Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chicken & Seafood Paella

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If you could get whisked away to a different place for one day {especially a cold winter day}, where would you go? One place on my list of sunny destinations would be Spain. Aside from colorful culture, the food is one I can get accustomed to really easily. Take for example this Chicken & Seafood Paella that's loaded with chicken, chorizo, shrimp, scallops, and calamari cooked with tender rice and a melange of vegetables. It's the ultimate one pot meal that makes for a beautiful presentation at the table when served right out of a traditional paella pan...

Food is a glorious thing in that it connects people unlike anything else. It also takes you places in a way that you can enjoy though taste without physically being there. I guess that's why I enjoy hosting themed dinner parties with friends and I especially like highlighting various cuisines. The most recent themed dinner party I hosted was focused on the food of Spain. The star of the dinner was this paella that I served right out of my Lodge CRS15 Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet, 15-Inch Paella Pan - 15" (Google Affiliate Ad) at the table. It was quite a presentation and the fact there were no leftovers is clearly a good sign it was well received by all!

If you cannot find dried Spanish chorizo, feel free to substitute it with Andouille sausage. The recipe also calls for saffron. Yes - it is the most expensive spice there is, but the good thing is only a small amount is required and it really does make a difference in the dish. The seafood mix I used was found in the frozen section of my grocery store. It includes shrimp, baby scallops, and calamari rings... but you can also use all shrimp instead too.

Chicken & Seafood Paella
recipe adapted from Cooking Light


  • chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds), skinned 
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 
  • (4-ounce) link Spanish chorizo sausage, diced {or Andouille sausage}
  • 1 cup chopped onion 
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper 
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio or Valencia rice
  • 1/2 cup diced plum tomato 
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 pound seafood mix 
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Sprinkle chicken with rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan and cool enough to handle. Remove from bones; cover and keep warm.
  • Add diced sausage to pan; cook 1 minute. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Add rice, tomato, paprika, saffron, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pan. Add broth and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Wrap handle of pan with foil; cover pan. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Stir in seafood mix and peas. Cover and bake an additional 5 minutes or until seafood is done.


  • Note: Saffron, the exotic spice with a distinct, earthy flavor, gives this Spanish dish its characteristic yellow hue. It's a bit soupy when first prepared but quickly absorbs the liquid.

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