In honor of my recent, but unexpected layover in Spain, here is one of my favorite dishes. Ok, so honestly, there is little that is lazy about this dish. The title is a little misleading, though I do take a few liberties and make it a bit easier than some recipes call for. Originally, I posted this recipe when I did my Ferdinand Theme Night with the kids back in the summer. It was great, casual, easy and perfect for a night in. Lots of friends and family asked me to share the Paella recipe again in a format that wouldn’t require them sifting through all the cuteness (read long long winded extras) that come with a theme night post, so here goes. For non-Grinches (just kidding – sort of) among you, check out my Ferdinand Theme Night Here – and ALL my Theme Night glory here!
For Paella, you will need:
1 packet Mahatma saffron (yellow) rice (I used a 5 ounce packet – dry)
½ sweet onion
½ large red bell pepper
1 and ½ cups frozen peas
4 cups chicken stock
2 lemons (zest only)
1 bay leaf
3 chicken thighs
1/2 pound chorizo
8 to 10 shrimp (deveined, peeled, tail off, raw)
Seasonings to taste: garlic, paprika, fresh parsley, salt and pepper
The paella is actually a lot easier than you would think. I am going to start with a saffron (yellow) rice and cook it in my rice cooker, in chicken stock. I generally cook my chicken the day before (roasted) for another meal and use the left overs as meat in the paella. I do this with most of my rice dishes that call for chicken. While my rice is cooking, I am going to take ½ onion, diced thinly, 1 cup of red bell pepper, diced thinly, and one lb. of ground chorizo and brown them together – sweating the vegies as we go. Drain and set aside in paella pan (I don’t have one, so I use a large skillet). The one I linked is an inexpensive but well made one, but I would only invest if you are going to be making and serving Paella a lot! We are going to throw in ½ bag of frozen green peas to hang out with their new friends as well. Chop your chicken into ½ inch pieces and throw those on in to the party as you finish chopping. Right now you are going to have a mess in a pan.
Let me assure you, once the rice arrives and simmers for a bit, it will all come together.
Once your rice is done, mix in – adding 1 teaspoon of garlic, 1 bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste (be sure to taste it first because the chicken stock is salted) and a few dashes of paprika. Mix well, add a bit more chicken stock, your lemon zest and simmer on low for at least 30 minutes with a lid on. Just as you are getting ready to remove from the heat (guess maybe three or four minutes to go), add in your shrimp. They barley need any time to cook (3 to 5 minute total depending on size), so you don’t want them to overcook and get tough. Garnish with fresh parsley for a little brightness and color. So lovely!
All Recipes has a great base Paella recipe here if you want to make it in a bit more traditional way, but I haven’t found a lack of flavor from the above method!
As always, Buen Provecho!