There’s always something remarkable about a paella dish. It could be the inspiring way it is presented, the extraordinary taste and colourful nature of the ingredients, or perhaps the novelty of the exotic saffron spice. Nonetheless, serving paella at your next gathering is bound to not only impress your guests, but please their palates. Originally, paella was not synonymous with seafood as we often are inclined to think in North America. In fact, paella recipes that include seafood were mostly developed outside of Spain. The traditional meat ingredients of this Spanish dish are in reality chicken and rabbit. But whether it be seafood, chicken, or rabbit you put into your paella, the most important ingredient is the rice!
This segues us nicely into discussing something very important: your paella pan! Why does one need a proper paella pan to make authentic paella? The rice, of course! Since this dish is all about the grainy ingredient, it is a priority to make sure it’s cooked properly. It’s important that the rice is not dry or hard, but velvety and tender. The flat and wide shape of the pan, in addition to its thin base, ensures that the rice is cooked evenly and that the liquid cooks off rapidly. If you are in need of one, our Paella Pan is made exactly like that. Plus, it is designed with a carbon steel material that makes the pan extremely sensitive to temperature change, which means maximal control of your cooking! Not only that, it is also useful for other dishes like chicken cacciatore, or even a huge breakfast omelet! It’s no one-trick pony, and it definitely will help make sure your paella turns out just right!
Since it’s still summer, we thought a paella that included seafood would bring us flavours that would be just right for the season. Paella is really the perfect August dish and very fitting as the warm months start winding down. The classic mixture of sautéed onions, garlic, and tomatoes (which are synonymous with Spanish cuisine) is ideal for this time of year. Add in some mouth-watering chicken, chorizo sausage, scallops, shrimp, bell peppers, white wine, short grain rice and saffron, and you have a dish that will be sure to leave its mark on your end-of-summer entertaining!
With such an impressive variety of ingredients we’re lucky to have chef, recipe developer, and blogger Emma Cerulli, of Cook With Emma, to share with us her recipe and method for preparing this delicious Spanish dish. She expertly guides us through this recipe which, she says, is perfect for a cook who likes a challenge and wants to hone their skills in the kitchen!
So get ready to roll up your sleeves and create a masterpiece of a meal!
- 6 boneless chicken thighs
- 2 Spanish chorizo sausages
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 bell peppers , small dice
- 1 large Spanish onion , small dice
- 6 cloves garlic , minced
- Big pinch of saffron
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 cups short grain white rice
- 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 3 cups frozen peas
- 20 medium shrimp , shelled & deveined
- 20 large scallops , cleaned
- 1 lb mussels , scrubbed
- Lemon wedges , for garnish
- ½ cup Italian flat leaf parsley , chopped
- 3 green onions , chopped
- 1 large tomato , seeded & small diced
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a paella pan, or large shallow pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown chorizo sausage, remove and let cool. Slice sausage diagonally into one inch pieces and reserve.
Season chicken thighs, add to hot pan skin side down and brown on all sides. Remove and let cool before slicing thighs in half. Reserve.
Sauté the peppers, onion, garlic and saffron until translucent and tender. Add rice to the pan and sauté with vegetables until pan is almost dry. Deglaze with wine and reduce until almost dry, stirring often.
Pour in chicken stock and peas, stir to combine. Turn heat to low. Season with salt and pepper liberally and stir to combine.
Arrange chicken, chorizo, shrimp, scallops and mussels in the pan to your liking.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until mussels are all open.
Let paella sit 5 minutes covered before serving.
Garnish with lemon wedges, chopped tomato, parsley and green onion.
Serve in the cooking pan paired with a beautiful wine like Rioja to get all the oooohs and aaaahs that you deserve!
For you brave souls out there, instead of finishing the paella in the oven, keep it on the stove- top. Cover the pan with a large baking sheet or aluminum foil and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. When the mussels are all open, turn the heat up to medium for 5 minutes to get a nice crispy rice bottom! Be careful not to burn the rice.
Here to help you achieve your summer entertaining ambitions,
At the ripe old age of thirteen, I started cooking in restaurants. After attending the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver B.C. and much traveling, I pursued my career by cooking my way through some of the top restaurants in a city known for its culinary scene, Montreal.
Having been raised in a multicultural household, the urge to explore different foods came to me very young. I started researching international cuisine and focusing on what I call “the anthropology of food” to find stories, myths and legends surrounding the popular dishes of today.