Paella is one of Spain’s most famous rice dishes, taking its name from the wide, shallow traditional pan used to cook the dish on an open fire.
An equal-opportunity meal, it typically includes meat along with some type of seafood. A sprinkling of paprika adds some mild heat.
This recipe is made on the stovetop with slices of chorizo — a spicy pork sausage — diced chicken and shrimp. Canned tomatoes and roasted red peppers imbue the dish with a lovely ruby hue, while blue cheese-stuffed olives add a briny, pungent kick.
If you don’t like shrimp, you could double the amount of chicken or sausage, or substitute chunks of lobster or clams.
All you need for a complete meal here is some crusty bread and a glass of fruity red wine.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced into coins
1 (14-ounce) can whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) jar roasted red pepper, sliced into strips
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups basmati or jasmine rice
4 cups chicken broth
2 small skinless chicken thighs or breasts, diced
1/3 cup blue-cheese stuffed olives
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Generous pinch of saffron
1/2-1 pound raw shrimp (optional)
Juice of 2 lemons
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Place a large (at least 12 inches) cast-iron skillet on stovetop over high heat. Once hot, add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, 3-5 minutes.
Add the chorizo, and cook until just browned, 2-3 minutes. Crush the tomatoes with your hand, and add, with juice, to the pan, along with the red pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add the wine to deglaze the skillet. Then stir in the rice, cooking until toasted, 3-5 minutes. Slowly pour in the chicken broth, and stir.
Add the chicken, olives, paprika and saffron. Stir gently to combine, then cover tightly with skillet lid or foil. Cook for 15 minutes.
Arrange the shrimp on top. You may need to press the shrimp into the rice with a spoon so that they are almost covered with the rice. Continue cooking until seafood is cooked through and rice is fluffy, about 10 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat, and drizzle with lemon juice. Garnish with parsley, and serve.
— Adapted from O, The Oprah Magazine, October 2019