The quintessential Spanish recipe; Paella is full of exciting flavors and enticing textures. Visually, it is one of the more colorful dishes.

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Serves: 10
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 6 chorizo links; cut in half
  • 1 Cup diced lean cooked ham
  • 12 chicken drumsticks or thighs
  • 1 large onion; chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic; minced
  • 4 small fresh hot chiles; minced
  • 1 large tomato; diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • crushed dried hot chilies to taste, to taste, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 2 Cups long-grain white rice
  • 6 Cups light chicken broth
  • 1 pound cooked baby shrimp
  • 1/2 Cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 large crab; cooked and cleaned
  • 12 shrimps or prawns
  • 1/2 pound clams (12)
  • 1/2 pound mussels (12)
  • 1/2 Cup thawed frozen peas
  • 2 lemons; cut into wedges
  1. In a large paella pan, heavy skillet or wok with a tight fitting lid, heat the olive oil. Saute the chorizos only until browned on all sides. Next brown the ham, then the chicken drumsticks. Set aside.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and chilies to the oil and saute just until the onions are pink and translucent but not yet browned. Add the tomato and stir the mixture until it begins to form a sauce. Next add the bell peppers, cumin, black pepper, and dried chiles, if desired. Continue cooking over moderate heat for about 5 minutes. Add the saffron and stir.
  3. Turn up the heat and add the rice, stirring to coat it evenly with the oil and tomato/chili sauce. Add the baby shrimp, parsley and cilantro and toss gently.
  4. Pour over enough light chicken broth to reach about 1 inch above the surface of the rice. Continue cooking over high heat until the stock has evaporated to just the level of the surface of the rice. While the stock is evaporating, break the legs off the crab and break the body of the crab into chunks; arrange on top of the rice. Push each chorizo chunk down into the rice. Do the same with the chicken legs, prawns, clams and mussels.
  5. Scatter the peas about the top and randomly arrange the lemon wedges. As soon as the level of the broth has just barely evaporated to the level of the surface of the rice, cover with a tight fitting lid, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and leave 30 to 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Fluff the rice with a fork.
Yield: 10 servings.

Serve immediately from the pan it was cooked in, accompanied with rich flavored Mexican beer, and good friends.

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