked over an open fire, I’m going to show you how easy it is to make on the stovetop. The key to perfection lies in the prized crispy rice crust, called the socarrat, so be sure to stop stirring about halfway through the process before cranking up the heat at the last minute to achieve paella success.
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 1 cup yellow onion (minced)
- 1/2 pound Spanish chorizo sausage (cut into 1/4-inch dice)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika (also known as pimentón)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 garlic cloves (grated on a Microplane, or finely minced)
- 1 1/2 cups Spanish paella rice (ex: La Bomba brand)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 6 cups chicken stock (or shellfish stock, divided)
- 12 ounces canned chopped tomatoes
- 22 littleneck clams (or cherrystone clams, brought to room temperature)
- 1 pound wild caught head-on shrimp (whole, u-12 size works great, brought to room temperature)
- 1 cup frozen peas (defrosted)
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/2 lemon (for garnish)
- First, pour 2 Tbsp. of hot water over the saffron and allow to steep for several minutes while you prepare your other ingredients. Mince 1 cup of onion. Dice the 1/2 lb. chorizo.
- Preheat a large paella pan, or 12- to 14-inch wide low-sided skillet, over medium heat. Add 4 Tbsp. olive oil, followed by 1 cup minced onion, 1/2 lb. diced chorizo, 1 Tbsp. dried oregano, 1 Tbsp. pimenton and 1/2 tsp. cayenne.
- Grate 2 garlic cloves on a micro plane and add to the pan. Sauté for a couple minutes, or until the chorizo becomes aromatic, then add 1 1/2 cups uncooked paella rice. Stir to evenly coat the rice in the oil and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Next, add 1/2 cup white wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 4 cups of the stock, the steeped saffron and 12 oz. canned tomatoes. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, uncovered.
- While that’s simmering, peel and devein 1 lb. shrimp, leaving heads attached. Reserve shells to freezer for later use in stocks.
- Add 18 clams to the pot, burying the hinge side of the clams into the rice. Slowly pour 1 cup of stock around the pan. Cover the pan for 2 minutes to help the clams open. Continue to cook uncovered for another 5 minutes, until some of the clams have begin to open.
- Taste the rice. If it’s tender, it’s time to add the shrimp. Lay the shrimp over the top and add 1 cup peas. Place the lid back on the pan for another 45 seconds or minute.
- Uncover the pan. Season with freshly ground pepper. Mince the parsley and sprinkle over the paella. Increase the heat to a high and cook for 2 more minutes so the crust can form on the bottom of the paella. Zest the lemon and add to the pan. Remove from heat and serve.
|Calories330Calories from Fat180|
|% DAILY VALUE|
|Calories from Fat180|
|% DAILY VALUE|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.