If you think of Spanish cuisine you might very well think “paella”! And you would be right to do so, as this is one of Spain’s signature dishes, and certainly one that you might learn to prepare on one of our cooking vacations to Spain. The key to good paella? The pan, of course, since “paella” refers to the pan that the dish is cooked in. But equally important is the rice, as it is the main ingredient.
Discover an alternate paella recipe and learn about paella and wine pairings.
You can find paella pans of various materials – carbon steel is the most traditional – and of various sizes. The following recipe is for 6 people, which usually means around a 15- to 18-inch pan. Remember, the larger the pan, the thinner the layer of rice and the more of the wonderful crusty soccarat you will have! This recipe is easily adaptable. Don’t like shellfish? Leave it out. Want a seafood paella? Leave out the meat. Serving vegetarians? Use vegetable broth, omit the meat, and add more vegetables!
See all our Spain cooking vacations.
Serves 6 to 8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Cook method: Saute/Simmer
- 2 pork loin chops, in large dice
- 3-4 skinned, deboned chicken thighs, in large dice
- 8 unpeeled, large (or jumbo) shrimp (or 4-6 Langoustines)
- 1 small red bell pepper cut in thin strips
- handful of fresh green beans, trimmed
- 1/4 cup of peas (frozen is fine)
- 2 cloves of garlic minced with 1 Tbsp parsley
- 3 cups paella rice (such as “Bomba” rice)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 9 cups fish or chicken stock
- 1 tsp saffron
- dozen clams in their shells
- dozen mussels in their shells
- olive oil
Cook paella in Andalusia!
- Prep all the vegetables and meat/shrimp by cutting them to their indicated size. Salt the pork, chicken, and shrimp.
- Put your paella pan on the stove on medium high heat. Coat with olive oil.
- Cook the pork and then the chicken (separately), a few minutes on each side. Set aside in a bowl.
- Cook the shrimp for a scarce minute, and add to the meat.
- Next, cook the green beans and the red pepper separately, a few minutes on each side, and add to the meat.
- Lower the heat to medium, put all the cooked meat and vegetables back in the pan with the paprika, garlic and parsley, and peas, and cook, stirring, for one minute.
- Stir in the rice and cook for a minute more, then add the broth. Sprinkle the saffron over it, arrange the shellfish on top, and cook for 15 minutes on the stove top.
- Finish for 5 minutes in a 375F oven. (Hint: if your pan will not fit in your oven, cover the pan on the stove for the last 5 minutes with a newspaper or towel, being careful not to let it catch fire!)
Remove from the oven and enjoy!
Try this delicious Spanish salmorejo soup recipe.
By Peg Kern
Discover a recipe for Spanish cod in almond sauce.
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