I call this my “No more fears” Paella or the simplified version of the Spanish Paella, rich with saffron flavors and nicely decorated with cooked clams, shrimps, mussels, etc. on top.
Unless you cook paella to impress, then just buy the frozen Seafood mix, and arrange them with bell pepper strips, cooked shrimps, peas for the toppings.
Saffron, yes, you just have to have it when you cook paella. I found my small container of Paella in the international special ingredients section at Marshalls, and I got it at a bargain of $ 5.00. And you really just need a pinch of saffron in each paella dish you make…so my small saffron container takes care of my year’s cravings of Paella.
Certainly not the authentic paella, but my version is easy to fix and really worth the efforts!
“NO MORE FEARS” PAELLA
1 lb large shrimps, peeled and deveined and seasoned with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black peper, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning and 1 tablespoon oil)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into large strips
2 to 3 chicken breasts, sliced into thick strips
1 pack Spanish pork chorizo or 3 pieces smoked sausage, sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups sweet rice or arborio rice
3 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup dry red or white wine
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 piece bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
handful of frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup Seafood mix (optional)
oil for sauteeing
Season shrimps, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while sauteeing other ingredients.
In a wok, sautee green bell pepper strips in little oil, transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Add more oil in the wok and cook chicken breasts strips, 3 minutes on each side. Move cooked chicken strips around sides of the wok, and add sliced chorizos or smoked sausages to hot oil. Brown chorizos for about 4 minutes. Transfer cooked chicken strips and chorizos in another bowl and set aside.
Add about 2 tablespoons oil in wok and sautee onions until translucent. Add diced tomatoes with the juice and 2 cups of sweet rice. Stir until sweet rice is coated with the tomato mixture. Add chicken broth, wine, saffron threads, bay leaf, salt and cooked chicken and chorizos. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large aluminum tray or casserole dish and cover and bake in 350 F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until mixture is almost dry and rice is done. Uncover and arrange toppings (bell peppers, shrimps, peas and seafood mix. Cover and return to oven and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let paella stand for another 5 minutes for rice to firm up and absorb more juices.
So enjoy, this may be your “go-to” recipe for Paella, i know it is…for me!