With summer just around the corner I’m looking for recipes that can be easily prepared and served on the patio…one dish creations where everyone can help themselves and I don’t have to be running back and forth between the patio table and the kitchen. Although I love the dish I’ve never made paella before and when I recently saw it on my friend, Sam’s, blog, My Carolina Kitchen, I knew this would be a great addition to our summer menus. One of the many good things about a recipe like this is that you can change it up each time you make it…chicken, shrimp, sausage, seafood, whatever is best at the market at the time. I chose chicken and shrimp plus a very small piece of sausage because that was all I had, and the results were fantastic.
The first time I visited E. Dehillerin in Paris I fell in love with the most beautiful copper tatin pan and I absolutely had to buy it. It didn’t look huge next to all the large pots and pans in the store but when I got it home I realized a tatin made in it would serve at least 20 people. I haven’t used it much because I don’t often have that many people for dinner anymore. But now I’m very happy I have this beautiful pan because it makes the perfect paella for 6-8 people and I’m tickled pink to put it right in the center of the table. FYI – it’s 12″ x 2″ and 1 cup of uncooked rice fills it up.
Start off by browning chicken pieces in a little bit of olive oil, then add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute until soft. Add wine, tomatoes and their liquid, broth, rice, spices and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Add shrimp and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
Stir in the peas, olives and chopped chorizo and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes until rice and shrimp are done. If you have all your ingredients ready to go, this fantastic dish assembles easily and quickly and dinner is ready to serve in about 25 minutes. I made a few little changes in Sam’s recipe so I urge you to visit her blog to see how she made this paella. I reduced the amount of tomatoes and added a little broth. I didn’t have any saffron and used Hungarian sweet paprika and a bay leaf instead. Chorizo is an important ingredients in this paella because its spiciness helps flavor the dish. Be sure to garnish the dish with slices of fresh lemon to brighten up the yummy flavors of the shrimp. The beauty of this recipe is that it can be changed up in many different ways.
One of the great things about this dish is that it can go directly from the stove to the table. I served a green salad and garlic bread along side and added a delicious pinot gris rose from Vista Hills Vineyard…just up the road from my house, by the way. If you are out wine tasting in the Dundee Hills this is a must stop place. Serving a scrumptiously wonderful meal doesn’t have to take all day to put together. And it doesn’t get much better than this. Thanks, Sam, for sharing this recipe. I know this will be one of my most often prepared summer meals.
- i tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-1/2" pieces. I used boneless chicken thighs.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup chicken broth or clam broth
- ¼ teaspoon dried saffron (I didn't have saffron and used 1 tablespoon sweet paprika and 1 bay leaf instead)
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- ¾ cup peeled and deveined wild caught shrimp (optional)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ¼ cup pimento stuffed green olives, sliced
- 4-5 ounces Spanish chorizo, roughly diced (optional)
- ¼ cup flat-leafed parsley, roughly chopped, plus extra for garnish.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan or saute pan over medium heat. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until golden brown, 2 minutes per side.
- Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine, tomatoes and their liquid, broth and whatever spices you are using, rice, salt, and freshly ground black pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until 5 minutes before the rice is done. Stir in shrimp and continue to cook for 5 more minutes until rice & shrimp are done.
- Stir the peas, olives, & chopped chorizo into the rice and chicken and cook, covered, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Spoon the chicken and rice into a platter or onto individual plates and sprinkle with the parsley. I did it the easy way and served the paella in the pan I cooked it in. A few lemon slices were added for garnish.