Paella originates from the province of Valencia Spain. Originally a dish made by shepherds over an open fire, it is now popular all over the world. You can find Paella being made in restaurants, homes and still among the fields as a simple and humble picnic food. The only really necessary ingredients are olive oil, rice, saffron and peas. Beyond that is the dish of your own imagination. Early shepherds most often used snails and/or a rabbit snared in the field. The recipe I have provided here is just a basic combination of sausage, chicken and seafood. But I truly encourage you to branch out and try adding a variety of proteins. Some of my favorite additions are: Pork belly, lobster, prawns, scallops and little lamb meatballs. Try adding green beans or favas…even red bell peppers! Most importantly remember to let the imagination of your palate lead you and HAVE FUN!
½ cup olive oil
2 Tbl Kosher salt
1 large spanish yellow onion diced
12 cloves garlic
6 large roma tomatoes diced
1 cup chopped Italian parsley
3 cups paella rice (california pearl rice is a good substitute easily found locally)
6 cups chicken broth
Saffron or Azafran*
12 oz linguica sausage (or substitute chorizo)
1 ½ lbs chicken breast cut into large cubes
1 ½ lbs fish, cubed
18 mussels in the shell
18 clams in the shell
For this recipe you will need a deep (minimum 4”) large saute pan with a tight fitting lid.
*due to the cost of Saffron being very high now and it being somewhat hard to find, Azafran (safflower) is an excellent and much more affordable substitute
In a large deep saute pan heat the olive on medium-high heat and begin caramelizing the diced onion with the Kosher salt.
When the onion is about halfway to being soft add the sausage and garlic. Continue to saute on medium-high heat until the onions are soft and the sausage is browned.
Add the tomato and parsley. Saute until the tomato is very soft. Lower the heat slightly if the mixture begins to over brown.
Stir in the rice and a pich of Saffron or ¼ oz Azafran. Mix until it is well coated.
Add the chicken, fish and shellfish. Mix to coat and add the chicken broth.
Cover with a tight fitting lid and place into a 400° preheated oven. Bake approximately 30 minutes.