Mixed Paella

Mixed Paella

Admittedly, I was going to go all Martha on you all and tag this a Simple Dinner Sunday, but my conscience just wouldn’t let me. Point In fact, there’s nothing simple about good paella. True, you can buy one of those “yellow rice” tubes, toss in a chicken breast and a package of that mixed seafood you find at the back of the freezer cabinet – but why bother. Sometimes, taking a shortcut is as believable as opening a can of Chef Boyardee and telling your family “Look, I made ravioli!”. Although I have been to several Atlanta restaurants that appear to have done just that…. um, the yellow rice thing… not the canned ravioli.

When I started researching the paella, I knew I wanted more depth of flavor that saffron and garlic alone were going to give. I stumbled on an old recipe for the broth that I liked – but not the rest of the preparation. I decided to keep the broth and tweaked it a bit. The chicken marinade is my own creation – feel free to use or discard as your taste permits. The remainder of the recipe is an amalgamation of 15 or so different recipes, scraps of paper and conversations.

Mixed Paella
Serves 6 to 8
For the Chicken:
2 Breasts / 2 Thighs / 2 Wings
1 Cup Tomato Juice
1/4 Cup Lime Juice (use the bottled – it has been pasturized to kill the enzyme that turns raw chicken to mush. I’f you’d rather use fresh – Squeeze and bring the juice to a boil – allow to cool before you do anything with it.)
2 Dashes Hot Sauce
1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Clove Garlic – Crushed
Pinch Saffron Threads
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Large Zipper Baggie
For the Broth:
6 Cups Good Chicken Broth
1/2 Teaspoon Saffron Threads
1/4 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 Small Onion – Peeled
Large Sauce Pan with Lid
For the Goods:
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1 Lb Spanish Chorizo (Use a good Hot, smoked sausage if you can’t get your hands on it)
1/4 Cup Smoked Bacon – Chopped
1 Large Onion – Chopped
4 Scallions (Green Onions) – Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic – Chopped
3 Roasted Red Peppers – Cut Into 1/2″ Strips (Save yourself some time and effort and buy the bottled or fresh ones in the market deli)
6 Large Shrimp – Shell On
1 King Crab Cluster – Disjointed
1 Pound Squid – Caps and Legs
3 Cups Long or Short Grain Rice (I actually prefer the long grain)
1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley
2 Bay Leaves – Crushed
1/2 Cup White Wine
1 Cup Frozen Green Peas
1 Cup Frozen or Canned Butter Beans
1 Teaspoon Rosemary – Minced
1/2 Teaspoon Thyme – Minced
Lemon Wedges
Large Measuring Cup
2 Large Heavy 12″ Skillets or 1 – 16″ Paella Pan. Most people will not have a paella pan. Do not go out and buy one. The skillets will work famously and allow you to split up the goodies and serve 2 different types of paella – because chioces are always a bonus at dinner time.

For the Chicken:

  • Cut each breast and thigh into thirds across the bone, disjoint the wings and discard the tips
  • Add the chicken and marinade ingredients to the zipper bag and pop in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours.

For the Broth:

  • In the saute pan, heat the broth with the saffron, paprika and the small onion.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
  • Remove the onion you need exactly 6 cups of broth – measure and add water to make up any difference

For the Goods:

  • Preheat the oven to 325
  • In one of the skillets, heat the oil to shimmering hot
  • Drain and pat dry the chicken and cook until browned on all sides in the oil – Remove and set aside
  • Slice 1/2 of the sausage into 1/4″ slices; cut the remainder into 1″ pieces and add to the pan you cooked the chicken with the bacon – cook for 10 minutes on medium heat – remove and set aside
  • Add the onions, scallions, garlic, and 2 of the peppers; cook until the onions are translucent – about 10 minutes
  • Add the Rosemary, thyme, peas and drained butter beans – cook for 5 minutes
  • Add the squid legs and caps, and the shrimp and cook just until the shrimp begins to turn pink – Remove the seafood and set aside
  • Place the second skillet on medium high heat and dive 1/2 of the vegetable mixture between the 2 pans
  • Add 1 1/2 Cups of rice to each pan and saute for 5 minutes
  • Add the wine, parsley and crushed bay leaves to the broth
  • Add 1/2 of the broth (3+ Cups) to each pan and bring the rice to a boil
  • Boil over medium high heat for 10 minutes
  • Place 1/2 the chicken into each pan – pressing it down into the rice
  • Split the sliced sausage and bacon between the 2 pans
  • In pan 1 – Add the Squid and sausage pieces in a spoke pattern in the rice – be sure to push each into the rice a bit
  • In pan 2 – Press the shrimp and crab leg joint into the rice – again in a spoke pattern
  • Decorate each pan with the remaining pepper strips and place in the oven
  • Bake at 325 uncovered for 25 minutes
  • Remove, cover with tin foil and place on a heat proof surface for 10 minutes before serving
  • Serve with lemon wedges, Hearty Crusty Bread and sauteed greens

11 thoughts on “Mixed Paella

  1. Ah Michelle, Thanks for trying it! Anytime we can look like superheros to our families it's a good day!Feel free to talk it up to your heart's content

  2. Oh my! Do you have an open seat at your dinner table? Can I invite myself?! This dish looks amazing! One dish I will have to make!

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